Welcome to the Luxury Shoe Club interview series where we introduce you to seriously-styled women whose stories need to be told. In today's interview, we take you to New York City to meet Alima Fofana (https://www.instagram.com/realalimalaf), who's been featured on the cover of Elle and other major fashion magazines.
Written by Elle Werlin, COO - Luxury Shoe Club
I am so excited to interview Alima Fofana! Prior to my new job at Luxury Shoe Club, I was a celebrity stylist. Several years ago I was fortunate enough to style Alima for a Nylon Magazine Shoot. She is one of the most sought out models in the world and has been on the cover of dozens of magazines, featured in several high-profile campaigns and walked hundreds of runway shows. She absolutely beautiful inside and out!
So lets get this interview started.
Share with us a little about yourself and your background. Where were you discovered?
Hello LSC readers! It’s a pleasure to be featured in your blog interview series and of course, trade fabulous shoes with other shoe lovers in Luxury Shoe Club (I love the concept of trading points for shoes!).
A little about me... I was born in Ivory Coast a francophone country in West Africa, but I spent most of my life in Paris. I actually was discovered in Paris by a hairdresser at a beauty contest. Unbeknownst to me, my childhood friend had signed me up for the contest, as I was studying in medical school to become a midwife, and modeling was no where on my radar.
This hairdresser who I met there (now a good friend) instantly took me under his wing and got me my first photo-shoot. From there, I was quickly signed on to a big agency in Paris. I soon decided I wanted to go to New York City, and have been here for almost six years. I love the it here!
What are the perks of modeling? What do you love about modeling? What is most challenging about being model and the life of a model?
My favorite part about modeling is the constant change from the crew you work with to the location and client you work for. Also, I love to travel, and my job takes me all around the world. I have met so many people from all backgrounds and walks of life. It has given me such a deeper appreciation to the beauty and richness of diversity and culture.
The hardest part of modeling for me, is knowing that I am constantly being physically judged and critiqued. I mean our physic is 70% of our qualification so sometimes you get to thinking if you just looked a certain way you could be more successful. It is challenging to say the least. Over time, I have learned not to take it personally, and I have developed a strong sense of self, but I have to admit, there still are those days...
Lastly, as much as I love the constant change of scenery and people I get to work with, it can get lonely. The constant change doesn’t allow you enough time to build deeper relationships with those you connect with on set and also in your personal life - I am extremely close with my family and being away from them is difficult.
I just read about your campaign for the UN Women, what did that mean to you? Are you still working with the organization?
I was chosen by Cinzia Brandi, Photographer and Board member of UN WOMEN NY, to be the spokesperson and the face of their latest campaign focused on education. It's an honor for me to be selected for such a great cause and has truly been an incredible experience.
I am still in touch with everyone from the organization. Ultimately my hope is to work with the UN Women NY on a project in my home country, Ivory Coast. That would be a dream come true!
If you can, we would love to see your fabulous closet. Tell us who are your favorite designers and why?
I have always been a fan of vintage and second-hand clothing. Over the years, because of my work, I have gotten amazing pieces. That being said, when it comes to clothes I’m not really a big designer fan, which seems pretty strange for a model. If I do buy something new it is ready to wear like All Saints or Other Stories.
However, my go-to winter boots are Gucci and Christian Louboutin. I love them and looking forward to adding additional pairs to my boot collection. (Hint: Luxury Shoe Club)
Outside of my closet, my favorite designer of all time is Vivienne Westwood. I feel like her clothes were made for me, and I was fortunate enough to walk her shows a few times.
What's Your Perfect Shoe + Clothing Combo? Why?
I love wearing girly dresses with big boots. I feel it completely shows off my personality - pretty, feminine with a touch of tomboy.
Also surprisingly, I'm not a huge stilettos fan, I like to be comfortable in my shoes, so I’m picky when it comes to high heels - style and height matter!
Last Question... Shoe Goals: What pair are you eyeing on Luxury Shoe Club
The other day, I spotted a gorgeous pair of barely worn Christian Dior black suede sandals with fringe that I've added to my Luxury Shoe Club wish list. I love anything with fringe!
That's a wrap!
Thank You Alima, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. You are truly a beautiful woman and fantastic person! We are thrilled to have you part of the LSC Family. Our readers can follow Alima on Instagram @Instagram.com/realalimalaf
Lastly, don't forget! Join other shoe lovers at www.luxuryshoeclub.com. The premier trading club for pre-owned NIB and gently worn designer shoes. Sustainable fashion at its best!
Written by Elle Werlin, COO - Luxury Shoe Club