Cast your mind back to December 2019, when Vogue Arabia spotlighted the new generation of Arab models taking the fashion industry by storm. One of the faces to make their debut on the magazine cover then was Lebanese model Nour Rizk, who returns to our latest issue this summer—alongside Indian model Maumita—celebrating the enduring ties between the Middle East and India.
Having experienced European and Arab cultures growing up, Rizk admits to being influenced by the best of both worlds. While she started modeling full-time at the age of 18, she finds herself fortunate enough to have developed multiple passions while studying in Dubai. The model has been devoting her off-duty time to learning poetry, and to Le Rallye Des Graces, an all-female car rally that invites women from all around the world, launched by her mother Chahrazad Rizk.
Below, get to know all about Nour Rizk in 17 questions.
How would you describe yourself to someone you just met?
No one is perfect and sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the things you love about yourself. Every person will have a different perception of you no matter how much you hope that it’s a good one. If there’s one thing I can proudly admit, it’s that I’m a good person with a kind heart. I see beauty in everyone’s journey, so you can tell me anything and I won’t judge. Respect is my moral code and something I’ll always take into account. But most importantly, I like to think that I’m quite funny!
How and when did you get into modeling?
Summer of 2016, I was in London with my family for a vacation. We were about to go watch the Lion King play when my brother saw a Subway sandwich shop and wanted to get a snack. I went in with him when two scouts from my current agency, Models1, were behind us in line. I got scouted at that moment but didn’t start full-time modeling until I graduated high school and moved to London. I like to give my brother the credits as he was the reason we went into Subway. Overall it’s been a great experience growing as a person and a model since then!
What three words best describe your personal style?
Versatile, polished, and bold.
What is the oldest and most cherished item in your closet?
My mom’s Alexander McQueen electric blue vintage bag. It’s one of the pieces in my closet that I just love to look at. If I was a bag, I’d definitely be this one!
Can you share a few highlights of your career with us?
My first runway show in Paris for Alexander McQueen was an unforgettable event as it’s always been a goal of mine to be a part of his artistry and legacy. As well as having the pleasure of working with talented photographers like David Sims for Vogue France and Tyler Mitchell for the Loewe perfume campaign. I’m proud of being where I am today. If you told my younger self that she’d be on the cover of Vogue, work with all these great brands, and be around so many people she looks up to, she wouldn’t believe you!
Who is your dream designer to work with?
Versace, Versace, and Versace…
What were the best moments of shooting the Vogue Arabia cover?
Being able to shoot in the beautiful sites of Jaipur I only ever saw in pictures! As well as interacting with the locals and the culture when we shot in the flower markets and streets of the city. I’ve also never seen so many peacocks in one place before—it was so fascinating! This was my first time in India but definitely not the last. I also loved working with the team. Meeting them all for the first time and sharing this experience together was the best part. The very unique trip and its beautiful production have made it unforgettable.
Since our issue is all about celebrating the color pink, how does the color make you feel?
Pink is such a romantic color, which I thought matched perfectly with the charm of the city. I believe that pink brings out my feminine side, and I think it subconsciously puts me in a good mood.
What’s the best thing about being a model?
I’m naturally a person who gets inspired easily by my surroundings, so being in an industry where I constantly am meeting new people and indulging in their vision is so fulfilling to me. As a model, you’re always traveling and experiencing things you wouldn’t have thought of doing. Also, meeting a large variety of people and personalities from all around the world who are all linked by their passion/interests. It’s so much fun challenging yourself and seeing the results you, and each team you work with, create.
What’s the worst thing about being a model?
Personally, it took me a while to adjust to the fast pace and last-minute lifestyle. It’s hard to make plans and stick to them when you’re not sure if you’ll be in another city that day. Changing my mindset and accepting this as part of the job was the only way to not see it as a burden.
If you could make Jaipur your home, where would you live?
My favorite location we shot in was the Jaigarh fort, as the scenery there is breathtaking. If I can build myself a house right where the garden is, it’d be the best view to wake up to and have my morning coffee.
What makes Vogue Arabia special to you?
It’s always been so important to bring diversity to the fashion industry. As much as it’s evolving greatly, the Arab world has so much more to be seen. Beauty is worldwide, and the Middle East is full of it! Vogue Arabia has been a gateway to implementing the talents and charm of this region to the world. It’s special in many ways as it symbolizes the exceptional and distinct creatives in the area.
Tell us one secret from the day you spent shooting with Vogue Arabia in Jaipur.
During one of the days we were there, it was 42 degrees celsius, and I was wearing really cool black Richard Quinn latex stockings. As great as the outfit looked, I’ve never sweated that much in my life! By the end of the day, the stockings were filled with water and you could hear puddle noises every time I took a step. It was very gross taking them off but the styling team did a great job of laughing it off with me!
If you could take home one outfit/jewelry piece from the cover shoot, which one would it be?
It’d definitely be the asymmetric pink suit with the turban. Such a fun look and cool combo!
Name one song that reminds you of India.
The song from The Beatles called “Within You Without You” reminds me of India. The band had many songs influenced by the country, I think this one was even written there.
What’s one song that always reminds you of the Middle East?
The song by one of my favorite artists, Dalida, that’s called “Helwa Ya Baladi”. It talks about how no matter the distance, you can never forget and stop cherishing your country and the memories you made in it.
What’s one thing you think India and the Middle East have in common?
India and the Middle East all have so much soul and culture that is hard to ignore. The concept of sharing in both areas is very prominent. They have very traditional ways of dressing their tables with many dishes and spreads that are intended to be shared and enjoyed as a union. I find that it’s one of the most beautiful things about the two cultures. Nothing is more engaging than passing food and serving it onto other people’s plates during a meal.