#WCW - SOPHIA HADJIPANTELI
by Lucy Rance
Sophia Hadjipanteli - Greek/Cypriot model, upcoming designer & YouTuber, is our current obsession, girl crush & fave gal to insta-stalk! Her distinctive look is racking up a following and it's clear why - just look at dem brows. She's embracing the unibrow and we LOVE it - absolute #BROWGOALS.
Hey lady, thank you so much for letting us interview you, we're so excited to feature you as our WCW this week!
Hey babes! I am so excited to be featured, you guys are so iconic! When you asked to interview me, I legitimately started crying to my mom about how I used to watch you on YouTube when I was like 13.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do...
I am 20 years old, ( I turn 21 next Thursday, Gemini obvs woo woo!) I am a first generation American living in the USA. My mom was born and raised in London of Greek parents and my dad was born and raised in Cyprus. While growing up, both my brother and I were heavily influenced by our Greek heritage. We speak a mixture of Greek and English at home, and are definitely proud of where we come from! I currently study Marketing at the University of Maryland. Initially I was so confused about my career path because I am so interested in so many different things (shocker haha) but I decided to study marketing because it encompasses all of my passions. I’ve always struggled with what to do with myself because I’ve always been curious. Through marketing, I can focus on connecting with people, story telling, designing and hopefully, knowing how to launch my own brand. When I was younger, art was my absolute passion. It was something I could turn to when dealing with being bullied for being too short, or too chubby. My art was the only thing I was able to do that people could not judge me for, and I loved how it was untouchable in that sense. I used to skip class to go to the art room and work on my paintings and pretend I was doing my English homework when I was just playing with paints. I am a super passionate person and am lucky that my creative interests did not fade as I got older. I have always been really different and now I embrace it. I am so flattered when people call me unique, whereas before I would have been quite uncomfortable.
When did you first get into modelling?
So growing up I was definitely not the model type, I have curves and I am quite short, but I think modeling is more than the ability to just take a picture for the camera, it is about connecting with the person looking through the lense! Wow so profound Sophia, can I copyright that? Haha
My mom is so passionate about photography, and growing up she would make me and my brother pose differently for hundreds of pictures (typical hand on the hip was the go-to obvs). I think a lot of models today became familiar with the camera at relatively late ages, but my mom definitely made me comfortable with it when I was young. As I got older I started to get creative with modeling, and I would take pictures of myself with a tripod (I know all starting models owe a lot of their success to that tried and true tripod haha). I experienced my first real modeling achievement was when I was 15 and one of my pictures made it to the VogueItalia “PhotoVogue” page on their website. This exciting accomplishment definitely made me feel like I actually had the “look” that people in the industry wanted to see! Fast forward a few years and I started taking pictures with some local photographers to become more comfortable and I was featured on Vogue Italia again when I was 18! A few months ago I was approached by WeLoveYourGenes, which is basically the Instagram scouting page for IMG Models. After they they messaged me saying they were interested I told my brother that I thought they were trying to punk me. I was literally in disbelief that they saw anything! Since then I have really been trying to just establish myself as unique and not really a “typical model.”
Obviously your eyebrows are your most famous feature... we are all very jealous! Do you think having such distinctive brows has helped you stand out in your modelling career?
I definitely think that the reason they even approached me is because of my unibrow! I think there is definitely a movement more towards thicker brows now (which is probably needed in most cases) and so I felt like my normal thick brows were not cutting it anymore! So I decided to embrace my unibrow and honestly love the way my face looks with it. I always say, I pride myself on being unattractively attractive and there is something truly empowering about walking through a university of blonde skinny and tan girls with a thickass unibrow and loving every inch of it! I have not found too many models that have a unibrow and that is really something I think sets me apart (no pun intended lol) omg I am also hilarious should’ve mentioned that earlier! I get a lot of questions about my hair color, and yes, my hair is naturally light blonde, and my eyebrows are naturally dark. I do amplify the color a bit because I am really lazy to fill them in all the time.
Have you ever been bullied / picked on over your brows?
I am ALWAYS made fun of for my brows! But my history with bullying, and seeing people close to me get bullied has made me fairly resistant to it. I think when people notice my unibrow it gives me more power in a way. I find that a lot of folks realize that having a unibrow as a 20-year-old single girl belonging to a highly competitive industry and studying at a fairly judgmental university (a lot of sorority girls and lacrosse playing jocks), makes me that much more in control of my own life. While growing up, I had been severely bullied for my weight by people around me and even my teachers in grade school, so when I am bullied for my eyebrows it doesn’t really affect me as much as it would if it were my weight. Even though I am really healthy right now, that is definitely a soft spot for me and like a lot of women, it is a battle I continue to face everyday!
We just read that you are starting a fashion label! Do tell us a bit about it...
I am starting a fashion label and I am SO unbelievably excited to talk about it! This is the first time I am properly discussing it! I have been working since about May of last year on a collection of 10-12 pieces. This collection is largely influenced by my love of used and vintage clothing. I used to go to thrift stores early in the morning when I was like 16 and explore different patterns and fabrics and beads! BEADS! I cannot put into words how much I love beading and heavy embroidery. This collection is really heavy on handmade beaded items with thick silks and velvets. All of the pieces are all handmade in Afghanistan by fabric that is from Zimbabwe. It took me a while to find the right fabrics especially since I could not actually travel abroad to inspect the materials. It was a lot of rolling the dice and hoping they come out as I designed! This is my first time designing anything so I kept it quite centered on a range of tops and blouses. All of the tops are super cropped (we love a bit of underboob) and they are all quite heavy too! I think one of my tops weighs 6 pounds! Overall, color, rich fabrics, culture, and music have profoundly influenced this collection. The collection is hopefully going to be released by the end of June, which is something I am really excited about. Since I am not the best at sewing or crafting, it is really special to me to finally have my ideas come to life!
Keep killing it babes!!! I am out here watching you guys shine!
Make sure you keep up with Sophia on Instagram @SophiaHadjipanteli and check out her YouTube channel.