heyenne Tozzi doesn’t need any birthday presents when she turns 30 in December this year – she’s already received the best gift of all. “I’ve got a big baby present,” she tells Stellar in a tone of euphoria and tiredness so familiar to every new parent.
Nine weeks ago, the Australian model and musician gave birth to her first child, a girl named Dahlia de la Lune. She and partner Marlon Teixeira, also a model, went “back and forth a million times” over what they would call their new arrival.
“We had so many names. Then I think when you start to ask people, ‘Oh, what do you think? Oh, what do you think?’ it starts to get really messy. So we kept this [name]. She looks like a little flower,” Tozzi says affectionately as her daughter hiccups in the background.
Her pregnancy and Dahlia’s birth were kept tightly under wraps, in part due to a potential health problem: Tozzi’s rhesus negative blood type put Dahlia at possible risk. Fortunately, everything went smoothly and the newly minted family of three is “really good”.
“Dahlia is beautiful and healthy and strong, and getting fatter by the second. Marlon’s doing really well. She loves her dad very much. She always laughs at him. It’s incredible. It’s a… trip, if I can say any word. It just throws you. It has been such an amazing learning curve for the two of us. Hats off to women who have five children!”
While many mothers with newborns would baulk at returning to work so soon, Tozzi has no such qualms – with a few conditions. “I think because I was so relaxed and at home [in Sydney’s Cronulla], during my pregnancy, I was like, ‘ Yep, ready to go as soon as she’s out!’ I’m taking it very easy. She’s [my] priority. So I’m doing little bits and pieces that are nice for me. I’m not back back out there, running around.”
Tozzi, who began working as a model at eight years old, was perhaps destined for the trade given her family background. Her mother Yvonne is a retired model and older sister Tahyna is a model and actor. All three live within minutes of one another in Cronulla. Whether or not little Dahlia grows up and continues the legacy is another story.
“That’s up to her to decide. She can choose what she wants to do. I don’t want to push her at all into anything,” Tozzi says firmly, before adding: “I don’t have any bad memories of modelling. I got in super young, but I still have a good head on me. Marlon too started quite young.”
After 22 years in the industry, she’s more than qualified to comment on the changes she has seen. “I think everybody’s feeling a lot more comfortable within their own skin, and just getting out there on Instagram and all those kinds of things. The brands are following and supporting every kind of woman and every kind of person,” she says. “It’s grown a lot since I’ve started. I’m not that old! A lot has changed, but I think it’s all for the better.”
That could almost be her personal mantra: Tozzi is big on being the best version of yourself and turning a deaf ear to detractors – especially dress, theundone.com those who would make negative assumptions and judgements about models with ambitions in music.
“I don’t really care, that’s the thing. I like singing. I think it’s always been my little relief for when I was travelling the world and writing and doing all that kind of stuff. I mean sure, people are like ‘Shut up’ and ‘She’s a model’ and whatever, but I don’t care. Everyone’s allowed to do what they want in life.”
Now, what the model, musician and mother really wants to do is “raise a beautiful, polite young lady. I just want to be happy. I want to travel a bit [her first trip with Dahlia was to New York, where Tozzi lived for 10 years] and have a nice new year with her. Until she’s a horrible teenager! Until she’s mean to me. I have so much more respect for my mum now,” Tozzi says reflectively. “This whole process, it’s like: ‘OK, I get it.’”