Posted on: April 11, 2024 Posted by: Comments: 0

I was lucky to be born at Noordwijkerhout, a very tiny village on the coast side of the Netherlands, which is that area where all the beautiful flowers grow, so it’s gorgeous in the spring and summer. But right after finishing high school I left the Netherlands to become a full time model. That’s when it’s all got started!

In my 13, I got scouted for the first time. I remember that very moment as if it was yesterday! There was a school holiday, and my mom, sister, little brother and I went shopping to Amsterdam. We went to clothing store which was fully packed, so my mom told my siblings and me to wait at the entrance, while she’s paying for the clothes. When waiting for her, I felt someone tapped me on my shoulder and asked if I’ve ever modeled before. I told them no, but actually… I’m gonna be very honest… I did! When the last year in primary school I was bullied down to the ground for having ginger hair and being different than anyone else at school, and my confidence at that point was below zero. I never wanted to stand out with clothing or anything else, because I already looked so different from anyone else.

The agency scout took several pictures of me and gave me his business card. When I got home, I emailed him right away. As a result, the modeling agency invited me to visit them, where they told I was too young and short, which I obviously already knew myself. However, they also mentioned they could sign me up for a model competition they were hosting together with one of the American teenage fashion magazines at that time.

I made it to the finales, and on the day I turned 14, I got a call saying I actually won the competition! The prize was a contract with the agency, a cover story, and a trip for a photoshoot to Ibiza. The only condition was for me to finish my high school first before to start modeling. So, I still had to wait a few years and do a bunch of test photoshoots to build up some experience meanwhile.

When I grew up, I started to get my woman curves and had to watch out what I was eating more than before. I started learning about healthy eating and healthy foods, which later turned into my own food blog “modelslovefood” where I shared the recipes I was making, as well as showed what I ate during the day. When I started to travel for modeling, I was always searching for some healthy food spots in other cities and shared them there too.

At my 18, I finally finished the high school, and went to Singapore, as a first big modeling trip. I had been to Milan and Istanbul for a few weeks during the school holidays, but I was so young back then. Singapore was amazing and so safe! I’m thankful to my parents to let me go on that trip – looking back at it, it must’ve been very hard for them to let their young daughter to go there alone. I immediately started working like crazy and my second job was the cover story for the September issue of “Harper’s Bazaar Singapore”. I had the most coolest shoots all over Singapore, flew to Bali and Malaysia for the most beautiful editorials and campaigns. So, I was really hooked on those three months in Asia and had the best time ever.

While being on Bali for an editorial on a black volcano sand beach, they dressed me in the most expensive designer clothes by “Chanel”, “Prada” and “Dior”, and I had a photoshoot in the burning sun.. then suddenly they asked me to literally sit in the ocean. I was so confused – nobody ever asked me to ruin such an expensive clothes for a shot before!

When I got back home, I decided I wanted to get to Tokyo and hoped to have that 24/7 work life, and that’s what actually happened: my night sleep was maximum 3-5 hours a day for three months long. I remember coming home from that trip sleeping 11 hours a day for a few weeks, to get back to normal. Working in Japan was always intense, but they took care of me so well too! One day in January I had to shoot on a beach in 23°F,  while wearing just a tiny “Chanel” outfit, lying on a bed they placed in the ocean. They took their shoes off to carry me on and off the bed to make sure I wasn’t getting wet and too cold!

Soon after Tokyo, my agency decided to bleach my eyebrows to go for the full ginger look and then I got lucky to sign with my first European agency which appeared to be in Milan. There was not so much work for me there, so I started to worry when the agency called me one day, because I thought they might be eager to send me back home.. when actually it turned out to be quite the opposite. They were holding a “Gucci” cruise option in Florence, and I had to see the casting director the next day at the Gucci hub. Bloody nervous, because “Gucci” has always been my dream show! The next day I did the casting and heard I had to go to Florence the next week to actually meet Alessandro Michele, who was the creative director of “Gucci” at that time. The week after, I walked the Gucci cruise! I will cherish this moment forever and am so grateful this could’ve been the start of my modeling career. Soon after the Gucci show I signed with various agencies all over the world, went to Paris for haute couture and closed my first couture show.

I think it’s funny how Dutch models always find each other all over the world, you just click and bond faster as there is no language barrier, and there are just so many Dutch models as well. Such a tiny country but just so many gorgeous models. They’re all over the world: New York, Amsterdam and Sydney, but we have one thing in common and that is we understand what we’re all going through.

I’ve gone through a lot of transformations hair wise. Agencies kept wanting to cut my hair, bleach my eyebrows, and I always went with what they wanted. When I had short hair it had to be longer, when it was long it had to be shorter. I love all the transformations I’ve had however I learned a lot on the way as well, and one of the most important things is to stay true to yourself and what you really want to achieve. I’ve been in periods I hated to look at myself in the mirror, because I hated the haircut they gave me. Remember that you will forever be the most comfortable version of yourself as you are, because clients and casting directors stick right through it. It’s been my thirteenth year now in a modeling business, and I’ve been lucky and privileged to be part of an industry everyone wants to be part of so badly!

The post Fabienne Dobbe: Nobody Ever Asked Me to Ruin Expensive Clothes Before appeared first on The Fashiongton Post.

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