Dior takes teen from rags to riches

CityPress - - News - – Staff re­porter

“You can quit your job, mum.”

This is how 14-year-old Sofia Mechet­ner – who grew up poor in a run-down coun­cil flat in Tel Aviv, Is­rael – re­sponded when she learnt that she had se­cured a R3.3 mil­lion, two-year mod­el­ling con­tract with lux­ury French fash­ion brand Dior.

Bri­tain’s Daily Mail news­pa­per re­ports that the teen had no mod­el­ling ex­pe­ri­ence when she was taken to Paris by an Is­raeli-based mod­el­ling agent.

Mechet­ner’s sin­gle mother, a Rus­sian im­mi­grant, made a liv­ing as a do­mes­tic worker and carer. Sofia took care of her younger sib­lings and also helped her mother with her var­i­ous jobs. She shared a bed with her brother and sis­ter, sleep­ing on a mat­tress on the floor when the bed broke.

Now, in a clas­sic rags-to-riches tale, she shares the cat­walk with some of the world’s top mod­els. The young­ster caused out­rage when she ap­peared on the Paris cat­walk re­cently in a see-through white gown that re­vealed her body and breasts. Some have dubbed her em­ploy­ment in the fash­ion world as ex­ploita­tion. But her agent, Roberto Ben Shoshan, came to her de­fence, in­sist­ing that she is al­ways ac­com­pa­nied by a chap­er­one when she is on mod­el­ling as­sign­ments.

Sofia has given all the money to her mother. “We will move into a big­ger flat, and at least I’ll have a room of my own, a big liv­ing room, a nice kitchen and a clean bath,” she said.

Sofia Mechet­ner

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