This May 3, 2010 file photo shows Dutch model Doutzen Kroes as she arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala in New York. Kroes, 25, launched her modeling career seven years ago by sending photos taken by her sister to an Amsterdam modeling agency. She's now a spokesmodel for Victoria's Secret and L'Oreal.
NEW YORK - Doutzen Kroes might not fit the mold of a top model.
She's a jeans-and-T-shirt girl. She likes — and eats — bread. She wasn't discovered in a remote place by a famous scout or photographer. And at 25, she has curves that have kept her off a lot of high fashion runways.
But somehow, none of that matters.
Kroes ranked No. 5 this year on the Forbes list of top-earning models. She's most recognized as a Victoria's Secret Angel, the brand's top tier of models, a spokeswoman for L'Oreal and the former face of Calvin Klein Eternity.
"My life has always been like I'm in a bubble and it's floating and it goes in the right direction," Kroes says. "I don't want to interrupt it."
It was Kroes, a Dutch native, who got the ball — or bubble — rolling. As a teenager, she saw a magazine photo of a model and she thought to herself, "She has beautiful hair, beautiful makeup, a beautiful dress, and I thought I'd like to look like that one day."
Her sister took photos and Kroes sent them off to a modeling agency in Amsterdam, a place she rarely visited as a self-described "country girl." Kroes' passion until then had been competitive speed skating.
Other than her sister, no one knew about her new high-fashion ambition.
"I didn't tell anybody that I sent the pictures because I'd be embarrassed if I didn't get the job," she says.
Apparently she didn't need to worry with her long blond hair, blue eyes and Brigitte Bardot look. She relocated to New York within a year.
Kroes has a "modern style," describes L'Oreal's international general manager Vianney Derville, who also says the model is "blessed with an excellent sense of professionalism and a natural elegance."
On most days, you'll still find her in jeans, T-shirt and flat shoes, but she likes stepping it up for a night out. At last month's Costume Institute Gala Benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kroes was the date of designer Zac Posen, wearing a princess-worthy blue gown that they collaborated on. For the Cannes Film Festival a few days later, she wore a glamorous Grecian-style gown with a plunging neckline by Roberto Cavalli.
Next week, she'll present the popular-vote award at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Hollywood-style awards show.
Kroes is outspoken about her feminine, curvy figure and how it's cost her jobs. She was a panelist for the CFDA's round-table discussion about too-skinny models and says she hasn't done as much runway work as she'd like because she doesn't always fit the sample size.
"I have to work really hard. My body — I have a voluptuous body. I am not one of those skinny girls. I like to enjoy life," she says.
Her shape has served her well when it comes to Victoria's Secret. Still, in the lead up to the big Victoria's Secret runway show she'll temporarily give up the bread, cheese and chocolate that she loves.
"I am a totally healthy girl that eats but eats in moderation and I take care of myself."
AP Live video with Doutzen Kroes: http://bit.ly/a1a2Y7