If you follow us on Instagram and read our newsletters, you’ll already be familiar with our French Ambassador Alex Cerrato.
If you check out her IG page, Alex introduces herself as an international model. That’s a pretty modest introduction if you ask me. This girl is multi-talented. Behind the camera not only is she a professional photographer and stylist, but she recently graduated with an International Business Master's degree, fluently speaks three languages and is an all-round pretty smart cookie. Not many people are blessed to have the good looks and the brains (and a beautiful heart ❤️ to go with it). So on that note, let’s get nosy and find out more about this ethereal being.
Such compliments! I guess I am blessed to meet such passionate and kind people like you!!
In my mind, physical beauty is ephemeral and pretty suggestive – it depends on cultural criteria or fashion industry codes – so it is really important to have a beautiful spirit and mind and to let it shine. Beauty means diversity to me.
We only have one body so we have to take care of it. When I am modelling, my skin is always full of low-quality make-up that irritates and dries my skin, so I moisturise it a lot with dermatologist specialised cream and natural creams/oils.
I use karite and argon oils for my body from Phyderma Paris, an organic coconut oil mask for my hair (Pure Flow Coco oil), olive moisturising cream for my face (or some natural and eco-friendly cream from Laboratoire Cerra) plus avocado oil on my eyes and lips. I always use castor oil for my nails. I am a hand cream lover because with rock climbing and yoga, my hands need care too. I also use coconut oil combined with an activated charcoal powder as toothpaste for a bright smile from BLCK.
When I am not working, most of the time I go make-up free, letting my skin breathe. If I go outside, I use at least a 15SPF sunscreen protection, even in the winter. If I wear make-up, I always keep it natural with a light foundation and a touch of light blush plus mascara, and I moisturise my lips.
First of all, I didn't really choose to model. I was passionate about art and started exploring photography. I especially like shooting nature, landscapes and extreme sports (biking, rock climbing etc.).
When I worked in PR I started to attend fashion events to shoot photographs. It was in this industry where I was approached by a photographer who suggested I take up modelling. I had absolutely no interest in this field, but I viewed it as a kind of challenge. I was at the famous Festival de Cannes when I was spotted and started to model on a few catwalks (Phax and Lucie Carrasco). I was also booked for a luxury jewellery campaign with Cardissa. Everything started from this event. Because of my "small size" (5'7") I didn't do many fashion shows; I mostly modelled for different kinds of print or web advertisements in the sport or fashion fields.
Modelling has many perks. It is glamorous and fun, you travel a lot, meet amazing designers, experience breath-taking make-up creations and work with many creative hairdressers and talented photographers. But it is also a fake world. You never know who you can trust. I know a lot of models who have been drugged, raped and abused in the industry. Plus, young models who have no self-confidence can lose a lot of weight to reach the "perfect weight" for their size. The models who are willing to go to extremes to become famous usually get the big campaigns. When you are modelling, you have to look "perfect" on all shots, even if you are exhausted and have been working non-stop without eating for hours in a tiny hot studio.
I was not attracted to the modelling field when I started, but it opened up a lot of opportunities during my travels. I met lots of amazing artists, and it helped me to involve people from all over the world in some charity events I organised or took part in in France (Enfants de Madagascar, Handifashion, and Rhésus Mode fashion show for women with breast cancer) or abroad (food and clothes donations during Help Portrait - Philadelphia, USA). I always create a network with artists when I am travelling, and I have organised events in cities where I was living with the help of local talented people that I met through modelling. It was one of the best things that modelling gave me. I am very grateful for all the people I met through it.
Ha, ha, ha! Obviously no one is perfect. In French we say that nature hates when a space is empty, but I dream of a minimalist lifestyle. My home is full of plants! I love collecting plants that I keep as memories from all my travels! I always come back from my trips with a suitcase full of seeds, cuttings and cacti. As a consequence, my house looks more like an Amazonian Jungle than a minimalist loft! Is the plant lady the new cat lady?
I would advise people to work only through modelling agencies and not as a freelance model. Working with agencies will help save time and reduce the pressure of finding your own work. The way you look is also important as a model, so make sure to always take care of your body – you have only one. And be confident in yourself!
In the French, Italian and Russian cultures, food is really important. Preparing, cooking, eating and sharing food are key moments in the day. We cook together, talk about our day and prepare the meal with love to share it together.
I have a very full schedule, but I try to go to the local market every Saturday and buy food from local producers that grow organic and seasonal vegetables. I try to keep my meals as simple as possible. I'll make healthy soups in advance, vegetable steaks, pies and salsas. Then I just have to defrost it and add some fresh vegetables for a quick but delicious meal.
My cupboards are full of grains, dry fruits and vegetable milks, so it is pretty easy to make some quick and healthy recipes when I do not have time to do that much shopping.
It was probably the day when I had to model underwater in the sea without my contact lenses, wearing a really, really heavy dress.
It was the first time for years I was outdoors without my contact lenses. I can see basically nothing without them, so I was pretty stressed to be outdoors without them. I prepared myself to shoot underwater in a swimming pool, as it was scheduled, but at the last moment the photographer chose to go and shoot in the sea instead. I did few respiration exercises to prepare myself, but it was so embarrassing as the water was in my ears so I heard nothing, and without my vision I lost all notions of distance and how to swim! I looked like I was drowning with the heavy dress on! The pictures came out beautiful, though, and it was actually a great experience to live! When I look back at it, I always remember that life begins at the end of our comfort zones.
I was absolutely seduced by the colourful and modern design of the collection, especially the name and logo. Yoga is currently perceived as a "fashion activity", so there are plenty of brands that try to make 'nice' stuff as opposed to the traditional yoga brands that are more culturally aware.
Bunnies & Zen really is the perfect balance between modern design, beautiful patterns, quality products and the spirit of yoga.
When I practice by the beach, I always feel purity, serenity and positive vibes which are complemented by the nice towels or yoga mat. And I feel at peace when I light the essential oil candles.
I love eating colourful chia bowls for breakfast with plenty of fruit, seeds and nuts on top, but as a real healthy dish I prefer the Buddha Bowl.
One of the advantages of this recipe is that you can adapt it according to what you love and the vegetables you have at home. The Buddha Bowl is an all-in-one dish which combines vegetables, grains, pulses and oilseeds in a big bowl. It is an easy, healthy, creative and substantial dish that keeps you feeling full until the next meal.
As it is a big bowl full of healthy ingredients, one real recipe doesn't exist. There are endless possibilities, all adaptable according to your taste. Cooked, raw, vegan, vegetarian or not, big or small, we can put almost anything in it. Here is my favourite recipe.
Posted by Rachel Kocerova