Posted by Stephan Moskovic | November 4th, 2015

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In terms of the fashion world’s fondness for waifish, doll faced beauties–or its affair with the rarer yet jolie laide types, Annely Bouma is by no means the archetype of the modeling industry. She’s an enigmatic beauty where glamour is concerned, and her shoulder length, straw colored hair and pale green eyes could make her an old-world painter’s muse, but in the modern sense, she’s appealed to photographers and designers alike with a look that is both unique and guileless in its natural prettiness. The wanderlusting, 27 year old Dutch model started older than most, and so by contrast, she’s outlived most of her younger self’s naiveté, allowing her to move assuredly, navigating the sometimes tolling lifestyle of being an already in-demand face. She’s a frequenter in edgier publications like Pop and Self Service, and with appearances in spotlighting campaigns like Jil Sander, Annely Bouma is making her mark and building staying-power. Driu and Tiago photograph the worldly model poetically posed in a golden meadow and Models.com sat down with Annely to discuss her latest state of mind.

Photographer: Driu Crilly & Tiago Martel (Lalaland Artists)
Stylist: Katie Burnett
Hair by Kei Terada ( Julian Watson Agency)
Hair Assistant: Sachi Yamashita
Makeup by Min Kim
Model: Annely Bouma / Viva Model Management London

Text and interview by Steven Yatsko

Above photo: Jacket by Carven, Top by Prada, Pants by Lea Peckre, Tights by Proenza Schouler

When did you first start modeling and how did you get into it?

I’ve been with my mother agency over ten years. But I always stayed at home doing smaller jobs. It was never really me, I could never give myself, I could never commit to it 100% because it didn’t feel right for some reason. I don’t know what it was. So I studied and did a lot of things. I also back packed for two years.

What were you studying?

It was sport with a psychology twist in it. It was two different studies, but my idea was that I wanted to work with prisons and use sport as a therapy.

Are you still interested in that?

I think my ambitions changed. I’m happy that I had that goal. It’s still possible one day if I wanted to.

What changed?

I moved to Australia a couple of years ago then moved back to Holland and didn’t see my mother agency for a very long time. They called me and were like, “Come over.” I just cut my hair from long to short and my booker took polaroids. I walked into the agency with the intentions that maybe this was it. I was going to emigrate to Australia, and I didn’t know if I was going to move back there [to Holland]. Three days later I was sitting in Paris, meeting with Viva.

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Striped Vest by Costume National, Knit Dress Worn Open by Maiyet, Trousers by Lea Peckre, Jacket by Lemaire

Were you 100% committed then?

My partner was like, “Annely, you have a second chance, why don’t you do it?” I thought I was too old.

How old were you at the time?

This is over one and half years ago and I’m 27 years now. So I thought I thought I was way too old. But I thought, okay, I’ll give it a go, let’s do it. And I’m totally going to go for it. And I’m very happy I took that step. Very happy.

Now going into it, are you glad you went into it at that age?

Yes. Absolutely. I’ve traveled so much more, I’ve got so much more life experience than when I was 16-17. I don’t know how the girls do it now.

Do you find being 27 and more self aware, you’re able to participate more in shoots, rather than just being a model?

Looking at myself, I’m very conscious. I get it. I get my body. I know how my body moves. I think it works in a positive way for me. There’s a massive difference in age and life experience and where my headspace is.

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Neck Piece by Lemaire, Jacket by Joseph, Tights by Proenza Schouler

Obviously people want to shoot you. Do you understand what people see in you?

I get it, I get that. I get it being in this industry, but I don’t know…sometimes it’s a back and forth. That’s alright.

With any job.

Every job has something, you just have to make it your own little world.

I think as long as you’re offering people yourself and being part of the process you can do it for a long time. Once you’re over it, that when people are over you. They’ll say, “Oh she’s not participating anymore.”

I want it. This is my life now. I love this job. It’s great. When I hear some girls complaining during shows and shoots… yes it’s hard work, but there are jobs out there that are a billion times worse, it’s an amazing job, you should be very grateful that you’re able to do this.

So now you’ve been seriously modeling for how long?

Well, when I signed with Viva, it was November, so two years. But I took a break for six months from January to June. My fiancé passed away. So I took a break and then I started again.

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Top by Stella McCartney, Skirt by Stella McCartney, Tights by Proenza Schouler, Shoes by Marc Jacobs, Earring by Charlotte Chesnais

I always ask the question – do you think modeling is a luxury?

Yes absolutely. It’s one of the biggest luxuries. Yes it’s hard work, but when I was twenty or nineteen I worked in a bar or doing events, I was working 7 days a week, 15 hours a day. Well, you would never do that, even during fashion week you’re not standing on your legs for fifteen hours a day. So there are worse jobs.

So you would say you’re passionate about modeling?

I am and I really appreciate it. It’s a great job and there’s lots of travel. It’s an amazing way to travel. And from every trip I do for work, I take a little and try to stay for a couple extra days.

Where is your favorite place that you’ve been so far?

I moved to Tasmania for a little bit and it is absolutely breathtaking– the nature and you have a little city and fresh air and amazing ocean. I was living there, I met my boyfriend at the moment there. At the time I wasn’t allowed to work, I was fighting for my work visa, so I helped my boyfriend with his career. It’s one of my favorite places.

Do you go back?

Yep, last I was there was two weeks ago.

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Dress & tights by Proenza Schouler

Are you still getting excited about bookings?

Yes. This job is 24/7 and basically becomes your life. So yeah when everything goes well it makes me excited.

What about things that go not the way you imagined?

Yeah it’s a bit tough sometimes, it’s a tough world.

Does it help that you’re now 27 and a bit more secure?

Yes, but on the other side it’s very easy to overthink it. When I was young everything would just flow and flow and now I’m starting to think about how does this industry work? What can you change? But you can’t overthink this industry.

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What is your method to navigating at the moment?

I’m just going to let it all go. I’m not going to try to control it, because you can’t.

Is that like your personality?

Yeah, naturally I’m really positive.

Have you been able to maintain that so far?

There’s always this moment during fashion week when you think, “Oh my god, what the hell am I doing? I got cancelled for this…” and then something else gets booked and you’re really happy. You go through all these moods. This time, before I started I was like I’ll just see where it goes, whatever happens–happens. You can’t control it. Go to the clients, be nice, be the person you are.

How do you balance your work and non-work life? Is it easy to balance? Is traveling part of that?

Yeah, I make time. My free time is basically seeing friends and family and traveling. Doing little trips. And I’m still part of the organizing of a festival where I’m still going each year. It’s [called] Madness. It’s a festival on the beach, a skate, surf and outdoor music festival. I’m still in that, so spending time on that. I build it all up.

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Do you do any of those things?

Surf. I don’t skate, I wish I could, I’m so afraid. It’s the same with a massive wave or reef with surfing.

So how about a favorite or memorable shoot or a horror story?

Surely if I say now then I’ll think later, “Oh that one was even better!” Always location shoots, because I love shooting on location and I really like shooting with Rory Payne, I’ve shot with him in Gran Canaria. The whole team had such a good connection and we all stayed an extra day. Actually, I had an amazing shoot last week with [not out yet] in Stockholm and I stayed an extra day as well and we all went to the theme park at night. it’s in the middle of the city–rollercoasters, some drinks, and then went out. Also it was with half of a Dutch team, which never happens. It was funny to be able to speak my own language for a change, because I’ve never get that.

So since you’re traveling a lot where are most of your friends based?

That’s always tough. Sometimes I’m really confused at what is home, because I think home is where your friends and your loved ones are. I’ve got my very close friends in Holland and a couple in Australia. I find that it’s hard to say. I think Holland, I have got my closest friends from when I was young.

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Top by Véronique Leroy, Jacket by Acne, Earring by Charlotte Chesnais

What makes you the most Dutch? What quality or attribute?

Well the other day someone walked up to me in New Zealand and started talking in Dutch to me. I was like, “How do you know I’m Dutch.?” He was like, “You’ve almost got it written on your head that you’re Dutch.” So I guess it’s that I look really Dutch!

Is there some way they act?

It’s the same with German people or American people. You can see it but you can’t say what it is….maybe it’s because I like puffed pancakes, maybe because I like Dutch cheese. It’s just little bits and pieces. Now because I’m not living in Holland anymore coming back makes me appreciate it more.

Did you rediscover anything coming back? Something that wasn’t obvious before?

Little things in the super market, like making one my favorite nasi gorengs and all the vegetables for that. It’s an Indonesian dish, since Indonesia used to be a part of Holland; there are a lot of Indonesian people in Holland.

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Tights by Proenza Schouler, Shoes by Marc Jacobs

What about something you picked up living in Australia…

Surfing. And I think their lifestyle. I always find people wake up in the morning very early and have breakfast, like peanut butter on toast and weet-bix, the little cereal things. I don’t like Vegemite, I tried very hard.

Do you like dressing up at all?

I find fashion very difficult. Styling is something that freaks me out. I’m always afraid that I’ve done something wrong and that it doesn’t work together or something. Afraid is a big word, but I’m self-conscious of my own doing.

When do you feel the most confident and the most glamorous?

When I’m wearing my sports pants and with a sports shirt and I go for a workout. I feel really confident and really good. If I had the chance, especially in Australia, I would always walk around in those clothes because it’s nice and colorful. For the most glamorous–I never wear makeup–so I think the moment I do feel the most glamorous is when I go out to dinner and I’m actually using mascara [laughs]. Because I never wear that.

Do you ever wear a lip color? It’s an odd question for me to ask, but I’m curious.

I use lip balm.

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Is there any thing you want to do more of?

I would like to do horse riding more. Much more. I used to do it when I had my horse. I sold my horse when I was twenty one and I miss it. I’m planning a trip to Iceland to do a seven day tour of Iceland on horses. And I was looking to do the same thing in a different country.

Where did you start horseback riding?

I was lucky because we had the police horses next door, so I was always riding on these massive police horses.

What about something you can’t do without?

A tea in the morning. I love my tea in the morning, every single day. At night I get really excited for my tea in the morning. I can get really excited about that.

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Jacket Worn Over Shoulders by Each x Other, Blazer by Vivienne Westwood, Skirt by Haider Ackermann, Tights by Proenza Schouler

Are you nerdy about anything?

Traveling. I can for look for ages through Skyscanner looking for where I want to go next. It’s just where you can get your tickets. Last night I was going crazy about Madagascar. I was looking to where I would go. And I really want to go to Nepal.

Is there anything that interests you about fashion? Do you participate in it?

I do like fashion. It does interest me, but it also scares me. Because I can’t understand it and I like to understand things. I like to know why things happen. That’s why I love to do looks with a designer for a day because then I start to understand the collection. I like that. And some girls hate it. Actually, I really like that. I like to understand why I do things, instead of just doing them.

Does that translate to on set when you’re modeling? If you understand the photographer more…

Yeah, I always like to know the mood board exactly and how it should be and what they have in mind, because then I can understand how to act myself.

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Let’s say theres no moodboard and no direction, what’s the move?

I do like that. In fact, I love it, because then you can just float and sometimes get the best moments. For this shoot as well. I could just give myself completely and go outside of the box. I like that instead of, “Stand like that and move like that.” Actually this shoot was one my favorite shoots as well. It was really nice. Because the team was so nice.

That seems to be a common thread between your favorite shoots.

I find it’s good to work with a positive team that you’re all in this similar wavelength.

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Jacket by Acne, Second Jacket by Ann Demeulemeester, Trousers by Lea Peckre, Tights on arms by Proenza Schouler, Shoes by Marc Jacobs

Now looking into the future, do you have some specific goals?

I really would like to build my own house in the countryside. That’s a dream. I would want to do that someday. But the big WHERE is the tough part.

If you had to guess?

I just can’t say where yet. I thought I knew my future, but now my future messed up last year and just for now I can’t say that yet. When you make plans or wishes things change. I have my little house in London now. I just moved out of an apartment so I just got my new home, since July. I found this amazing three story Victorian house with a garden in the back.

I’m glad things are going so well for you now.

That’s why this job has been the best thing and at the right time, the right moment to start off with. It’s given me so many amazing people around me.

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Jacket by Lemaire, Striped Vest by Costume National, Dress Worn Open by Maiyet, Skirt by Ann Demeulemeester, Tights by Proenza Schouler, Shoes by Marc Jacobs

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3 Comments to “Annely Bouma”

  1. Onin Lorente says:

    Beautiful images and the model is divine!

  2. Erin says:

    These images are so beautiful! Absolutely love the styling.

  3. Salomeeh says:

    Absolutely love your work! Thrilled to be working with you. Keep up the good work. You can check out my instagram salomeehmodels

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