Angelina Jolie, who has pulled back professionally in recent years, shed some light on that decision and her life in general in a new interview with Vogue pegged to her soon-to-launch fashion collective/concept/community space, Atelier Jolie.
“I feel a bit down these days,” she said, adding, “I don’t feel like I’ve been myself for a decade, in a way, which I don’t want to get into.”
“I’m still understanding who I am at 48,” she continued, musing on personal style. “I guess I’m in transition as a person.”
Jolie credited her 18-year-old daughter Zahara, a student at Spelman College, with helping her find the New York City space for her new fashion venture, which has an emphasis on sustainability, and said that Zahara and 19-year-old Pax are heavily involved in the venture, as are her other children. She called the process of opening the line “therapeutic for me,” her children have been a crucial part of her understanding of who she is in middle age and what she’s looking for.
“I was 26 when I became a mother,” she said. “My entire life changed. Having children saved me—and taught me to be in this world differently. I think, recently, I would’ve gone under in a much darker way had I not wanted to live for them. They’re better than me, because you want your children to be. Of course I’m the mother, and hopefully that safe place for them and that stability. But I’m also the one that they laugh at—and I see them taking over so many different aspects of our family.”
Jolie has worn many hats throughout her long public career, including activist on international rights for women, actor, mother, philanthropist, and more. She’s reinvented herself more than once, including her style transition from her younger years to a markedly different vibe now.
“My kids would roll their eyes if they were here,” Jolie said. “I was quite dark when I was young. I was a punk, not the popular kid—going to thrift stores, cutting things up, burning little teeny cigarette holes into things: That was me as a teenager, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Maybe that part of me wants to push back.”
“I’m hoping to change many aspects of my life,” she said. “And this is the forward-facing one.”