Daphne Zelle

By Olivia Aylmer
Photographs by Shriya Samavai


Name: Daphne Zelle

Age: 23

Hometown: Rochester, NY

Backstory: Trained as a classical ballet dancer, studied acting at university, and dances on a freelance basis in New York and Europe

Olivia Aylmer: What was the most memorable part of your shoot with Shriya? 

Daphne Zelle: Biggie the dog. I also fell in love with those Sandy Liang shearling coats, so it might be a tie. 

OA: Where do you call home? 

DZ: I didn't grow up here, but I consider New York my home. I moved here when I was 15, so I guess I finished growing up here, to the extent that I'm “grown-up” now. I had a lot of firsts here, so this city is special to me.

OA: Where do you turn to for inspiration in NYC? 

DZ: I like The Frick and Neue Galerie. Bowery Ballroom and Rough Trade are great for concerts, and recently I've been a bit obsessed with Shoolbred's in the East Village. They make a great hot toddy. I also love people watching. It's kind of fascinating to envision what someone else's life is like: their likes and dislikes, what they're going through, what they're thinking at that specific moment. 

OA: When did you begin to take yourself seriously as an artist/dancer? 

DZ: Not until maybe a year ago. I went through a difficult phase where I felt like I was flailing—and failing. [I had a] bit of a dramatic existential crisis, but I'm finally learning how to be proud of my accomplishments and to pursue what I want.  ★

Credits: Model: Daphne Zelle (@dionysiandaphne). Photo and styling: Shriya Samavai (@shriyasamavai). Dog model: Biggie (@biggiethegreatdane). Assistant: Jaq King (@rip.en). Photos in 1-3: Shirt, pants, shoes, and jewelry model's own; Jacket by Sandy LiangPhotos in 4-5: Shirt, pants, shoes, and jewelry model's own; Jacket by Sandy Liang.