On Monday, Tunisian model Ameni Esseibi marked a remarkable moment in her career by walking her first ever runway for Paris Fashion Week SS23. Esseibi, who is known as the first curvy model to come out of the Middle East and North Africa region, was cast for French brand Weinsanto, which opened Paris Fashion Week.
“My dream as a little girl was to walk in Paris Fashion Week,” the model and body positivity activist shares with Vogue Arabia. “It seemed like a dream that was very far, and that as an Arab person, it would be very hard to be represented internationally. However, with hard work and a lot of patience and commitment, I had the chance to walk for the first show that opened Paris Fashion Week this season.”
Since starting her career on her own terms, the 24-year-old has actively championed the importance of self-love and portraying women of all shapes and sizes. As she takes on Paris Fashion Week, the former Vogue Arabia cover star is hopeful for a more inclusive fashion industry. “I know it will only be the beginning of my journey in Paris,” she says. “It’s very important for me to represent Arabs internationally, especially to represent the plus size community all over the world and to show that fashion is changing over time. But most importantly for me, it was representing Tunisia and the Arab world as the only Arab that walked that show.”
Some of Esseibi’s more noteworthy accomplishments include becoming the first plus-size ambassador for activewear brand Women’s Best and Arab Fashion Council. “This is a huge step towards diversity. It’s the first time that a fashion council puts a curvy model as their ambassador.” Esseibi wrote in the announcement. “My role will be to make sure that every Fashion week happening in the Middle East includes diversity. Yes, the fashion world is finally listening to us.”