Interview with Sonia Gleis

Today I’d like you to meet Sonia Gleis, a Luxembourgish model, who lives and works in Paris. We have been following each via Instagram and I had the idea to meet and interview her, in order to learn more about her interesting life. 

About Sonia

Growing up, Sonia never thought about a career in modelling as she was shy and didn’t seek the limelight. She was, however, passionate about painting, and at the age of 13 became known through her art. A journalist, who was a family friend, then asked her one day, whether she would be interested in taking photos for a small local paper. She was promptly put on the cover. Following this event, she caught the attention of Luxembourgish photographers and eventually made the cover of Nico magazine. This cover photo caused noise because it showed her scantily clad and as Sonia’s father was in politics, it wasn’t easy for her family to handle. As a result, Sonia decided to move to Japan but didn’t continue with modelling, although she continually received offers.

When she returned to Europe a year later, she settled down in Paris and was approached by a model scout on the Champs-Elysées. She signed with an agency and successfully started off with commercial jobs. Due to personal circumstances, she went on to live four years between Paris and Bangkok. In Bangkok she signed with Elite BBK and covered numerous magazines. Since her second permanent return to Paris, Sonia has had the opportunity to cross over to high fashion by doing runway shows during fashion week and work for famous fashion and beauty brands. She has collaborated with Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, DVF and Dior amongst others.

Sonia, what would you tell young girls who want to get into modelling? 

Well, first to finish secondary school. If you want to work as a model, there are possibilities. You can move abroad and enroll at a university where you often get to choose your schedule. If you organize your classes in a way that you only have to attend two days during the week, then you are free to shoot and travel the rest of the time. It’s feasible. But girls shouldn’t quit their studies. Female models are usually considered old by the time that they reach 23 years. There is no guarantee that you will make money from modelling and there are times when you may earn lots and then nothing for a couple of months. Modelling is an ephemeral thing. One has to be prepared for the moment when it’s time to transition into another career.

I’m from a generation where you model because you like it. Nowadays many girls want to become a model, not because they want to be a model, but because they want to become famous. And this kind of shocks me. In my opinion you don’t model to become famous; you model because you love fashion, because you like to create beautiful photos and have beautiful memories. And of course it is a good way to earn money. But you shouldn’t approach this job with the thought, ‘I’ll be famous’. The less the model is known, the easier she can find work. When the model’s face is too famous, brands will associate her with this ad or that TV show. Brands like new, fresh faces. I’ve known two girls who participated in the ‘Next Top Model’ show and they had a hard time finding jobs. And when they did get hired, it was because of their ‘fame’ but not for their modelling.

Please reveal your top three beauty secrets? 

Most people swear by Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat. The only thing is that it doesn’t fully cover dark circles under your eyes. It’s a liquid and that’s it. What is rarely advertised is the Anti-Cernes concealer by Yves Saint Laurent. It’s a huge stick and it covers everything. I could not live without it.

My second tip - as a model it is important to have a good make-up remover. It’s one of the most important things. I recommend Créaline (eau micellaire) by Bioderma. You only find it in pharmacies but it’s a product that is used at all shootings. It is a liquid that I highly recommend to everyone.

You also need a good hydrating cream. One brand that is often used at shootings but is unknown to most is Embryolisse. It is a cream that you will systematically see at all shootings. A few pharmacies sell it and you can order it online. It’s not too expensive and it’s the best cream. It’s a shame that it’s not more commonly known. 

What are your plans for the future?

For the past year I have been I working on a big project. I hope that it will materialize by the end of this year. It will allow me to develop my image as a model and to continue to be involved with fashion.

Apart from that, I’m still painting. I usually need 40 paintings to have an exhibition. Right now I am at 20, so this is not sufficient yet. I don’t know if I will manage to get them done by the end of the year but it would be great to have an exhibition next year. The demand is high because this is what I became known for in Luxembourg when I was 13. And I have completed two Masters in Art at the Sorbonne. Many people are looking forward to seeing how I continue to interpret my artistic world. 

This summer I will be featuring in the new show Versailles produced by Canal+ and HBO. I’ve got a small part in the first episode. What is great is that the director has also worked on Criminal Minds and CSI. I’m a big fan of these shows and it’s great to work with people like this. I didn’t have to do any casting because they approached me. It was amazing to film in Versailles and to have the entire site to yourself. I’m very excited about this release.

Other than that, I am currently studying law at the Sorbonne. I’m now in my second year. I am also a cat lover, I enjoy travelling, and when I get the chance, I love hanging out at museums. And I really love fashion.

You can visit Sonia’s website here: http://www.soniag.book.fr



  1. What a beauty! It was lovely getting to know Sonia! Thanks for sharing this interview!

  2. Wow, that was interesting to read! I really didn't know she was that successful!

  3. Wonderful interview and really beautiful girl! x

  4. She's very beautiful and I loved the interview and her story! I also use the Touche Eclar, and found more or less the same as she said, so I loved the tip of the Anti-Cernes! Great suggestion!

  5. Wow Sonia is so interesting! She definitely has a unique lifestyle, and it's amazing how she combines painting with modeling and now studying law! Looking forward to checking out her blog and images x


  6. Such an interesting story. I can see why everyone asked her to model-- she is so pretty!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  7. so amazing!

  8. She is such a beautiful and intelligent woman!
    I like the interview so much, thank you for sharing!


  9. This was such a great interview. I loved some of her tips as well.

    Kay of Pure & Complex

  10. Such an interesting interview. How cool that Sonia is also a painter in addition to being a model.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  11. Sonia is very beautiful and smart from what I read. It's true that models are considered as old at early age. Great interview!

  12. Lovely getting to know more about Sonia :)

    Rebecca Coco

  13. What can I say... beautyful woman!! :)) With great & cool style!

  14. loved it xx


  15. Beautiful girl, she looks like a lovely flower :)


  16. Such a beauty! And I love your interview!
    xo, Jane

  17. Wonderful post, dear. ^^
    New outfit is online...

  18. She looks so pretty and stylish.

  19. She is so beautiful! Great interview.

  20. she's stunning!! i love how she pushes for education (aside from modelling). i think she's really intelligent in being able to pursue her dreams!! great interview!

    Have a great day!
    Animated Confessions

  21. great interview!! :)
    kisses from dubai ♥

  22. Great interview! She's so pretty

  23. Such a beautiful lady! Great interview! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Lovely post and great job on the interview! She seems really nice.

    Kisses from Budapest xo

    Csenge | Csenge's Point

  25. Very nice interview!! love the photos as well!!


  26. she is so beautiful!!!

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    Big Hug.

  27. she looks like a beautiful, interesting person!:)


  28. Lovely feature on Sonia. And, a nice additional feature to your blog. <3
    Living in Colour

  29. Stunning! It was really fun to read to, keep these posts up!




  30. You have done a great job on the interview. Beautiful pics too.

  31. How interesting that she's transitioned from modelling to law! This was such an interesting interview to read through and particularly as it sheds light on many of mindset of many young girls these days who are looking for careers in modelling for perhaps inadvisable reasons. Also, gosh she's so pretty! haha. Have a lovely week..

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice


  32. Nice post!


  33. Oh goodness, Anouka... she sure is fabulous! It's awesome to hear from your fellow Luxemburgian!

  34. I really enjoyed reading this...great interview!


  35. i love reading about fashion people's interviews - they made me understand this world better.

  36. This was interesting to read! Sonia is super accomplished, by the sounds of it.

  37. Wow! That was fun to read! I'm surprised that the modelling scene is so different there. Here in India, most women are pretty short so models have their careers till like 35!! Also, here, if you're a famous model, everyone wants to work with you and the money is insane compared to how much an well educated person with a day job makes.

  38. I love that she says:"you don’t model to become famous". It's so true! I see small girls dreaming about being a model and being famous. It's actually sad.
    Great interview!

    -Yasmin J. L. L.

  39. She is very pretty. I love this interview :)


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