THE EYES HAVE IT: It has been a while since Afef Jnifen headlined a modeling campaign but she agreed to get in front of the camera for Linda Farrow’s spring video.
The poolside set-up is meant to be reminiscent of the jet-set glamour Slim Aarons so often captured in his photographs. Jnifen, an actress and TV presenter, said she had two reasons for returning to her modeling roots. “First of all, Linda Farrow is my favorite eyewear brand since forever. Then I was happy and honored to work with Mariano Vivanco,” she said.
Vivanco’s year is off to a racing start. “He’s currently shooting covers for Harper’s Bazaar U.S. Vogue Russia/Japan/Brazil/Spain, GQ U.K., Man About Town and Ponystep,” a spokesman said. The lensman also handled Mavi’s new spring ad campaign and recently shot Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, Estée Lauder, Kat von D Beauty and Ralph & Russo, among others. For Linda Farrow, Vivanco packed up his camera for a private villa in Europe. While models Cici Xiang and Arnaud Lemaire are often front-and-center lolling by the pool, Jnifen looked a little elusive hidden behind Linda Farrow sunglasses and holding a small dog in the distance. Farrow also makes a cameo.
During her modeling career, Jnifen worked with Armani, Fendi, Gaultier and Alaïa, among others.
Regarding what she finds interesting about fashion advertising today, she said, “I love the creativity that you see more and more in advertising today, thanks also to so many new techniques.” As for the less interesting aspects, Jnifen said, “The boring part is that many look like each other.”
Jnifen very much had her own look when Jean-Paul Goude first spotted her walking on the beach, while he was shooting a Club Med ad with Carla Bruni. Verifying that the sighting was not the equivalent of a seaside urban myth, she said the prized photographer spotted her walking on the beach in the Bahamas. But it was the designer Azzedine Alaïa who first enlisted her as a model. Like Naomi Campbell, Jnifen became part of his inner circle and she described Alaïa “as one of her closest friends.”
Although Jnifen is not involved with the Azzedine Alaïa Foundation, last fall she teamed up with another nonprofit. Fashion 4 Development named her a Goodwill ambassador at its annual First Ladies Luncheon at the Pierre Hotel. Jnifen hasn’t decided where she will travel to on behalf of F4D just yet, but there won’t be any cameras in tow “as I always did my charities without filming,” she explained.