While there has long been a dearth of Arab models on the international fashion scene, that is changing with the rise of talents like the Hadid sisters, Imaan Hammam, Halima Aden, Shanina Shaik, and newcomer Nora Attal. Furthermore, fashion shows are becoming more inclusive than ever, and casting agents have pivoted away from all-white line-ups to include women from every ethnic background.
Dubbed “the mystery girl” from J.W. Anderson’s Spring/Summer 2014 campaign, Nora Attal’s serious eyebrows and serious beauty made many industry insiders pause. Who was this newcomer and where exactly does she hail from? As the daughter of two Moroccan parents living in London, Attal’s cultural upbringing straddles both the East and West. The young model was discovered through a case of “right place, right time, right genetics” when, at the age of 16, she was chosen for the J.W. Anderson Spring/Summer 2014 campaign at a casting that took place at her school.
Since then, she has signed with Viva London and has caught the eye of some of the industry’s most innovative designers, like Mary Katrantzou and J.W. Anderson in London, as well as Dior in Paris. Over in Milan, Attal has been noticed by Prada and Fendi, both of whom have reputations for launching up-and-coming models. Although the model works with many designers, she is very much a fixture at any presentation that Anderson produces. For example, she is a recurring feature on the Loewe runway, having walked in every show since Spring/Summer 2016.
Beyond the striking J.W. Anderson Spring/Summer 2014 ad campaign that ostensibly launched her modeling career, she has also been shot by legendary photographer Steven Meisel for Zara and has appeared in the pages of European fashion titles. Recently, Attal shot alongside iconic supermodel Kate Moss for a major cover in the same month that she took her A Levels in Psychology, History, and Art.
Now, with many modeling successes under her belt at the age of 18, Attal faces the challenge of balancing a rigorous schedule that includes senior hockey, netball, and completing high school. Although she is deferring her courses at Greenwich University – where she will study Criminology – for one year while she pursues modeling, education remains her future focus. See some of her best campaign and runway appearances in the gallery below, and stalk her on Instagram @noraattal.