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Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.

Bregje Heinen

Bregje HeinenBregje Heinen, born on the 5th of March in 1993 in Borculo, Berkelland, Gelderland, Netherlands is a Dutch model and former Victoria's Secret model.

Heinen was discovered on the social media platform Hyves by a scout for Salva Models. Shortly afterwards, she switched to Micha Models. She has since joined Womens Management in Milan, Paris and New York, Select London, Dominique Brussels, UNO Barcelona and Place Hamburg.

She modeled for Guess, DKNY, Prada, Just Cavalli, Replay, Topshop, Karen Millen, Sisley, H&M and Versace. Heinen walked the runway for Alexander McQueen, Donna Karan, Just Cavalli, Elie Saab, Zac Posen, Fendi, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfeld.

She notably fell on the catwalk during the Fall/Winter 2012-13 fashion show of Roberto Verino. She has appeared in editorials for Italian, Russian, Netherlands and Spain Elle, U.S, Japanese, Mexican and Kazakhstan Harper's Bazaar and British, Portugal, Russian and Mexican Vogue. She also appeared on Maroon 5's music video for Payphone.

In 2011, Heinen walked in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Alongside Candice Swanepoel and Lais Ribeiro, Heinen then appeared in the commercial for the brand's underwear collection, Body by Victoria.

She made her second appearance in the company's fashion show in 2012. In 2013 she was in the Victoria's Secret "multi way" bra commercial and walked in 2014 fashion show.

Bregje HeinenAlthough Heinen was born in Borculo, a town in the eastern Netherlands, she has been living in New York City since she was seventeen.

"There are two bars and not much else to do," says Heinen of her hometown, "but I have the best memories from my childhood. When I grew up, I thought it was boring, but now looking back, it's so nice. Everyone knows each other."

Back in March of 2016, Heinen became engaged to longtime boyfriend Ro Parra-Grady with whom Heinen currently lives in Brooklyn with her three bulldogs - Harry, Winston, and Norma. She has also drawn in over a half-million Instagram followers - which is completely understandable.

When she was 14 years old, Bregje Heinen’s life as a small-town teenager changed quite quickly. From her home in Borculo, Holland, with a small population of only 7,000 residents, she logged on to the now defunct social media site Hyves and opened a message from a modeling agency.

"I'd gotten messages about modeling before, but they always seemed weird and sketchy," she says. "This one seemed legit, though." Her instincts were correct."

Along with her parents, two sisters, and the family dog, Heinen went to a meeting with the agency and soon found herself walking in shows for Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Balenciaga.

With this sudden change of lifestyle came a newfound appreciation for fashion. "I always liked clothes and dressing up, but I was never really into fashion," she says.

Bregje Heinen“I didn’t even know what Miu Miu was, but along the road in my modeling, I got more and more interested - clearly; look at all of my shoes."

At Heinen’s Brooklyn apartment, where she lives with fiancé Ro Parra-Grady, their three French bulldogs—Harry, Winston, and Norma—and yes, lots of shoes. From her living room, to her terrace, to her rooftop, a few more penchants are noticeable: CHANEL bags, Saint Laurent boots, and vintage slip dresses.

Discovered online, Bregje Heinen never thought she'd be a model for some of the biggest brands in fashion. But now, having conquered both the catwalk and the editorial world in fashion, she’s amassed a love for unique fashion finds that’s rather inspiring.

Take a peek inside her New York closet, and your jaws will drop at her massive collection of CHANEL bags and sneakers - Heinen also owns a pair of "those" Saint Laurent thigh-high boots but her greatest accessories are her three French bulldogs.

"I like to go dancing, maybe once every other week. My boyfriend works in event planning, so I'll go along as his date. But these days, I prefer dinners - I used to go out a lot more when I lived in Chelsea, since it was so convenient. But I'm just not really a party girl. And so many of the clubs have the same DJs, who play the same music which makes me so annoyed!"

"I've been modeling in New York for three years. When I was really young, I did a lot of high fashion, but recently I've been working with Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated, which is the dream job."

Bregje Heinen"My shoots are sexier now. I thought it was going to be a crazier transition, but it's been really fun. Sometimes I feel like people don't really know who I am. And then somebody will stop me on the street and say, 'Oh, I saw you at the club the other night.' And I'm like, 'Ooops!'"

"After work, I like to just go home and take off my makeup with Bioderma. They use such heavy eye shadows and mascaras on shoots, and I don't like to keep it on very long if I don't have to."

"Then I like to order food - my favorite is Mexican takeout. But right now I'm trying to be healthier because I have a casting in four weeks so instead of takeout, I'll go for something like chicken and vegetables."

"But I do really love unhealthy food. Candy, chips, chocolate, everything. Sometimes my boyfriend and I will go to Shake Shack before we go out to a movie or something. It's so good."

Heinen's career has taken her all over Europe, the Maldives, Mauritius and other exotic locales - travel is one of the perks of what is already a very bright career. She'd still like to go to Japan sometime, but more for fun and not for work.

She's basked in warm Caribbean waters and froze half to death almost naked on a beach in Iceland. "Iceland wasn't the easiest location for a shoot; it was freezing even in early summer, when the light lasts well into the night."

Bregje HeinenHeinen wore practically nothing all day while everyone else bulked up to keep warm. "The best light is at 10 p.m.," she says. "It was so cold, and I was in a bikini, but everyone was so nice."

Heinen didn't get to do much sightseeing, but the location was admittedly spectacular. One of her favorite spots there was the famous black sand beach Reynisfjara, near the village of Vik on Iceland's south coast.

The 26-year-old model may have a body that most girls around the world would die for, but she has admitted she doesn't have to work too hard to maintain her washboard abs and trim pins because she's naturally slim but unfortunately has the "worst sweet tooth."

"I have the worst sweet tooth! But my guiltiest pleasure is probably Taco Bell. I also love drinking tea with four sugars and eating ice cream in the middle of the night."

However, the blonde beauty tries to rein in her sugary snacks when she's about to do a photo shoot and likes to get in a high-intensity workout beforehand to train her abs.

She said: "About a day or two before shooting, I try not to eat too many sweets and I like to get in a gym session the day before. Most importantly, I drink lots of water."

"My go-to club outfit is high-waisted jeans, usually with heels. If it's glam, I'll rent something from Albright Fashion Library in Cooper Square. They have everything - which is nice because so much of this stuff, you wear twice and then it just hangs in your closet."

Bregje Heinen"When I get home, I take my makeup off, put my hair up, put pajamas on, and sit on the couch."

"I never go to bed right away. Even if I'm out late. I always watch TV, something like Breaking Bad - which I only started a month ago, or I'll watch movies on Netflix."

Heinen, who was discovered aged just 14, is a particularly hardline abstractionist painter, whose work you can see at www.bheinenart.com is often a few carefully and strategically rendered broad brushstrokes, often in monochrome, in the style of Franz Kline.

In the future, she'd like to further develop her artistic side more, perhaps become an interior designer - another of her passions, even maybe pursue acting.

But for now, she's happy right where she is and doing what she does so well. And she is engaged.

"I never really dreamed about marraige. Most girls have had the big dream of getting married with a gigantic wedding all their lives. I was never really interested in this."

"But now that I have met the love of my life, I have completely changed my mind. I really want to marry him with a nice big wedding. Everything with him feels so good and different."

"In any case, I would never get married to just get married as the person might not be "the one." He had asked my father for my hand in advance and secretly had them come over to New York City."

Bregje Heinen"My birthday is March 5th and his birthday is March 18th, so we will actually always celebrate that together. This year we had a dinner in Butter Midtown, a restaurant in NYC, to celebrate our birthday together in a private room with all our friends."

"Of course I didn't know this was used as a surprise engagement party. He had asked my father for permission beforehand, and told my parents that he would not ask me to marry him if they were not with us."

"After the starters, my parents and his mother suddenly came in. That of course was a super surprise. So he had already planned for months to let them all fly in and booked hotels for them in advance."

"Of course they could not stay with us, because otherwise it would not be a surprise anymore. I hadn't seen my parents myself for 7 months, so that was also very emotional. Still I had a small suspicion, but of course I wasn't sure."

After half an hour a toast was made and Ro gave a speech. Then he got down on his knees with the question "Will you be my wife? And of course that was a YES!"

"We want to keep it small and intimate anyway. We are currently thinking about where we want to get married. Of course I come from the Netherlands and Ro from Michigan, so it's hard to find a balance. Something that is not too far for everyone."

"Do we want a beach wedding , a New York wedding? Do we want to get married in the summer or in the winter? We are not all that sure yet."

Bregje Heinen"We want to keep it small with just our closest friends and family anyway. We don't want an over-the-top wedding. For now we mainly enjoy that we have just been engaged."

"I really think I'm more American in terms of getting married. More old-fashioned and more traditional, I mean by this."

"In the Netherlands I think that is very different from here. We don't have to take anything into account and do what we want."

"He is, of course Cuban, so a lot of Spanish music will be played, but more not really. We have the same opinion about what we want and don't want."

"I have only just started to get ideas. We are naturally engaged but so briefly, I do have something in mind. I want a traditional dress, but no bells and whistles."

"There are so many beautiful dresses so I don't necessarily have one in mind. I think it's going to be the one that I find the most beautiful at that moment and that makes me feel good at that particular moment."

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