In conversation with Dieudonnee
As part of our collaboration with Zalando #ActivistsofOptimism we had a pleasure to work with and speak with Dieudonnee.
Can you please introduce yourself to the readers a little bit.
My Name is Dieudonnée. I'm 25 years old. I am an all around creative, I do design, I model and I do content creation.
What kind of content creation are you most excited to do nowadays?
I think there’s two main party that I really like to do. One is fashion I really like clothing, streetwear and outerwear especially. And the other side is body positivity. As a curvy model there’s a lot of things that come to my attention in my life when it comes to body positivity and confidence. So I’m happy to share that with my people.
What does optimism mean to you?
For me if means finding that silver lining in every situation that happens and I think it's impossible for a person to be 100% optimistic at all times but I think if you learn how to switch negative aspects and turn them into something good and just accepting the fact that something doesn't go as planned for example then you can live a very optimistic life which can help you feel better.
What does freedom mean to you?
I think all of us have kind of experienced how it feels to not be free and to realize actually how free we are in our lives due to the pandemic and the lockdowns. So for me freedom is actually the most important thing in life. I think that’s what everyone strives for. In the end we work and follow our passions but eventually we want to work to a life where we can do what we want to do.
And also it’s a piece of optimism that we can twist into that as well because while realizing that our freedom was taking to a certain extend it also gives as a silver lining of how free we are actually in this country.
When do you feel the most free? What makes you feel free?
I think when I’m surrounded by people that one hundred percent understand me and people that make me feel confident to be myself. That’s when I feel the most free. Also when I travel I feel very free because I feel like nobody knows me in other countries so I can do whatever I want.
What keeps you happy and positive nowadays?
I think sometimes it’s very hard for me to find positivity especially when you don’t know where the situation is going but for me my positivity mostly comes from the weather. It seems to be a small thing from outside but for me personally when the sun is shining and the weather is good it gives me so much more freedom to go where I want to go and just to be outside and be in nature. And that really makes me feel more positive as well. Also what really helps me is routine as well. I notice it when I have a routine and I go to the gym 2 or 3 days a week even though it’s just Yoga or whatever. And I get up every morning at the same time and have my hot water with lemon. It gives me this state of piece where I can always fall back to.
It’s just less stressful and makes you feel calm.
What are you looking forward to in the near future? What excites you about future?
When I’m talking about personal aspects I’m excited about my personal development and the things I want to do. I just started my own clothing brand so I’m excited to see where that’s going and also to see where it’s going with modeling.
What kind of clothing?
We make streetwear based on the female silhouettes.
Does that connect to body positivity?
Yes it does. Because I’m a big fan of streetwear and I wear a lot of Men’s clothing but I feel like every brand that I wear doesn’t necessarily fit my body type so I always have to get it adjusted. When you have a smaller waist and bigger hips, most of the pants already don’t fit. And I noticed that a lot of brands are marketed as unisex but their clothing is not based on the female body. So I just wanted it to do the other way round.
What do you daydream about?
I am the biggest dreamer ever. I daydream all the time, I always zone out. I don’t know it’s a hard question because I do it all the time. I don’t know if you believe in astrology but I’m a cancer and cancers are people that make up scenarios in their head all the time. Usually when I daydream I’m just picturing the perfect scenario of something and then hoping it will happen one day.
Videography & Fashion: GINO GURRIERI @ginogurrieri
Photography: HANS VAN BRAKEL @hansvanbrakelstudio
Make Up & Hair: WOUT PHILIPPO
Casting TIMOTEJ LETONJA @timiletonja
Production: MAGDALENA ROE @magdalenaroe
Video Assistant: JELLE VAN BRAKEL @jelle.vbr
Photography Assistant: SANDER VAN BRAKEL @sandervbrakel
Fashion Assistant: MICHAEL GEERTZEN @michael_geertzen
Make Up & Hair Assistant: LONA CERUTTI @lonamakeupartist
Words and Voiceover: CHELSEABOY @xochelseaboy
Music: ‚Also Sprach Zarathustra, op.30’ RICHARD STRAUSS
TALENTS: CHELSEABOY @xochelseaboy , MAGDALENA ROE @magdalenaroe, TIMOTEJ LETONJ @timiletonja, DIEUDONNÉE @dieudonnee via PLACE MODELS @placemodels, SANDER VAN BRAKEL @sandervbrakel, JELLE VAN BRAKEL @jelle.vbr, MICHAEL GEERTZEN @michael_geertzen, LAURENS @therealfishtank via THE MOVEMENT MODELS @themovementmodels
Photography & production assistant @daniel.sars
All clothing available on Zalando.