You might have seen Chloe Tesla in an advertising campaign (she models for several mainstream brands, as well as many vegan ones, including French brand Ashoka); or on Instagram, where her feed is a combination of shots from the latest campaigns she’s working on, and her personal life, including pictures of delicious vegan meals, her gorgeous white fluffy dog, and heartfelt pieces on animal welfare.
She has been both vegan and an animal rights activist for a number of years, and has done much in her native France to raise awareness of the cruel practices in the meat and dairy industries, and the wide range of vegan alternatives available (both food and fashion). Whilst of course making veganism look super attractive to boot! Despite having looks most of us would die for, she comes across as warm and down-to-earth, with a genuine passion for spreading the vegan message that is also very inspiring.
We put Chloe through the Immaculate Interview.
What three words would you use to describe your style?
Comfortable, minimalist, mostly-black.
What are your favourite brands?
Matt & Natt for bags, Nae for shoes.
What is your most treasured fashion item?
Despite the fact I’m a model, I’m not a ‘fashionista’. I’m just in love with my Matt & Nat backpack – it’s simple and practical, and I’ve been wearing it every single day for the last two and half years 🙂
What’s been your biggest fashion mistake?
I had many different crazy styles during high school (skater style, gothic, emo, colour block…) I’m not sure I regret any of them, as they were part of my personal development, but I don’t wanna look at any old pictures! Haha
Who is your style icon and why?
Nobody in particular. I guess I get my inspiration from everywhere and everyone, but I’m really fond of black, elegant and slightly ‘rock’ outfits.
When did you become vegan and why?
I became vegan five years ago, for the animals.
What did you find hardest when you went vegan?
Dealing with non vegan people (facing their lack of interest or empathy). I still think it’s the only hard thing when you’re vegan.
What are your favorite foods?
French fries, tofu marinated in tamari sauce, chocolate spreads, banana and raspberry smoothies and green juices.
What would you like to see more of in vegan fashion?
Maybe more technical and aesthetic trainers for fitness or running. I need a pair, and I’d love to find some as comfortable and high-performance as the range by Nike, for example – but vegan, fair-trade and sustainable. I’ve found it hard to get that combination.
Any top tips for new vegans, or those who are thinking of trying it?
Always focus on the victims: the animals. The pressure you may feel from society being a vegan is nothing compared to what animals go through. Can we really allow ourselves baby-steps when animals are suffering every single second ?
Why do you do what you do?
Modeling: Well, it’s my job and I feel lucky to have it because it gives me precious free time to focus on things that matter the most to me. Spreading the vegan message: Because this is the very least I can do.
If you weren’t doing that – what do you think you’d be doing instead?
If modeling wasn’t my job, I guess I would like to work for a fully vegan company, or give speeches about antispecism, or work with animals that have been mistreated by human folly.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Pretty much everything that surrounds me! Whether we want it or not, we are all inspired by one another. People who inspire me the most are animal rights activists who step out of their confort zone in the name of animal liberation. I’m also really inspired by people trying to have the lowest impact on earth: vegans of course, but also minimalists, people consuming local, seasonal raw food and living in sustainable houses and/or living self-sufficient lives.
How do you let your hair down?
My first answer: I let it down everyday! When I wash it, I then wait for it to dry naturally and then make the parts I want straighter or wavier. Then I understood that ‘letting one’s hair down’ means ‘enjoy oneself’ in English, so my second answer is: Walking my dog and enjoying my family on a sunny day, that’s my definition of “chilling” 🙂
Who do you think we should interview next and why?
I would be interested to know more about you! I’ve follow your Instagram for quite a long time now, but I don’t really know the person behind it 🙂
Interview with Natalie Dean, Founder of Beyond Skin