- I know you have studied French literature. What made you decide in favor of modeling and not teaching?
I was born in Tunisia, where we speak French too. I chose French Literature as a major because I was obsessed with the French language and culture. When I finished my studies, I asked myself if this was really something I wanted to do. Teaching is a noble mission and I respect it so much but what I really wanted to do was traveling the world. I take more risks in life and get out of my comfort zone.
After that, I worked as a manager in a French Company, I was in charge of the establishment of the new branches in North Africa. I really enjoyed discovering a few countries and their cultures thanks to this job. I did not choose modeling. Modeling came to me by coincidence! I was working for the same company when I arrived in Dubai. I remember the person who approached me during an event and told me “You have all the requirements for modeling and acting-try it!” And I did it!
- Name some of your collaborations with big brands.
I would say the campaign I did for Dubai TV on the National Day. It was an honor for me to be the Arabic Face for this special occasion.
I was the Arabic TV commercial actress for Downy Arabia. It was really a great experience too. And I did a big campaign for Hyatt Regency Middle East.
- Is modeling as hard on people as they say to be?
Yes and No.
Yes, it is hard when you do it without passion. The common mistake people always make is thinking this way” I will be a model to have money and fame”. So, they find themselves running behind only this and they do not really enjoy it.
Another reason to make modeling hard is being surrounded by the wrong people and getting bad directions.
Nothing is easy in life, especially at the beginning. But this is how we get success. For me, if you are clever and passionate you will find your way to make things easier and you will enjoy every experience you live and every job you do.
- How do male models see female models?
To be honest, I have met two categories of male models.:
Those ones who get inspired by us and respect our passion and they even express it.
And few ones who think differently and keep reminding us that we have more luck and privilege to get booked just because we are women.
But thanks to Hera models, I discover a new generation of male and female models who think in a very positive way.
- What model should have to be a good professional?
First of all, the model needs to identify oneself, what kind of model one wants to be (fashion model, TV Shows model, fitness model etc.). It’s very important not to lose time forcing something you don’t really have. Model needs to be passionate and flexible on set.
- What are the disparities between older models and the new generation of models?
If we look back at the last two decades of the 20th century, a group of women essentially controlled the fashion industry like Naomi Cambell, Cindy Crawford…
In the 80s we used the term “Supermodel” to describe the newest generation of Models.
Today, we are living a new revolution in the fashion industry. The presence of Diversity. Diversity is important in the modeling industry because it allows the proper representation of communities that usually lack acknowledgement in mainstream Media.
Today, we can find Muslim Hijab-wearing models, models with disabilities and plus-size models representing the biggest designers and brands ever.
- You acted in the movie “11 Days”, how was the experience? Does acting suits you as a way of expression and psychoanalysis?
Yes, I had the chance to honor the UAE and The Great person who reunited the 7 Emirates his highness Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan through my participation in this movie.
I can only be grateful to this country and to this experience, I played next to the most respectful actor in the UAE Dr Habib Ghuloum and I learned a lot from him during the shoot.
I had theater classes in Paris for one year, it helped me a lot to express myself, control my emotions and also improve my skills during public speaking. So yes, it suits me as a way of expression if I have the chance to do it again, I will not hesitate.
- What drove you to start your own company?
First thing, I live with a life partner who believes in evolution through professional journey. He encourages me a lot during all my career and he has this way to push me to reach the highest level.
We all need a person like him in our lives. I think behind every successful woman is a great man too! And by the way we are celebrating 10 years together today!
Second thing, I felt the need to teach what I learned during the last years to the new generation maybe because of the teaching part of me!
- What are the goals and aspirations for your modeling agency to move forward?
Hera models is not only a company for me, but also a way to help young dreamers all over the world to make their dreams come true. I want them to feel well surrounded to make the right choice.
When I detect a young talent with a high potential, I do my best to make him feel confident and secure enough.
With Hera models we are looking for quality and not quantity. We would like to take the necessary time with every talent to grow up and shine as a family.
We will go to find the new faces in their small towns and offer them a new future.
- As a businesswoman who has been in modeling, do you feel that the new models face problems during their work?
The new generation models learn very fast and they are more confident on set. For example, I scouted a model just 14 years old, her name was Margot, and when I saw her on set in Dubai I was impressed by her performance.
Most of the problems in the fashion industry comes from the bad coordination between agencies and clients. We need to satisfy the client by proposing him the suitable models for his projects, it will make things go perfectly during the booking day.
- Do you think that social media can create models since each one who has an account is a prospective model?
I believe on social media as a support to promote models and find them job opportunities but not anybody can post nice, retouch pictures can become a model.
I think everybody can find the way, but we need to make a difference between professional models and bloggers. It’s totally different.
- Had the huge amount of exposure, you had all these years, been a benefit or hindrance to build your business?
This huge amount of exposure has allowed me to know a lot of interesting people in the industry and this is helping me a lot to promote the Agency in Dubai and the Middle East.
Exposure can be an obstacle if you don’t know how to deal with it.
- What was the most surprising thing that happened to you?
Oh my god a lot…I will tell you only this. One day, I arrive on set and they give a Saudi Arabia dialect script to prepare. I said “I don’t know how to say it.” The director looked at me and said “it’s ok you have 30 min of makeup so you will learn how to say it” and you know what, I did it! Because I didn’t want to miss the chance to do it!
- Your future dreams.
My future dream is to never stop dreaming Vassilios because without dreams we can’t survive. And dreams can really come true.
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