Anne Dechauffour
Anne Dechauffour had dreams of becoming the next Gisele Bundchen before she was gunned down by al-Shabaab jihadists at the Westgate complex in Nairobi.

A French model who dreamed of becoming the next Gisele Bundchen was among the first victims killed in the in Nairobi Westgate mall attack, it has been reported.

London-based Anne Dechauffour, 27, and her mother Corinne, 54, were the two French victims of the Nairobi siege gunmen. Seventy-two people were gunned down by al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists at Kenya's largest shopping complex.

Dechauffour, who had written and acted in a short film about a hostage crisis before her death, was shot just after parking the family car at the mall.

She had studied acting at Paris' prestigious Cours Florent and London's City Academy before moving to London to pursue a career in modelling.

In a recent interview, she said she hoped one day to be a top model "like Gisele Bundchen".

"She had potential," said François Hoffman, director of the Cours Florent told Le Parisien. "She had a childlike voice and a fragility that felt like an extension of childhood. That was her uniqueness."

According to a childhood friend, Kenya was Dechauffour's second home. She would often visit the country with her mother.

During those trips she would periodically work at the Rock Leopard Lodge, a luxury hotel in the heart of Meru National Park, 200 miles northeast of Nairobi, which was run by her father Michel.

"I have lost a friend. With her death all my school memories come flooding back," Christophe Lebel, another friend, told Le Parisien.

Paris' public prosecutor has opened a preliminary murder inquiry into the deaths of of the model and her mother.


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