Model Léopold Dutrey @Leopold.dutrey photographed by Anthony Dehodencq @anthonydehodencq, exclusive interview for The Lonely Avocado and Vanity Teen online! Check out part 2 over at thelonelyavocado.com
Q: At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to have a life in the fashion and modeling industry?
A: I was 18 and just got to University. I used to train 7 hours per week in acrobatic gymnastics to compete at a national level. I left high school being France’s National Champion in the mixed duo category. But I couldn’t continue in University. I needed to find myself another activity. Something to help me balance out. I always was attracted to modeling and I wanted to give it a try, live the experience, discover the world and maybe also get money out of it and have a cool student job.
Q: Biggest goal you hope to accomplish with your work, even if that goal is far away at the moment?
A: I would say my biggest goal is to become financially independent and free with my activities and projects through Instagram and Modeling. I want to feel free to be able to do what I want. I want to do fulfilling projects, make a difference. I want to build online courses to help people learn how to build their own community or get fit for example. I want to try different things out.
Q: Outside of your busy work schedule, what helps you pass the time the most; helping you reset your mind and body so you can go back to your work with a fresh mind?
A: I would say sports. It’s always helped me get my mind off things. I know when I feel overwhelmed Sports really helps me. As a high school kid, gymnastics was the second most important thing in my timetable after school. I trained a lot. And the fact that I was in the club and that gymnastics was part of my timetable, I never asked myself: “should I go to the gym today”. It was obvious. It was planned. People waited for me. So even when I was drained mentally by the school. I would hit the gym. Run into a round-off back handspring and land a layout. And that was enough for me to feel free again.
Now that I’m not in a club anymore. I don’t feel as committed. This is why I’ve tried to share that love of doing a sport on Instagram. I would do Live workouts every Monday (motivation). Make it social. Because that was what being in a club was about. It was about seeing others. Not just training on your own.
Q: Top fashion brand(s) that take up almost your entire closet?
A: I don’t think I have top fashion brands in my closet. I don’t have the money yet for that haha. I like admiring it though. But I think it’s not so much what you wear that matters but how you wear it. I wear H&M, Zara, Bershka, Pull&Bear, mostly I would say. I also wear some brands that gift me their clothes. I think what really matters is to feel confident in what you wear. Once, my friends were like, why do you show off your Lidl socks so much, it’s a supermarket brand. And I was like: “I like Lidl. It’s cheap. Good quality.” I feel humbled when I am there. And for those who didn’t know there was a hype around them a few months ago in France because Lidl released a limited edition that we could only buy during one week. It was sold off really quickly.
Q: What is one thing you would say inspires you the most about the fashion world and one thing you wish would be a bit different?
A: I’m inspired by its aesthetic side but I wish people would acknowledge more personality and not stay on the surface sometimes. I also regret that you can get paid months after accomplishing a job. I regret the people that can try to manipulate you. Those that oversexualize you. I’m sure it’s everywhere. Not just the modeling industry. But in any case, I learned from it. I learned to affirm myself more. Say no. Know my limits. Stand for my values, my truth. Be confident.
Q: Once the world shutdowns are finally at an end and this virus is under control, what are you most looking forward to going out and doing?
A: I want to travel the world and model. I’ve dreamed of that as soon as I started growing on Instagram and looking up at influencers that seemed to have so much fun out there. I want to live the experience for myself. Talk about it. Share it. Maybe write a book.