Fashion & Beauty / Collections Digest

Anna Freemantle on Travel, Scotland & Friendship

We speak to former supermodel Anna Freemantle about travel, her friendship with Josie Borain and her role as director of the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival

Anna Freemantle in Cape Town
Anna Freemantle in Cape Town Photography by Josie Borain

Flaxen-haired Dutch model Anna Freemantle made her name modeling in the 1990s, before moving north of the border to Edinburgh in 2006 with her artist husband Jonathan Freemantle. Together they run the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, now in its third year. Currently taking place alongside the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the line-up of symposiums, exhibitions and catwalks includes Helena Christensen’s A Private Moment, a candid photographic series of seventeen women including Liv Tyler, Liberty Ross, Lizzy Jagger and Freemantle herself. Recognised by her platinum quiff and chiseled, androgynous features, Freemantle exudes charm and drive in equal measures. She helped to persuade Karl Lagerfeld to bring his Métiers d’Art Chanel show to Scotland in 2013 and last October co-hosted Pringle’s Princess Grace: More Than An Image catwalk collection at the Parliament House on The Royal Mile, Edinburgh.

Former Calvin Klein model-turned photographer Josie Borain photographed Freemantle in Cape Town exclusively for AnOther. It was the meeting of two greats, representative of the '90s supermodel era, now working to see the art beyond the clothes. Here, Freemantle talks about travel, her favourite destinations and their friendship.

Anna Freemantle on... her earliest travel memory
"My first experience of travel was all piled up in the car to Les Ardennes where we had the most wet, windy un-holiday holiday ever. I'm one of four so the driving holidays was always quite a challenge. My parents believed in never going back to the same place twice so we got to see most of Europe. Both my parents aren't too big a fan of too hot a summer so the tendency was to go North wherever possible. I travelled without my parents for the first time aged ten — I sang in the Dutch National Choir which took us to a destination abroad every other weekend."

"I love Scotland mostly for its vastness, rough beauty, minimal population and the chance to get lost within nature" — Anna Freemantle

On... her favourite location
"Probably Iceland – a very mystical, beautiful place. Other favourites would be Namibia and Mozambique for the sunshine, beauty, walking, camping and roadtrips with our boys. Or to the South of France for romance, culture and delicious food."

On... packing
"The more I travel the lighter I pack. I know what I need for which country and really pack necessities only. I pack a few hours pre-flight so I spend as little time already away, i.e. in my mind. You always need much less than you might think."

On... Scotland
"I love Scotland mostly for its vastness, rough beauty, minimal population and the chance to get lost within nature. The west coast/islands are my favourite. One of my favourite little Sunday outings is to drive to South Queensferry and have fish and chips in the harbour. My tip is to climb Arthur's Seat."

On.. Cape Town
"My husband is from Cape Town — I love this place. In fact, we are bringing the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival to Cape Town and Johannesburg too in 2015. If you visit, seek out a local and get the insider tips. All tourist things tend to be rather.... touristy. I guess as is the case for most places! Keep sight of your belongings but don't overdo it or you might just be the cause of things being taken/happening."

On.. Josie Borain
"I only met Josie recently, at Hannah Loewenthal's brother's funeral. Loewenthal (The World's number one 5 Rhythms teacher) put us in touch insisting we should meet and it was very easy from there on. One Sunday lunch where we were told to be at hers for 12.30 and didn't leave until 9pm. A fabulous day, great cooking, kids in pools, lots of laughter, friends wandering in all day."

Photography by Josie Borain
Styling by Antoinette Degens
All clothing by Pringle of Scotland
Jewellery by Missibaba, Cape Town

AnOther Recommends Pringle's newly re-launched digital magazine, Bulletin. The Bulletin was originally issued as a regular print magazine for factory workers and all staff at Pringle’s Scottish headquarters in Hawick during the 1950s and 60s.

Text by Mhairi Graham