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Israeli Teen Escapes Poverty to Become Runway Sensation



Sofia Mechetner, an Israeli teen who became the face of Dior in 2015 and a prominent runway model, has added a contract with Chanel to her repertoire. 

At the age of 14, when most kids are worried about the daily travails of high school; Mechtner was given a  £170,000 ($212,850) two-year deal by Christian Dior.  

According to Walla, that originally reported on Mechtener’s recent shoot with Chanel, the teen wore blue dress that was reminiscent of the sky blue dress that Melania Trump wore at her husband’s inauguration. 

Despite her newly glamorous, not to mention well paid vocation, Mechetner is a young woman of humble beginnings that morphed her early misfortune into something that is nothing short of a modern day fairytale. 

She grew up in a rundown Tel Aviv tenement with several siblings and a Russian immigrant mother. Her mother made $1,000 per month as a cleaning lady, and Sofia, then aged nine took on the responsibility of babysitting her younger brother and sister. Not only could Sofia’s single mother not afford a babysitter, but her eldest daughter, herself a child, had to share a room with the younger siblings that she regularly picked up from school every day, cooking for, did laundry for, all whilst going to school and making sure that the apartment was clean and tidy. 

Sofia’s fortunes changed when she decided to try her luck at modeling after receiving many compliments from strangers that inquired about whether or not she was a model. Her mother took her to the Roberto modeling agency in Tel Aviv. The company signed Sofia and sent her to Paris with a female guide named Rotem. 

After originally being rejected from a French modeling agency on the grounds of being“too young”, Sofia and her guide walked into a Dior store in Paris, where they happened upon Dior’s creative director, Raf Simons. Rotem asked Simons to take a selfie with her and Sofia and  gave him her contact information. According to Channel 2, the young model thought that the director was just being polite and that nothing would come of their meeting. 

Serendipity saw itself through in the end, and Simon’s requested that Sofia appear on the catwalk of July Fashion Week at the Rodin Museum. 

According to Channel 2, in spite of the young girl’s complete lack of modeling or runway experience; Dior, in addition to offering her a contract, made her a “presenter” -industry speak for the first model appear on the catwalk before the start of the show. Mechenter received one million shekels, or $265,000 for her appearance. Sofia told the station that she will use her miraculous luck to help her family move into a bigger apartment. She likely won’t be doing the laundry anytime soon. 

By: Kristina Stukalenko

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