Q&A: Victoria’s Secret Supermodel Doutzen Kroes

In town to raise HIV/AIDS awareness, she talks the pretty side of Philly, sex in the Netherlands, the Dougie, and those VS wings

If you’re in or around City Hall at 3 p.m. today and hear the sounds of male inadequacy and jaws hitting the floor, don’t be alarmed—that’s just the reaction to Victoria’s Secret supermodel Doutzen Kroes, who’s here to promote dance4life and Philadelphia FIGHT in their campaigns to raise HIV/AIDS awareness among kids. Kroes took time from her busy schedule yesterday to discuss the cause, her dance skills, and what we hope will be her next big modeling campaign. Your move, Calvin Klein.

What’s on your agenda while you’re in town?
We started off by going to a program that’s called Y-HEP [Philadelphia FIGHT’s Youth Health Empowerment Project]. The school we went to, Bartram [High School], is the first in America for dance4life, so it’s really exciting.

How did you get involved with dance4life?
Eveline Aendekerk [the organization’s director] told me about the rising numbers of affected people, and that it happens every 12 seconds all over the world and every 10 minutes in the United States. That really shocked me, and I wanted to take action. We’re in 29 countries all over the world already.

How did the students respond?
Well, dance4life has a tour team that teaches the people a dance, and with that dance they get education at the same time, so it’s a fun way to educate people about HIV and AIDS. It’s so exciting because children really like to express themselves and to dance. It’s a great way to educate the kids.

Do you have some sweet dance moves?
They teach me some new moves. Something like the Doggie?

The Dougie?
Yeah, yeah! I can do the Dougie now.

Is this your first visit to Philadelphia?
Yes. When I saw City Hall and the buildings around there, and the sun was out, it was a really beautiful side of Philadelphia. But at the same time, we saw poverty. Poverty and AIDS/HIV go together, and I think it’s because people don’t feel like they have a future. It’s still such a taboo to talk about sex and using a condom. It’s so weird—America seems so open, but when you really ask the questions, people are shy to talk about it.

Are attitudes about sex different in the Netherlands, where you’re from?
Oh yes. It’s a discussion you could have over dinner in Holland. There’s nothing wrong with it. Here, people are still very shy about it. That’s why dance4life works. It’s not just teachers that are scary to talk to. It’s kids talking among each other.

Will you be leaving after the press conference?
Yes. I have to be back in New York. I kind of escaped Fashion Week.

This is a huge week in your industry. Must be tough to be away.
But it’s also kind of nice. It’s so hectic. When you only see the glamorous side of life, it’s nice to see reality.

There’s a lot of reality in Philadelphia, for sure. I want to apologize in advance for all the stares that you’ll endure tomorrow. There aren’t many Dutch lingerie models walking around City Hall.
[laughs] I’ll prepare myself! Are you going to be there?

Um, yes, I will now. Will you be wearing your Victoria’s Secret angel wings or are they too cumbersome for everyday use?
They’re definitely not for everyday use. [laughs] Special occasions only.

Ever eaten a cheesesteak or a hoagie?
Yeah, I’ve had cheesecake before. Is that the Philadelphia Cream Cheese?

No, that’s something else. I meant the cheesesteak sandwich.
Oh yes! Everybody told me. I’ll try one and let you know what it tastes like tomorrow.

Sounds good. One last question: You starred in the “Eternity by Calvin Klein” campaign, and I love those commercials with the sexy voiceovers. Can you say “Hoagie by Calvin Klein” in your best perfume commercial voice?

Can you say “Hoagie by Calvin Klein” in a sexy commercial voice?
Hoagie by Calvin Klein. [laughs] Was that satisfying?