To celebrate my arrival in Homeland this #WCW is dedicated to the Frenchiest American I know, my Dear friend Velvet D’Amour ! I met her before I even started my modeling career and she gave me quite a few covers and editorials before it was even my time, back when I was not quite so happy in my life and was looking for a way out and a better place…She was such an inspiration and a great friend. She’s one of those people that is true, beautifully raw and inspiring, she live her dream and is unapologetically Happy… Meet Velvet!
Meet Velvet, an American in Paris
Walking on the red carpet at the Cannes film festival was unforgettable…
BonjourClem: Who are you?
Velvet d’Amour: I am Velvet d’Amour. I am an artist- I dance, model, act, shoot and have started my own magazine. All that I do tends to lend itself to my main goal of trying to diversity how society views beauty so that it may be more encompassing.
BC: What makes you proud ?
VA: I love that my career actually started in contemporary dance, with the lead in Lionel Hoche’s KADAVESKY and how powerful it was to tour France and to perform at Palais Chaillot Trocadero. I remember warming up, looking out the huge window at the Eiffel Tower, and thinking how fortunate I was.
Of course, I’m very proud to have taken the runway for John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris and the waves that made, which led me to be a Italian VOGUE curvy icon.
I’m proud to be able to say I am a (French) VOGUE model, because I love the odd dichotomy in that given my size, and that it was shot by Nick Knight as he is such a stellar photographer. Being shot by him and also Ellen Von Unwerth (for EGOISTE magazine) were magical moments.
While most know my modelling work, I am super proud to have had the lead role in a Cannes and Tribeca nominated French film, AVIDA produced by Mattheiu Kassovitz with French film greats Marc Dupontel and Claude Chabrol. Walking on the red carpet at the Cannes film festival was unforgettable.
While many look down upon reality TV, I do have to acknowledge the pride I took in hanging in 9 of the 10 weeks of LA FERME CELEBRITIE (Celebrity Farm) in South Africa where I lived on a nature reserve and got bitten by a snake, walked in the wild holding an albino lion’s tail, fed crocs, etc. It was an amazing adventure and by being on TF1, (the most popular mainstream French TV channel) at 300 lbs. I was able tp break barriers of how people view fat women. But by far, the best aspect was the fact that by dealing with all of these challenges I ended up earning 56,000 euros for SOS ENFANTS DISPARU who help missing and abused children. It makes me giggle to think that the French ex President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing’s wife, Anne-Aymone Giscard d’Estaing watched the show religiously as she founded the charity.
I love that the photo I modeled for by Saima Altunkaya WON this year’s International Festival of Fashion Photography in Cannes. http://www.festivalphotomode.com/2014/exposition/
At the moment, I am most proud to be actively making changes in how society see’s beauty through my own magazine VOLUP2 www.volup2.com As Mahatma Gandhi says- “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
BJ: What’s the thing you Love the most about being You ?
VA: I love being in Love, and all the travel I am able to do, living in France and I especially love how my work positively impacts women in particular.
BJ: Who’s your Woman inspiration ?Why ?
VA: I suppose Ellen Von Unwerth as I adore her photography and Maya Angelou as I love her philosophy on life and admire her strength.
BJ: What makes you happy ?
VA: Being with my love, dancing, travelling and photography!
Stay in touch with Velvet :
Volup2 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Volup2/info