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Sofia Mechetner for Christian Dior Haute Couture AW15
Sofia Mechetner for Christian Dior Haute Couture AW15Photography Virginie Khateeb

Meet the Israeli teen who opened the Dior couture show

Thanks to a chance encounter with Raf Simons, 14-year-old Sofia Mechetner became the designer's latest muse

Sofia Mechetner’s isn’t your average modelling success story. Hailing from the suburb of Holon in Tel Aviv, this 14-year-old girl (with no prior modelling experience) managed to book one of Paris Fashion Week’s most presitgious modelling jobs: a Christian Dior haute couture exclusive. How did this come about? Through a chance encounter with the house’s creative director, Raf Simons.

“She was in the Dior shop,” explained her mother, “And Raf Simons was in the same Dior shop. And he met her and he wanted her. I was like, 'What? I've never heard a story like that!’ Amazing.”

Not only did Mechetner walk in (and open) Dior's haute couture show, she's also become the brand’s new in-house model. So far, her work for the house has earned her a small fortune – a sum reportedly amassing to £170,000. A staggering figure, not least for her family: Mechetner lives in a one-bedroom flat where she shares a room with her two younger siblings and her mother, who works as a cleaner, sleeps on a sofa in the living room. 

At 5’11”, Mechetner often received encouragements to pursue a career in modelling (or, apparently, basketball). Finally she walked into the Roberto modelling agency in Tel Aviv where she was signed on the spot. She later signed to Viva Model Management in Paris which represents rising stars Fernanda Ly (Louis Vuitton’s pink-haired campaign girl), Jean Campbell (Dazed 100 model and another Vuitton girl) and Mica Arganaraz (who also walked in the Dior’s couture show).

Watch an Israeli television report of the story below: