This Egyptian modelling agency is disrupting beauty standards

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

There is a disruption of the preconceived notion that Egyptian beauty is fair skin and silky.

Iman Eldeeb, founder of model agency, UNN, says: "Beauty cannot be limited by the appearance and shape of a face or body. I feel this is a misconception of beauty. Hair colour, eye colour, all these things were part of a very old understanding of beauty and this is something we are moving away from as much as we can."

A diverse lineup of models are shaking up Egypt's fashion scene thanks to the modelling agency, UNN, meaning "rebirth" in the language of the black Nubian minority.

READ MORE | 'You are beautiful and enough as you are'- Nandikwa Dolls founder on diversity and beauty standards

For some, developing Egyptian and Arab talent for global fashion houses is much more than just good business - it is a form of healing. 

Adhar makuac Abiem, model and South Sudan refugee, says: "There is no discrimination [at the agency], I'm like the rest of the models, it depends on me how I act on set, do I follow the instructions well and how does my work come out, so there is nothing about my colour." 

Industry experts say Autumn of 2021 was the most racially diverse season on the record. It is reported that models of colour made up more than 43 percent of those on global runways. 

Follow us on social media here: FacebookTwitterInstagram.

Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.