L'Officiel Arabia: How and when did you start your modelling career?
Abla Sofy: After I finished my studies, I start working as a stylist for the brand Guess in Los Angeles after three years working as a stylist and creative director for the brand I had a chance to do a music video with French Montana and Daddy Yankee produced by Redone. This music video gave me a lot of exposure. For the first time I opened an Instagram page and I got so many followers, the music video went viral and did over 200 million views in only a few months. The owner of Guess that I was still working with noticed how I was getting popular and influential in Morocco and other Arab countries. He then proposed me to become the first Arab face of Guess. We shot the first campaign in Paris and my pictures were all over the world in billboards and stores. I could not believe it, not only I wasn’t expecting to become a model but I never thought I would be on the other side of the camera. The feeling was incredible.
LO: Tell us about your best modelling experiences?
AS: My best modelling experiences are always when I see my pictures in the streets or I have friends or people tagging me on social media, I would say my best experiences is when I saw my pictures on Time Square, it happened to me a few times with Revolve and Hadid Eyewear. Time Square is every model’s dream. For me, to be one of the first Arabs whose pictures are on Time Square was a dream come true.
The first time when I was in Los Angeles and when I received pictures of the campaign on Time Square I booked a ticket the same day and I flew there for two nights to take pictures of it and see it for myself, I couldn’t believe it.
My other best modelling experiences I would say is the cover with L’officiel Arabia because for the first time I’m representing a cause that is very important for me which is team Martin that supports kids that have cancer. I would like to raise awareness on people who do not hear about this pandemic.
LO: Fashion Digital Influencer - when did you decide to be one?
AS: When I started modeling, I focused on brand campaigns and photoshoots more than digital through the years; I realize how Fashion is turning into digital so I started working more on my social media presence and my content on Instagram. Many brands are looking for this kind of outlet to promote their products. Therefore, it is very important to balance between digital and normal modeling. Especially with covid it was only digital for a few months, no physical photoshoots, and no fashion weeks. This year digital become major.
LO: A Model, Digital influencer, Actress - how do you manage to juggle between these professions?
AS: I would say that I am more model than anything else but I love to have different experiences. I try to learn from everything and push my limits. When you are a model, you have to be an actress, when you are an actress you need to know how to pose in front of the camera so it compliments each other. I always try to keep a balance on working on different things so I do not limit myself into doing the same thing every day. Working on different projects and fields allows me to grow also as a person and develop my career even more.
LO: Which high brands have you worked with until date?
AS: I worked with all the brands based in the US. GUESS, JACOB&CO, REVOLVE, FOREVER21, BEBE. As well as some European brands, I worked with PHILIPP PLEIN, ALBERTA FERRETI, CHOPARD, MESSIKA.
LO: Which are the new projects you are working on currently?
AS: I shot few campaigns that will come out soon. I am also working for Team Martin. We want to make it more global to raise more awareness for the kids that have cancer; this cause is my priority right now. I shot few other covers which will come out soon. I am also working on something that is completely new to me a big project coming on TV. It is going to be a completely new experience that I have never done before.
LO: How has the pandemic changed you as a person and how did you cope up during the lockdown?
AS: The pandemic changed me a lot. Changed my personality and my vision on the world. It made me reset and think more about what are my priorities in life. I actually became a more positive person. When I realized how blessed I was before the lockdown and not to be free and specially to live on the fear of uncertainty, making your big problems look smaller.
I enjoy everything with my family, my work, my friends. I realize nothing really matters other than health and family. There is no guarantee of a tomorrow, so enjoy life to the fullest.
During the lockdown I had a lot of thinking about what I wanted to do next, I put together my next goals, and I already started working on them. I connected with the right people; I trained the skills I needed. It did help me to move forward faster as soon as lockdown was over.
LO: How have your Moroccan roots inspired your career?
AS: I think my Moroccan roots helped my career a lot. I always enhance my culture and traditions. I have to make sure I do not lose myself in this world of modeling. Even in photoshoots, I try to respect my values always. I do not do swimsuits campaigns or nudity. I see myself as an ambassador of the Arabic culture in USA. Most of the brands I model or work with hire me because of my origins. Arabs are big market for all the brands and having an Arabic model now is very important as the client recognize themselves better in the products
LO: What Team Martin represents to you?
AS: “Covid has affected the entire planet - that is not a secret. But, there are two special groups of people that are going unnoticed - which I believe deserves special attention - including the latest lifecycle elders in nursing homes and the infirmed young BOTH of which are in fights for their lives. While Team Martin is directly related to toddler Martin Webster in New Mexico, USA - to me it represents both of these groups that are fighting for their lives in the most real sense. Can YOU imagine being in a fight for your life, where your friends and family cannot visit you, touch you, hug you, kiss you because you are immune compromised. Nobody is talking about this - and that is what Team Martin represents to me and my friends in fashion! ”
LO: What's next for Abla?
AS: I am working on a new project that I cannot really talk about for now. It is a dream of mine, something that I always wanted to do. People will see me more on TV and I will be moving from the US for few months in an unexpected place. I cannot wait to share this news with everyone and give more details.
Coordination: Project Pr
Production: Capital D studio
Make up: Sharon Drugan