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MOON RIVER: Breakfast Talk with British-Iranian Model Sophia (Sepideh) Nooshin






Moon River, wider than a mile,
I'm crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker;
wherever you're going I'm going your way.
Two drifters off to see the world.
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end--
waiting 'round the bend,
my huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.

 - Lyrics to Moon River

(Music Henry Mancini, lyrics Johnny Mercer)

In Breakfast by Tiffany's



Born in London of Persian heritage, Sophia's unique look distinguishes her from other models.  Often compared to the gamine beauty Audrey Hepburn, Sophia started performing from a very early age when her mother took her to her first ballet class at the age of three.  She went on to train at the prestigious Ballet Rambert School and graduated from the Roehampton Institute of Higher Education with a bachelor degree in Dance.


However, friends and family insisted that she tried her hand at modeling and after her studies she signed with London model agencies. Sophia is represented by BMA model agency and Whittaker Enterprises Ltd in London as well as Catwalk model management in Leeds, England.


Sophia's modeling experience includes many fashion shows, including bridal and lingerie and has also modeled in front of Prince Charles and The President of Pakistan.  She also models at fashion exhibitions in England and Europe, fashion showrooms and does photographic work for magazines, look books and commercial print advertising. Sophia has also participated as an extra in movies, commercials and music videos.


In her spare time, Sophia trains weekly to keep fit and takes part in a healthy diet. She also loves going to the movies and theatre, traveling and checking out the latest fashion trends on the high street.


I had the opportunity to speak with her about her profession and her ambitions and dreams for the future.



Darius KADIVAR (DK): Tell us about yourself and your background?


Sophia (Sepideh) Nooshin (SN): Well I was born in London but both my parents are Persian. As a young child and teenager I loved the performing arts, especially ballet and trained for many years to become a dancer. But destiny had other plans and at the age of 22 I signed with London model agencies and started a career in modeling. Sophia Nooshin


DK: It seems that the fashion of the Swinging 60's have made a remarkable comeback in recent years. Why do you think so? Although not born at the time do you also feel a connection with that era?


SN: I think the sixties signified a time of change and challenge, women's skirts got shorter, men's hair got longer and everyone talked about love! People did what they wanted and nobody cared, it was a fun time for teenagers and I feel that people wished things could go back to the way the sixties were hence the comeback in fashion styles. Because many people tell me I have a sixties look sometimes I do feel like a sixties model!




DK: What is the typical working day for a model?


SN: The main areas of modeling are catwalk and editorial or press advertising photographic work. A typical working day for a catwalk model would be rehearsing the show schedule from morning to around midday, then there could be fittings with the designers for any final adjustments to the garment. During the actual show there is very little time allowed for models to change outfits and the atmosphere can be hectic. Photographic models work in a studio or on location. In photographic work models have to follow the photographer's directions on pose, movement and facial expression. The work involves sitting, standing, moving and posing, while looking natural and relaxed. Photographic sessions can be lengthy, with periods of inactivity while the photographer adjusts the set and lighting.



DK: What ties have you kept with your Persian Roots?


SN: Well I celebrate the Persian New Year 'Norooz' with my family every year, giving presents and visiting friends. I also try and keep abreast with what's happening in the world of music and film and try to see the latest film releases. For example, next month I am going to see the much talked about film 'Persepolis'.



DK: In recent years particularly in Britain we have witnessed some outspoken critics made against slim models judged as anorexic. Amongst them Film Star Kate Winslet or Harry Potter author JK Rowling . You definitively don't look like a  Size Zero model but what is your assessment on this fashion trend and do you understand the raising concern and possible side effects ?


SN: Definitely, I am very concerned that young girls today are made to feel insecure or inadequate when they see these size zero models on the catwalks and magazines. I feel the only way to combat this problem is for designers to start using models who look healthier and have a more achievable dress size. Personally I do not think the size zero look is very attractive!



DK: What are your interests apart from modeling?


SN: I love to go to the movies and theatre and catching up with friends over dinner.


DK: Are you tempted by exploring other avenues like Film or the Theater?


SN: So far no I am not but things could change in a few years!





DK: What advice would you give to young ladies who aspire to your profession? Is being pretty enough or does it require particular skills?



SN: Fashion modelling has a very glamorous image. Top models are constantly in the news in exotic locations or on the catwalk in designer shows.  For a select few, fashion modelling can be glamorous and well paid. For the majority however, it is a tough competitive, insecure and short-lived career.   Female models do need to have a slim figure and be at least 1.72 meters (5 feet 8 inches) tall, although most top models are taller. A clear and healthy complexion, good even physical features are all required and for photographic models, in particular, should have a good facial bone structure and be photogenic.  But Personality is just as important as appearance. Models work closely with others including designers, photographers and agents. This requires a pleasant manner and the ability to get on well with people.  Patience is vital, as models spend long periods waiting around and self-confidence is very important as models must be able to accept criticism and rejection. My advice to young ladies who aspire to model would be to read and gain as much information as they can on this career, from the library or internet. If they are still interested, they need to send snapshots to reputable agencies Like the Association of model agents (AMA) in London, or check the on-line modelling site for reputable agencies around the world. Entry to modelling is highly competitive, so do not be disheartened if you are rejected by a few to begin with.





DK: I would like to ask a ritual question:


Desert Island. Three Things. What will you take?


SN: My mobile, Laptop and my best friend



DK: Thank you Sepideh Jan for your time and the Breakfast!


SN: Thank you Darius and PersianMirror wishing you all a Happy Nowrooz Season.




FAVORITE DISH: Spaghetti Bolognese


FAVORITE DRINK: Natural mineral water








Authors Notes:


Photos © imdb photocompostion ©DK & from Official Website of Sophia Nooshin


Recommended Watching:


(*) Audrey Hepburn sings Moon River in famous scene from 1960's classic film.



Recommended Readings:


British Iranians:


HAIL BARONESS AFSHAR!: First Iranian Woman In the House of Lords by Darius KADIVAR


Shusha Guppy: The Persian Girl of Saint Germain by Darius KADIVAR

Winds of Change: Darius Danesh cast as Rhett Butler by Darius KADIVAR

Ramin Karimloo: A Persian Phantom Unmasked by Darius KADIVAR

In The Arena With Omid Djalili by Darius KADIVAR

KILLSHOT: Hossein Amini and Quentin Tarantino's New Pulp Movie by Darius KADIVAR

Tony Nourmand's Golden Eye by Darius KADIVAR 

Doris Lessing: A daughter of Kermanshah Nobelized by Darius KADIVAR

Howard Lee, author of bestseller children's novel Jamshid and the lost Mountain of Light by Darius KADIVAR



About the Author: Darius KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian, and Media Consultant. He is also contributes to OCPC Magazine in LA/US and to the London Based IC Publications The Middle East Magazine and Persian Heritage Magazine.







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