Angelina Jolie Encourages Her Kids to Defy Public Expectations Through This Creative Outlet

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For Angelina Jolie, fashion is an extremely important vessel for expressing self-identity. She reveres the creative outlet so much that she’s launching her very own fashion house, Atelier Jolie, this month. Though she has aspirations to make fashion more accessible and sustainable for all walks of life, Jolie’s mission is also heavily rooted in encouraging her kids — and anyone, really — to express themselves as they wish, regardless of public expectations and mass trends.

During a December interview with Neubauer Artists, the entertainment multi-hyphenate opened up about a fun challenge she thrust upon her kids for the Eternals premiere in 2021. Jolie presented them with a slew of secondhand garments, including pieces from her own closet and others sourced from thrift shops, and let them go to town styling their red carpet looks.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 27: (L-R) Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, Maddox Jolie-Pitt and Knox Jolie-Pitt attending the UK Gala screening of Marvel Studios’ “Eternals” at BFI IMAX Waterloo on October 27, 2021 in London, England. <em>Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney.</em>
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 27: (L-R) Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, Maddox Jolie-Pitt and Knox Jolie-Pitt attending the UK Gala screening of Marvel Studios’ “Eternals” at BFI IMAX Waterloo on October 27, 2021 in London, England. Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney.More

“That was just an experiment in, ‘Here’s some old clothes, here’s some vintage, here’s some things you can cut up — you can do it all these different ways,’” the movie star recalled telling her kids. She remembered candidly asking them, “‘Who are you? What do you want?’” Not “Who does the world expect you to be as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt‘s kids?” or “What current fashion trends might satisfy the image people have painted of you?” Giving her children the gift of expressing themselves freely and fully was — and still is — of vital importance to Jolie.

She continued explaining her fashion philosophy, which has been adopted by three daughters (Zahara, 18, Shiloh, 17, and Vivienne, 15) and three sons (Maddox, 22, Pax, 20, and Knox, 15) as well. “You know, I don’t work regularly with a stylist; I don’t like the idea of just somebody putting clothes on me or on my kids. I don’t think they like the idea of being styled by someone else,” the humanitarian shared. “So much of clothing is identity and if someone else is styling you and if someone else is dictating who you are and what you wear… Especially as a mother, I want to know who my children are,” Jolie stressed.

Circling back to the Eternals experiment, the actress continued, “I want to put things in front of them that help them question or break the box or say ‘I don’t like this’ or ‘This doesn’t feel right.’ So you’re always trying to just put different options in front of them and see where it takes them.” A journey of self-expression and identity through fashion — perhaps the most straightforward way of presenting oneself to the world.

Jolie previously talked about the route she’s taken with her kids and their clothing choices during an interview with Vogue in September. “I don’t tell the kids how to dress. Even when they were little, I just put things in front of them,” the Wanted star said. She thoughtfully added, “[We] live in our clothes, it is so much a part of who we are, and something that’s important to explore, especially for young people.”

Fashion provides such a unique and vulnerable opportunity for self-expression, and we love the bold way Jolie embraces the creative outlet — and encourages her kids to do so as well. Here’s to embracing the essence of ourselves more than ever the next time we rifle through our closets — Atelier Jolie is already making an impact, even before opening its doors.

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