Tunisian model Sonia Ben Ammar — a rising star in the fashion world — walked for Dolce & Gabbana in New York on Sunday. The 19-year-old was part of a dazzling catwalk lineup for the Italian label’s extravagant Spring 2018 Alta Moda Fashion Show at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, alongside superstar models including Karlie Kloss, Ashley Graham, Taylor Hill, Romee Strijd, Karen Nelson, Joan Smalls, and Naomi Campbell.
The audience was equally celeb-replete, with a front row including actors Dakota Fanning, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jamie Foxx and Diane Kruger, alongside Lady Kitty Spencer (D&G’s editorial model and the late Princess Diana’s niece), while Italian actress Isabella Rossellini introduced the show. Rossellini reportedly quoted the famous lines from Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus” — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses”. Presumably ironically.
As “Vogue” said in its coverage of the event: “People watching has always been part of the fun of fashion shows, but nothing comes close to D&G Alta events.”
Sunday was the third night of a D&G extravaganza at the Met. On Saturday, the label showed its latest menswear collection, while Friday was jewelry night — with “Sex & The City” star Sarah Jessica Parker modelling.
Paris-born Ammar wore a sparkling metallic silver-grey/black suit and crown tiara for her catwalk appearance (one of the more understated headdresses on display Sunday). She was also joined on the catwalk on Sunday by Somali-American hijabi model Halima Aden, wearing a D&G printed suit. Aden is one of the biggest names in the burgeoning modest-fashion industry, and said on Instagram, “Walking for Dolce & Gabbana was a dream come true.”
Ammar, meanwhile, used her Instagram feed to thank “the geniuses Stefano Gabbana and Domenico, who amaze me every single time!”
Ammar, who splits her off-runway time between Paris and Los Angeles, made her runway debut in 2017 for Miu Miu and quickly found herself in demand from some of the biggest labels around. Aside from her modelling career, she has also appeared in a couple of French movies (no surprise, as her parents are Tunisian director Tarek Ben Ammar and actress Beata), and is keen to launch a music career too. In May 2017, she told “Vogue Arabia” that she had been recording music for “over a year” and that she would release something “soon,” citing Michael Jackson as her musical inspiration. She has previously posted YouTube cover versions of Justin Bieber (she’s apparently good friends with Bieber’s ex, Selena Gomez) and Calvin Harris songs, among others.
In that same interview, she described her style as “eclectic and unfussy,” adding “I like to mix boyish clothes with sexy and elegant pieces, without trying too hard.”
Ammar has even had her own shot at a celeb couple partnership with a twist, having reportedly spent a few months dating Brooklyn Beckham — himself a product of a major-league celeb partnership between football star David and former Spice Girl Victoria. Alas, a second-generation all-star marriage failed to materialize from that romance.
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