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Hend Sabri on Her Empowering Foray into Fashion at Her First Milan Fashion Week

Hend Sabri

Hend Sabri. Photographed by: Amr Ezzeldinn

Hend Sabri may have a long accolade-filled history with the film industry, but the Tunisian actor only recently began her empowering foray into the fashion world, journeying into the “intimidating” depths of luxury fashion with her first Milan Fashion Week this year. “It’s new to me,” she confided. “I come from the cinema world so fashion to me has always been kind of intimidating. But it’s art, it’s costumes coming to life and this I relate to, so so far, it has been nice.”

Although Sabri attended the coveted runways of Paris Fashion Week once before, this season’s presentations are an altogether “new experience” for the new fashion enthusiast. “This is the first one where a big label invited me specifically to come and watch it every day.”

Hend Sabri, Milan Fashion Week, Etro

Hend Sabri in Etro at Milan Fashion Week. Photo: Instagram/@hendsabri

As a thespian spanning different genres and mediums over her decades-long career, Sabri is no stranger to the power of presentation. However, she often relied on her work to speak for itself instead of her red carpet style until the age of digital media disrupted these preconceived notions. “I was more focused on my work as an actress and I did not care what to wear or how to present myself. Then I understood now, in the social media world and this world of image, your image is the number one impression people will get and it might actually draw people to go and watch you. So, I invested my time and energy into my styling and I’m trusting now a lot of good people.”

Hend Sabri, Venice Film Festival, Etro

Hend Sabri in Etro at Venice Film Festival. Photo: Instagram/@hendsabri

Also Read: Hend Sabri On Her Motivations For The Roles She Chooses And Her Hopes For The Arab Film Industry

While Sabri will always be an “actress first,” she’s “happy because I’m kind of exploring myself more, playing with my identity more” instead of observing the fashion scene from afar. A reformed “conservative” dresser, the celebrated Arab actor now chooses to be more experimental with her sartorial choices due to a newfound sense of confidence in herself.  “Maybe because I’m more self-confident — I don’t have the same insecurities I used to have when I was 20 with my body, my face — I’m more in-tune with myself so I can play more. And I love the playful part of it.”

Hend Sabri, Solace London, El Gouna Film Festival

Hend Sabri in Solace London at the 2019 El Gouna Film Festival. Photo: Instagram/@hendsabri

Only recently embarking on this style transformation, the award-winning Noura’s Dream star has already had a series of red carpet ensembles that quickly categorized her as a fashionable figure to watch at film festivals and award evenings. After joking about her worst red carpet moments—”I have many”—Sabri fondly reminisces over two of her best at the 2019 El Gouna Film Festival: one being a custom tuxedo from Egyptian brand OrangeSquare and the other being a Solace London black gown that made her feel “feminine” in its simplicity. However, the reasoning behind her top choices is not only because of how she looked or felt but also because of the memory attached to the outfit. “I can never disassociate my fashion moments with the moment itself that I’m living and it has to be a film moment,” Sabri explained. “It can not just be about fashion, it’s not me.”

Yet, as she continues her love affair with the industry, it’s no surprise the champion of Arab voices is also keeping an eye out for regional designers to curate a tasteful wardrobe that blends famous creatives, such as Zuhair Murad—”I think [his latest collection] is one of his best collections”—and up-and-coming talent, including fellow Tunisian Ali Karoui. “There are lots of local designers in Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt. I really like designers who play more and more with the local culture, with the traditional costumes.”

Hend Sabri, El Gouna Film Festival, OrangeSquare

Hend Sabri in OrangeSquare at the 2019 El Gouna Film Festival. Photo: Instagram/@hendsabri

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