Incredible thinker, brilliant mother and soulful photographer, Amanda de Cadenet is one of our favorite people, period. With a new show that promises to put a feminist spin on the male dominated late night game and a daughter who is making waves in her own right, Amanda has a lot to be proud of these days. Today, for our latest edition of Women of Style, the ultimate Brit It girl shares her thoughts on work ethic, Los Angeles living and the one skincare product worth splurging on.
Early Life & Career
Her First Job
"When I was 14 years old I got a job modeling for Sisley. I got sent off to the Island of Capri with a bunch of supermodels. When I got there, they did a fitting and put me in a swimsuit and then promptly sent me back to my room. Then they came and said, 'You can go home now.' I was really upset and I asked them why. They said 'Well, because you're too fat. You don’t fit in the swimsuit.' And so I thought, I’ll stay in Capri and eat some pasta and profiteroles for a few days because you paid for this room, which is what I did. After that I left and went home. That was my first job. My second job was when I was 15 and I started hosting TV. It was kind of back-to-back. Thank god I got a job hosting TV, because I was not very successful as a model and I really needed to earn some money."
On Work Ethic
"My dad was a racecar driver. He did long distance racing, so he would race for 24 hours straight. He taught me that you can do anything that you set your mind to. He taught me that if one thing doesn’t work that doesn’t mean you give up, it means you kept trying to find ways to make it work until the thing happens for you. That lesson is probably why I worked out how to make a television show out of my living room and taught myself how to be a photographer. I didn’t go to school for any of this."
Amanda poses with Gloria Steinem during an interview. Photo: @amandadecadenet.
The Best Advice
"I’ve interviewed many amazing people who have been very successful in their careers. One of the things I ask business women a lot is 'How do you do everything that is expected of you as a CEO of a company?' and everyone has told me delegate and build a good team because those are the people who can execute a vision for you."
Life in Los Angeles
"I love the weather, I love the blue sky, I love the nature. I love that I can look out my window and see trees and then be downtown, and it feels very urban. I love all the farmer’s markets and amazing restaurants. There are all kinds of pockets in LA with awesome little businesses. Rent is cheap so people can get a storefront and make their clothes in the back and sell them in the front. You could never do that in New York."
LA is great. Oh my god, when I first got here, I thought who WOULDN'T want to live here?
Amanda with her daughter, Atlanta. Photo: @amandadecadenet.
On Her Photography Career
"Photography became a real career option for me when Atlanta was born. I couldn’t believe that I had given birth to this person. I was so young when I had her and I was so in awe of this tiny little being. I would just photograph her all the time because I couldn’t believe she existed."
"I never went to photography school or took a class. When people photographed me and I would ask them a million questions. What kind of camera is that? Why do you use that lens? Why are you putting me here and not there? I learned from asking questions and then I would go home and try things on Atlanta. She was my muse."
"The first photography job I got was my photo diary of LA. I had to photograph all the places I liked, but I had to be in the picture. Atlanta was four or five at the time, and I remember having to set everything up on a tripod and then I would go stand in the shot and show her what button to press. That was my first published story: I did the framing and Atlanta took the picture."
Amanda interviewing Lady Gaga for episode two of her series, 'The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet', which aired in July of 2013.
On Her TV Show, The Conversation
"I was inspired to create 'The Conversation' because I didn't believe there was an authentic platform for women that addressed the issues in their lives. Everything was edited, cropped and restructured to not be truthful. I know the power of storytelling. It’s an ancient form that has existed since before we had telephones or texting. The show was an attempt to bring back the very simple idea of 'When was the last time you sat with someone and really talked to them?' We’re all buried in our own world, and it was kind of the desire to say let’s just sit down and have a conversation, and out of that something will happen."
"On July 24th I’m launching a new live show with Lifetime called Undone with @AmandadeCadenet. It's an amazing opportunity to be a female voice in the primetime, late night arena. Very few women have their own show after 3PM. The woman is either a cohost or she's Chelsea Handler. It’s an extraordinary opportunity. We’ll have interviews with women and with men, but through my filter, through my very female perspective."
Style & Personal Life
Her Personal Style
"I have a super curvaceous body, I like feminine clothing. I tend to love leather and lace, and great jeans. I guess my style goes between being super strong, and feminine. My staples are black tight jeans, some awesome red high-heeled boots by Tabitha Simmons or Marc Jacobs, and a leather jacket by Phillip Lim. I spend a lot of time with my kids or on tour with my husband, so I need clothes that I can move in. When I have to look more put together it’s always a challenge because I think, 'Oh my god, this takes so much time.' But I do like to turn it out sometimes."
On Her Summer Shopping List
"A good swimsuit; one that fits some DDs."
"A couple of good books."
"A great pair of high-heeled summer sandals. I love heels."
"I’m really into the Miu Miu collection. I love that."
"Fresh juice. I have to have fresh juice. I’m a big juice person."
"And healthy snacks. Nomad has the best raw cookies and dark chocolate."
Julisis Gold Elixir Day, $285; Julisis Silver Elixir Night, $262; Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, $120; RMS Beauty Un Coverup, $36.
The Beauty Products She Swears By
"I swear by my facialist, Terri Lawton. She’s extraordinary. I love Julisis. It is so expensive, but I can’t do without it. It’s probably my most unjustified, indulgent spend. I love it, it makes me happy. I also use Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream. It is really good. I combine it with RMS Un Coverup. It is the bomb. I go on TV wearing that stuff. It covers everything even though it's super light."
Deborah Marquit Giardino di Fiori Lace Bra, $225, Briefs, $110.
When She Wants To Feel Glam
"Well, it’s what I wear underneath my clothes is what does it. I love super foxy underwear."
Amanda with Kristen Wiig and Rose Byrne at the Marc Jacobs spring 2013 show. Photo: Getty Images
Her Fashion Crush
"I will always love Marc Jacobs. He was the first designer that dressed me when I moved to the US. To this day, he is my go to. It has been all about Marc for over twenty years. I love and adore him, as a designer and a person."
Amanda's daughters, Atlanta and Ella. Photo: @amandadecadenet.
What She Teaches Her Daughters About Fashion
"I teach them to express themselves as long as it’s age appropriate. My daughter Ella recently came back from a garage sale at her school with a pair of black, satin spandex leggings. She was wearing them when we were going to Diane von Furstenburg’s launch for her event at the LACMA. In my head I was like 'Oh my god, I’m going to go out with this girl in public to this big fashion event...', but you know what, all that mattered was us. I didn’t want to make her feel bad. That’s her expressing herself and she is a happy, confident girl because she gets to make choices. I’ve always been like, 'You think that works, go for it. If you want to ask my opinion, I’m going to say that maybe stripes, and polka dots, and glitter is a bit much but hey, if that’s where you’re at, rock it!' Atlanta’s turned out wonderfully and I applied that same principle when I raised her."
How She Finds Balance
"I've just accepted that something will always be suffering. Perfect balance is not possible and you have to be okay with that. I’ve been prepping my kids for a month now telling them that this summer, I’m not going to be able to pick them up from school because I’m making a TV show and I’m going to be at work a very long time and there are days I might not be putting them in bed. So now that I’m in it, they’re not shocked. They’re like 'Yeah mom, you told us.' I think the error is trying to pretend that something is not happening."