DTK had the pleasure to interview Zoé Duchesne in 2016. She was and is still one of the most photographed women in the world and has worked with the greatest: Chanel Cosmetics, Sports Illustrated, and Victoria’s Secret, just to name a few. So, she has a dream career, yet she wishes to dissociate herself from this perfect mannequin image. An artist at heart, here’s a picture of a talking doll.

– Interview by Stephanie Villeneuve 

Zoé Duchesne

Zoé Duchesne

Zoe Duchesne does not know the saying “Be beautiful and shut up.” Or at least she doesn’t know it anymore. Having for years been the subject of creativity of others, it is her turn to speak. You remember the topless blonde doll on the red carpet of the film Maps to the Stars at Cannes last May? That was her. Tired of waiting for others to create a world for her to be happyy, Zoe decided to take matters in her own hands. The doll was born. 


Beyond the Image

Whether through impromptu videos or public appearances, Doll is her way of expressing without the limitation of words what she observed as a human in a model’s body all these years. “I give colour to my past sorrows!” Says Zoe. Doll is perhaps the representation of her Inner Self, yet the project has a much broader scope. It denounces the culture of the image constructed by society and proposes instead a way to get in touch with the real person behind the image — the one that is hiding behind the image. A message that may seem contradictory coming from a model! But Zoe does not hide it, she often said that there was no truth in the ads she did and that her photos were retouched. Is not it a relief that the person of interest shouts loud and clear that what is presented is a false reality? 

Duchesne’s Performance “L’être derrière le paraître,” in which she undressed on the Red Carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014


The quest for self

Many young women are dreaming of a career like hers, but the reality is sometimes different from the dream. Zoe has had much difficulty living the moments of solitude that accompany the modelling business and life as a model. Moments of solitude, however, have allowed her to create and develop her artistic talents. 

Driven by her ambition to leave her comfort zone, she dropped modelling for 3 years to explore and discover what she really wants to do. “I could no longer just be in front of the camera, I had to be behind it too and tell my story.” A story that will soon be revealed, with all the shorts ‘Doll’ has made, shorts that should leave no one indifferent. “I hope people will come to see me, but to their surprise, they’ll actually be facing themselves. We are all mirrors and Doll is a reflection of the society in which we live. “. For Zoé, this project is an exhibition she wishes to present around the world in order to share her life experience. 

zoé duchesne zoé duchesne

“I could no longer just be in front of the camera, I had to be behind it too and tell my story”

If Zoe still accepts being a model, it is because now, her head and her body are finally on the same page. The milieu of modelling is still superficial, but as she has changed internally, her relationship with the business is different. “Before, I was in a sort of romantic relationship with my job. My happiness depended on who would choose me as a model. I had to break with all that to end up with me. ” 

A relationship that Zoé Duchesne now has with herself, her dream to be an actress and Doll will continue to be the talk of the town. “My life is a work of art that I will sign the day I die.”


Photographer:Nelson Simoneau
Creative Direction: Sylvain Blais
Fashion Editor: Fritz
Model: Zoé Duchesne
Hair & Makeup:
Genevieve Lenneville at Folio


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Written on: July 11, 2020