Angela Lindvall raises her visibility as host of 'Project Runway All Stars'

Model Angela Lindvall hosts Project Runway All-Stars on Lifetime.
Model Angela Lindvall hosts Project Runway All-Stars on Lifetime.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Her face has graced the covers of Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar, but model Angela Lindvall remains anonymous.

That might be hard to believe but, as she scurries in from a downpour outside, wearing no makeup, her hair left to its own devices and a black floppy hat fending off the rain, she's unrecognizable.

Except for her height, you'd never associate Lindvall with high fashion, or any kind of fashion.

She likes it that way. "Even when I first started modeling, I told my agents, 'OK, I'll do this, but I don't want to be on the cover of anything.' I didn't realize that being on the cover is what made you famous; it's what gets you beauty contracts and all you want. I don't walk around with my hair done and high heels. So nobody would know."

They're probably going to know when Project Runway All Stars premieres Jan. 5 on Lifetime. As host and one of the judges of the show — which features favorites from the network's previous Project Runway episodes — Lindvall's face will be front and center.

She's aware that it might change her life. "I'm nervous about being out there and being recognized because I'm kind of a hermit," she says.

"I'm trying to take a positive look on it. One, I hardly ever leave home, and my little community already knows me because it's a little village, and that's no problem. It's primarily in airports" that she is recognized.

There's not much that frightens Lindvall, who became a model when her sister talked her into signing up for a local fashion show in her hometown, Kansas City, Mo.

"I was a serious tomboy, and my oldest sister, she used to watch those beauty pageants, and she was like, 'Oh, Dad, I want to do this.' My grandmother passed away and left some money, so Dad enrolled the two of us in a modeling school in Missouri. And secretly — even though I was a tomboy — I kind of enjoyed it because we learned how to put outfits together.

"I didn't know a thing about the fashion industry. I didn't know you had to be tall. I certainly was not the pretty girl in high school. I was the awkward one." She says she was "completely shocked" when an agent invited her to New York to begin a modeling career.

She waited six months and, at 17, she moved to New York on her own and began high-fashion work. "I grew up really quickly. I now say I'm getting younger as I'm getting older," she says, laughing.

"I have been exposed to all this, but I've made a point to remember where I come from, who I am, and know what's important. ... It was my children (who were) a big part of making that clear to me," says Lindvall, who is one of six children.

She was 21 when she became pregnant with her first son. "I've got to say that was the best thing that ever happened to me because, all of a sudden, my life wasn't centered around this career that didn't necessarily move me from a passionate place. When I had my son, everything made sense."

She realized that modeling was a rare opportunity, but she says she felt like an outsider. "I didn't care about makeup. I didn't care about clothes ... . There were all these crazy fashion people, and it was, 'Oh, my God, where do I belong in all this?' "

Now the mother of two boys, 6 and 9, Lindvall is exploring other possibilities. She's taking Kundalini yoga teacher training, she has a line of jewelry on QVC, and she has appeared a time or two in the movies.

Mostly what she says she loves is being at home, growing vegetables in her garden and being with her children.