She is one of the most successful plus-size models at the moment and she was the first Dutch plus model who walked New York Fashion Week. We interviewed Danielle van Grondelle and she told us all about it!
Agencies: Role Models Amsterdam, Muse Management NYC, Models 1 UK, Natural Models LA, OKAY models/eastwest Germany, Dominique Models Belgium, Bella Management Australia and more.
Milestones: TEDx talk, walking NYFW, Vogue Italia, ANTM guest judge
Current location: New York
First off all, tell us how you were discovered and how your modeling career all started?I was discovered at the age of 14 while shopping in Amsterdam. At that time I was very skinny but my hips were 4 cm too wide. No matter what I did, I couldn’t lose those inches. After yet another rejection I thought I had to give up on my dream of being a model. I was crying on my bed when my dad came in and said, “there will come a day when the fashion world will adapt to your kind of beauty”. I remember myself thinking “he’s just saying that to make me feel better”, but he turned out to be right. Now I am one of the most successful plusmodels and I was the first Dutch Plusmodel to ever walk NYFW.
What’s one of the most interesting shoots that you’ve done?
I loved shooting for South African Cosmopolitan, we were on a beautiful location in Cape Town which is one of my favorite places in the world.
Also walking NYFW for the first time was one of the memorable moments in my career. And of course giving my TEDx speech on body positivity was another milestone. I am so thankful to be a rolemodel and to show women that you don’t have to be skinny to be beautiful.
Tell us a bit about your mother agency and what you like most about them.
My mother agency is Role Models. I love them so much, my agent Peter has been with me since the beginning of my career. I really consider him a true friend and mentor.
What are the main challenges in modeling today?
I think that although we have already made some steps to show more diversity in fashion, this still has to become more the norm instead of an exception.
There are so many fashion magazines who’s editors still are afraid to use curvy models or models of color. This has to change, diversity is beautiful and we need to set the standard so young girls don’t feel the pressure to conform to something they can never achieve.
Do you ever get shy in front of the camera?
No I don’t. I have been doing this job for 14 years fulltime so I know how to move. I don’t think you can afford to be very shy as a model. We have to change and get dressed in front of everyone. We need to give a 100 percent in front of the camera so the client will get the best picture for their brand. So there is simply no time to be shy.
Do you get to travel a lot for your work? If so, what’s your favorite city that you have visited?
Yes I fly all over the world for my job. For me, Cape Town is my favorite place in the world. The beauty of nature and wildlife and the amazing views are a great combination. Also the food is amazing and the people are very friendly. I think it’s a must see for everyone.
Where is home for you and why?
My home is still Rotterdam, the Netherlands. That’s my hometown where all my family and friends are. Even though I have been living in NYC for the last 4 years, home is still home in Rotterdam.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Probably a casting and my alarm for work haha, we work nearly every day in NYC so we are busy.
What is your favorite healthy snack?
I love watermelon and mango, and my absolute favorite is pompelmoes. It’s a fruit from Suriname (where my mom was born), you can only get it there. Its kinda like a very big citrus fruit, but so much better tasting.
What’s your beauty regimen like?
I drink a lot of water and I clean my face everyday and night. I love a good moisturizer, my favorites are: turnaround concentrate from Clinique, hydra beauty crème from Chanel and Eau de Beauté from Jason Wu /Claudalie.
Give us 5 facts about yourself people may not know.
1. I am an absolute hiphop head, I love old school rapsongs. And I also love to rap along with the lyrics, haha.
2. I always have Labello lip balm and gum in my bag (kinda addicted to lip balm)
3. I studied fashion design at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague, so I love to design and create new outfits.
4. People call me print queen because I love to wear all over prints every day. I think looking original and having your own style is very important.
5. I love cooking Surinam food when I am homesick, my grandma taught me all the recipes.
If you weren’t modeling what would you see yourself doing?
I would be a fashion designer, I would love to have my own clothing line that ranges from small to plus sizes. Curvy woman want to look just as stylish as slim woman so I believe it is important to have cool stuff available in a bigger size range. Also I could see myself having my own show on television where I restyle (curvy) women and give them confidence.
What do you think Modellist-ID can do for the model community?
I think it’s great that you have this community where we can help each other and exchange ideas and tips.
Do you have any model friend you would like to see presented on Modellist-ID?
I have a lot of model friends, would love to see Felicity Hayward and Natalie Alvarado on this page as well. They are great models and great friends.