Interview with Dany Rocchi, mannequin curvy model

From a very young age, Dany Rocchi, a curvy model, dreamed of becoming an actress, singer or model, in order to be in front of the cameras. However, her self-esteem problems and having a body that did not match the classic stereotypes of beauty, made her put aside that dream for many years.

However, at the age of 26, her participation in a TV show in her country, Mexico, gave her the confidence to start her career as a curvy model.

After working in Mexico, she decided to try her luck in Europe, working in Berlin, London and Milan. However, Paris was the city where Dany Rocchi decided to settle down to continue advancing in her career.

The year 2021 has been one of his best years, since he not only worked as a fitting model for Mugler and AZ Factory, but also had the opportunity to participate in the last chapter of the second season of Emily in Paris, as a model in a fashion show. 

Dany Rocchi shared with us her passion for her work, her desire to convey a message of self-confidence to those who follow her and her plans for the future.

by Carolina Ortiz Jerez (Photo credit on the set Emily in Paris : Alina Delyne)
Dany, could you tell us about your beginnings in modeling?

After studying communication, I decided to study professional make-up because I wanted to be close to the world of beauty.

One day I had the opportunity to participate in the casting of a TV show in Mexico, which was called “Desafío Fashionista” of the Home&Health channel. There they asked me why I thought I should be on the show and I told them what I thought: “I want people to see different women, I want people who watch this show to identify with me, to see that there are other bodies, that there are other personalities. It’s the time for women with curves and I want them to see that”.

Even though I didn’t win, because I came in third place, that exposure gave me the opportunity to sign with the first agency and start working as a model.

What does it mean to you to be a curvy or plus size model?

Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be in front of the cameras, but I never believed it. As a child, I was bullied a lot at school and that caused me to become very disconnected with myself. Despite this, I always felt attracted to the world of beauty. 

For me, modeling has been my healing therapy. For a lot of people, their therapy is going to a psychologist, going on a trip or going shopping. For me, it’s having this job or having the opportunity to do it, because I learned to show my body, to take away my shame, to not feel guilty, to accept it as it is, to respect it, because this is what I work from. Also, I feel that it is a channel to be able to share a message to society. And in general terms, being a curvy model is being able to be part of making history and I think that is also important.

Unlike other models, you started modeling at the age of 27. Why did you start your career so "late"?

Because I never thought about it before! I was so damaged inside, of not loving myself, of not accepting myself, that even when there were people who said to me: “Why aren’t you a model? I would reply, “Are you making fun of me?” “How can you say that when you know that I look horrible, that I’m hideous, that I’m fat, that I’m ugly!”. I dreamed deep down inside of me of being a model, but I didn’t believe it.

That’s why validation is so important. Not just for our beauty, but for who we are. That’s something modeling taught me.

In a world that punishes women over 40, do you think modeling can be a gateway to a change of mentality?

It should be, and not only for women who can be models in their 40s, but for the message it sends to women in their 40s. That’s the most important thing.

I’m 37 years old and I have more work than before. I think it’s very important to have new references, whether it’s JLO, Cher, Jennifer Aniston or the Kardashians. 

I know I’m different from the French structure, but I go out on the street walking as I am and I’m fascinated, I’m proud of who I am, what I’ve achieved. I thank my body that is healthy and that has allowed me to be here.

What has it been like to work in a Parisian environment that sees thinness as a symbol of beauty? Have you felt discriminated against by agencies or brands?

I have never felt discriminated against because of my size, on the contrary. I work a lot because of my size because it is very difficult to find a woman with my measurements. I have a very pronounced waist and I’m proportionate, even though I’m not extremely thin.

I have worked for Lanvin, Balzac, Marina Rinaldi, Max Mara, Alber Elbaz, and with these brands I have done a lot of fitting for size 42, specifically.

Before starting this interview, you told me that you were a booth model for Mugler, could you tell us about that experience?

Yes, it was this year (2021). They made a special dress for Beyoncé and they were looking for a model who had her body measurements. Since she wasn’t in France to try on the dress, they needed a model to make the necessary adjustments and see that everything looked good. 

It was very interesting, because casting calls are massive and they don’t always tell you the name of the brand or what you have to do. When they were taking my measurements, I was listening to the person who was doing it, saying: “You have at least the three main measurements” (bust, waist and hips). Since I didn’t know who they were talking about, I asked and they told me: “we are looking for Beyoncé’s double“. I couldn’t believe it! and finally, I was in.  I felt like Beyoncé for a little while (laughs).

Everyone dreams of working for Mugler. It’s a step further, because at the end they already know you, you worked with them. If they have you in mind and think about you, something interesting can come out of it.

You also had the opportunity to work for Alber Elbaz on his AZ Factory project.

I was with him, months before he died. It was for the new collection he was working on for AZ Factory. We tried the dresses, the fabrics and he would ask each of us models how we felt. He would say, “I want the woman to feel powerful” and I thought that was very important.

Having had the opportunity to be with him and be part of his project is a gift.

You ended the year 2021 on a high note with your appearance in the last episode of the second season of "Emily in Paris" (French Revolution). What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to participate in such an internationally known series?

For me it’s incredible to be part of that particular scene, because it represents a consequence of my work, but mainly, of the message I share. To be there representing a model, but also Latinos and women with curves, different from the media standard, is very important, because I need my career to share these messages of acceptance and validation of our bodies.

What I was nervous about was how the editing was going to turn out. Fortunately, I have a great participation in the scene, in which I close the dance. In addition, the location, the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, with a costume that alludes to the time of Marie Antoinette, is a dream.

It is a work that will always be remembered and for me, it is one of the best I have done in my life. It is a gift and a triumph to myself, because having the possibility of doing this project after having gone through difficult times in terms of work for COVID, is a great emotion and I am very happy to have participated in it.

What are your medium-term plans?

Some people have asked me to do workshops or courses where I can share what I know and what I have learned in modeling. I know it is very important to develop this type of product because, although not everyone will become a professional model, everyone should feel like a model. To feel confident to walk around feeling strong and with the desire to succeed. So I’m working to get that product ready.

Although I will continue to live in Paris, I would love to try my luck in the United States. Working with brands that allow me to continue to develop my career and continue to pass on the message of how important it is to be well, to love and accept yourself as you are.