January 23, 1985
Oostermeer, Friesland, Netherlands
Model and television personality Doutzen Kroes had never heard of Victoria's Secret when the brand first booked her in 2004. But as a result of her association with the brand, the self-professed tomboy would eventually stomp the catwalks for Alexander McQueen, Prada, Christian Dior and Versace, and appear on the covers of magazines ranging from Marie Claire to Time. By April 2008, she was listed fifth on the Forbes list of the World's 15 Top-Earning Supermodels, with an estimated income of $6 million.Born to a Frisian family in Oostermeer, the Friesland Province of the Netherlands, Doutzen Kroes was a member of the Frisian ethnic group. West Frisian was her native language, leading Kroes to be followed in 2006 by a Frisian documentary team during that season's Milan Fashion Week. Having described herself in interviews as a boyish child, she nonetheless forwarded her pictures to a modeling agency. The Dutch agency sent her to New York City, where she booked her first Victoria's Secret job in 2004. The company suggested she try out as one of their trademark "Victoria's Secret Angels," and dubbed her one in 2008. Proof of Kroes' cultural isolation as a child was that when she first arrived in New York from The Netherlands, she had never even heard of the globally-popular brand. Kroes attained international recognition as a result of her high-profile appearances on the televised Victoria's Secret fashion shows between 2005 and 2012. The model appeared on numerous international Vogue covers, and received praise for her intelligence by staunch fashion-insider photographer Mario Testino. Vogue.com readers named Kroes "Model of the Year" in 2005. The May 2007 cover story in American Vogue named her one of the "World's Next Top Models" which led in part to her subsequent booking for the prestigious Pirelli Calendar in 2008. Forbes dubbed Kroes 14th in a list of the World's 15 Top-Earning Supermodels, having earned an estimated $1.5 million in the twelve months prior to July 2007. By April 2008 she had jumped to fifth position with an estimated income of $6 million. She maintained that position in May 2009 and May 2010.In 2008, the Amsterdam Madame Tussaud's wax museum unveiled their wax depiction of the model. From November 2009 to July 2010, she penned a monthly column in the Dutch edition of Marie Claire. Kroes' debut feature film role was a somewhat unlikely venture, a historical drama about the opening of the North East passage to the Indies directed by soap-actor-turned director Reinout Oerlemans and entitled "Nova Zembla" (2011). The film was the first Dutch-made 3D movie.Beginning in August 2009, Kroes was ambassador for not-for-profit organization Dance4Life, established to help to educate young people about HIV/AIDS through music and dance. During her tenure with the organization, Kroes launched a clothing line that was a fundraising project with retailer G-Star RAW and made appearances in Philadelphia, New York, Tanzania and Thailand. As an unexpected spin-off of another fundraiser for the non-profit organization, Kroes was given a ticket in 2011 on the first Dutch commercial space flight, scheduled for 2014. The seat next to her was auctioned off.