For Raquel Zimmermann, entering the fashion world was, at one time, purely practical. “The idea of modeling came to me as an opportunity for a better future for myself and my family back in Brazil,” she says. Hailing from Bom Retiro do Sol, she adds: “My first attempts didn’t go so well. I didn’t speak English and my style was questionable. I wasn’t aware of trends and was not knowledgeable about fashion. But I was determined to learn and not give up this unique opportunity of financial security and potentially traveling the world.” 

Raquel wears dress VERSACE

“I absolutely see modeling as performance art. As my career developed, I became very interested in the creative process of fashion. Collaborating with the team to understand what they wanted [to be] expressed and then putting that into action. My biggest inspiration is Cindy Sherman [and] her ability to go beyond a personal sense of identity. I have done many photo shoots where I played different characters which is so much fun! But it’s also great to just be myself once in a while.” Raquel Zimmermann

Raquel wears all clothing and accessories MARC JACOBS

In about a year’s time, Zimmermann was being photographed by Steven Meisel in New York. “That was the turning point in my career,” she says. “Everything started happening.” Suddenly, the now 40-year-old model became an internationally in-demand supermodel, with every brand from Marc Jacobs to Jean Paul Gaultier and MAC Cosmetics competing to book Zimmerman for their campaigns, of which she has now starred in several dozen.  “I have done many photo shoots where I played different characters, which is so much fun,” she says while reflecting on her career thus far. “But it’s also great to just be myself once in a while.”

This cover story appears in the pages of V144: now available for purchase!

Photography Inez & Vinoodh

Fashion Paul Sinclaire

Makeup Sam Visser (Art Partner)

Hair Jimmy Paul (Susan Price NYC)

Model Raquel Zimmermann (DNA)

Manicure Deborah Lippmann (Home Agency)

Producer John Nadzi (VLM Productions)

Production manager Michael Gleeson (VLM Productions)

Lighting director Jodokus Driessen (VLM Studio)

Digital technician Marc Kroop (VLM Studio)

Photo assistant Joe Hume (VLM Studio)

Stylist assistants Coco Knudson, Timothy Cheng, Jesse Pickel

Makeup assistants Shimu Takanori, Micka Omura

Hair assistant LaMesha Mosley

Manicure assistants Bojir Hasanov, Joelle Rodriguez

Retouching StereoHorse

Location Pier 59 Studios

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