Today we introduce to you Belgian/Egyptian model / actor Waleed Sokkar. Waleed Sokkar was born in Cairo, Egypt on the 9th of December 1986 to a Belgian Mother Beatrice Vanloo and to an Egyptian Father Tarek Sokkar ( with Turkish and Mediterranean roots).

Waleed grew up traveling a lot between his two parents year after year as they went off to live in separate countries. The mix of cultures allowed waleed to gather knowledge not only of middle eastren traditions but also the ways and artistry that are practiced more openly and freely by the people of Europe. Growing to a fusion of such diverse cultures has allowed waleed to experience and learn a lot about different cultures, peoples, arts and histories.

Waleed main home is Brussels Belgium, the country of birth of his mother, Now a rising fashion model Between Europe and America, and soon Asia. already made appearances in several fashion magazines, shot with various iconic fashion photographers in Europe & NY, he is definitely a name to look out for, and a pioneer, known for a serious hard work ethic. He has already been seen on runways in London modeling clothes for some English brands, and soon to be seen in the fashion weeks.

Waleed is on the go, with a bunch of new projects that he works on these days and a big plan to come to New York soon, he is a busy man, like a super hero, he’s Writing( stories, short movies, scenes), Sports fanatic, likes to Cook, Mixing Music,Voice Acting, Reading, plays with Playstation3(Modern warfare 2), Tanning, laying on the beach, Surfing , swimming. & like Shopping!

We set down with Waleed for an exclusive interview for our blog: nyc-fashion.com

So here we go:

1-How did you become a model, and what was your first break?
Well i became a model at a fairly young age but it was mostly experimental or just for fun in the beginning , i believe it mainly started because i did a lot theater at high school and was always athletic honing a defined/built body thanks to being swimmer from the age of 5, so it all fell together when some friends were experimenting with photography asked me if i could pose for them for some pictures, so being the adventurous person i am i said why not? and once i did it i realized i like it a lot and that it was much more fun than i had thought it to be. from that moment on i think i just carried on, once pictures came out more and more people asked me to model for them, until i got my first break to shoot in Miami for a brand called ”LIME” did a valentines poster and card for the brand, that was i think my first actual professional break. then i got two agencies representing me and voila 🙂

2- How do you keep fit, what is your training routine and menu?
🙂 How i keep fit is no secret im a CARDIO FREAK 🙂 i wake up every morning take a big mug of coffee then im off to run for a good 30 mins once that’s finished i do 10 minutes of rope skipping with a twist i invented that when i mess up and stop skipping i have to hold out the rope with arms extended out parallel to the floor and count till 10 in that static position to work my shoulders out at the same time, i do that as a way of punishing my self for messing up the skipping coordination so next time i stay focused 😉 oh and every time i add ten counts extra to the previous time. once this cardio 40 minutes are done i go to a chin up bar and do abdominal hanging leg raises usually 5 sets of 20 leg raises, then i lay on the floor and do basic crunches till my abs feel they had enough then im off back home to get my morning breakfast which is always a protein shake with two egg whites mixed in the shake coupled with a multivitamin Tablet. then i basically just eat lean the whole day before shoots i cut out my carbs about 3 to 4 days, so in those days i just eat meals of chicken breast with asparagus or broccoli through out the whole day. and if i wanna lean out extra for a specific shoot or project i do one hour of cardio in the evening before i go to sleep. Im not a big fan of junk food so i normally don’t eat Mc’donalds and those fast food chain sandwiches but im a huge Pizza lover so ever now and then i treat my self to a big Chicken barbeque pizza to reward my self every now and then to keep the momentum going. I also love milk chocolate but i try to stay away from it as much as possible, same goes for glazed donates.

3- How do you define your style and what your favorite store to shop?
I think my style changes a lot depending on how i feel and what mood im in, but most i love rocking ripped jeans on leather vintage boots with a simple button t-shirt or light shirt with a leather bomber vintage jacket on top of it, i would say that’s how i mostly dress, i don’t like loose clothing at all that baggy feel of clothing doesn’t make me feel comfortable, so i mostly wear stuff that’s usually fitted. My favorite store to shop would have to be Diesel, i just love that brand, even though every time i go i regret it cause i spend too much there but still i love it a lot. Then for everyday clothing i go to Zara and when im feeling i wanna dress up a little i go to Massimo Dutti. Im not really into these high fashion brands for every day use i don’t see the need for that. oh i also forgot to mention i love hats and vests, i also wear those a lot.

4- What are your main interests & hobbies?
i have a lot of interests and hobbies but my favorite hobby i think would be writing, i spend a lot of time writing down ideas and stories, i even sometimes put them together and make movies scenario and plots out of them. i have a very big imagination and don’t like to limit my self so i just take a pen and paper and let it all out, i think its very relaxing and i enjoy it a lot, so i keep doing it almost every other day i write something down. Another hobby i have is cooking but i don’t practice it a lot because then i would have to eat it and that would not keep me in the shape i want to be in so unfortunately until i have a girlfriend to cook for, no more cooking hobby.i also enjoy laying on the beach and just being in the ocean not sure if that’s a legitimate hobby but i definitely would do it everyday if i could.

5- What is the one fashion item that you can’t live without?
Well i can not live with out leather jackets and leather boots, i love them too much.

6- What is your favorite place in the world?
My favorite place in the world is a place that i have never been to yet its an island that i have a picture of, somewhere where the water is so clear and the sand is golden like in kids books, i cant recall the name anymore but i promised my self in two years time ill take a much deserved break and head out there for a while just enjoy mother nature.

7- Who are some of your favorite models and designers, and why?

My all time favorite model is Tyson ballou, for the soul reason that he just seems so personable, humble, mature and professional. I can just imagine him being the kind of friend i would have so i relate to him when i see his work and have tremendous respect for him. A few others i like are David Gandy for being very good at what he does and not giving into being skinny like the industry keeps pushing for, another one i respect is Josh Kloss for he is also an actor and a writer so as my self so i relate to him in that sense, because i do believe modeling can become very soulless and routine when all you really do is pose and never get to voice an emotion through words, thats where acting and writing make up for this gap that is in modeling. My favorite designer is Armani and Dolce and Gabbana because i just always fit nicely into their clothing and it always seems so elegant to wear but still can be hip and dressed down to a more rock star like look depending on how you mix and match and i think that is important because when you spend that much on clothes you have to be able to be able to look different yet wearing the same clothes by adding or subtracting certain elements. Plus there is just no beating Italian Style for Dressing or for FOOD 🙂

8- Which fashion magazines do you like to read?
I like to read GQ and Vogue, i enjoy them the most and think they usually have the best editorials and overall in magazine organization layout.

9- What’s your fashion mantra?
My fashion mantra is that i admire fashion and the whole industry how its been shaping up over the year to be so influential and its obvious there are so many people obsessed with fashion like they can not really see past it, which in some way i can understand but i don’t really feel that way about it my self. for me i like to think i love fashion but its still a job at the end of the day not an obsession, i would never put it before my family for example or let it define who i am or what im about, i will always take my job seriously and do my best to with stand my image for the brands and designers i work for but i dont get caught up in the fashion like its the only thing i know because in reality i have other dreams and ambitions as well so i do what i can for fashion without losing my self in the same time.

10- Out of all of the photos the photographer took of you, which is your favorite and why?
Actually i have a lot of favorite photos but my all time favorite is from my last pictorial ” Barrio brothers” just because it was raw and all natural which is usually not the case with typical editorial or brand shoots cause theres always make up and hair people involved in making you look somewhat different than your usual self, but because barrio brothers was an individual project collaboration it was just me, a fellow model and the photographer with no make up, no hair and no frills just all us, and i really love that because when i look at my pictures and see that its how i look in everyday i appreciate those shots the most cause thats who you really are at the end of the day, raw and rough 🙂 unpolished.

11- What is fun and rewarding about modeling?
modeling is a lot of fun cause of all the interesting people you get to meet and work, its a whole other world, first theres all the models you meet and get to share dreams and ambitions almost like trading war stories and these people end up becoming great friends cause at the end of the day your in it together. then theres the make up artist who are their to make you look perfect even on days when you feel you want to stay in bed 🙂 plus the hair stylist who do these really amazing things to your hair making you wonder how come when you blow your hair after a shower it never comes out so great 🙂 then ofcourse the stylists who have all these amazing creative ideas and outfits to make it all come together they are usually the most fun people just because they have a whole different vision in their head to what fashion is and how to apply it i find that very interesting. Last but not least the photographers i mean without them there would be no picture, i specifically enjoy working with photographers that are full of humor and like to relax and take it easy while on shoot cause i feel that usually brings out the best from models and teams cause iv worked with photographers before who were always stressing and getting fed up and angry and i noticed that it usually doesnt help bring out better work sometimes it makes models block out even more and then the shoot is completely over literally. the most rewarding feeling i get from modeling is when i do a project and get feedback from people telling me i did a great job and really pushed it to a new level makes you realize your on the right track.

12- What do you dislike about modeling?
What i dislike about modeling is that there is a lot of ”lets pick the skinny guy” philosophy still imprinted in the heads of european designers and i think thats really not cool. First of all when you want to sell clothes to a MALE you need to choose a MALE that looks manly not one that looks like a boy that has not been fed till his rib cage popped out through his lungs, how can that ever be appealing for people to buy anything?? i never got that concept but i start seeing more on more fashion going for toned chiseled physiques which makes me happier cause thats how it really should be when selling mens fashion, if they want to sell teenage or kids clothings then sure hire the skinny unfed dudes no problem then.

13- What advice do you have for other aspiring models?
My advice is always be YOURSELF, never let anyone tell you what you can and cant do!! thats for yourself to know and for them to either accept or not… no body is on top from day one and if you give up then you just give these people who doubted all the reason to believe they were right so never GIVE UP. if you want it bad enough you will work hard enough to get there, take guidance from someone you can trust… if you need to loose a few pounds to get in the shape needed to be at your perfect height to weight ratio.. DO it.. you will only look better in any case you have nothing to loose even if you dont get the job you tried for. always try see the good in everything even if its hard.

14- Who are some of your favorite fashion photographers?
My favorite fashion photographer would be Mario testino, Steven meisel and steven Klein

15- What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me is everything hip, stylish and modern.

16- What distinguishes a good model from a bad one?
I don’t really believe there is a bad model, unless they are really out of shape any model can be a good one if they practise and keep trying to find the right state of mind when infront of the lens, some people are ofcourse more gifted naturally at projecting their emotions better through their gaze than others but i think it is something that you pick up with time by doing it, just the way it is with everything else.

17-How has modeling changed other aspects of your life?
Modeling changed a couple of aspects of my life such as EATING, i now really try to watch i eat since i could be called out to shoot at any time and im one of those guys who wants to be rocking a ripped six pack every day of the year especially if im gonna be on a picture but i dont take it as a negative thing because i like the idea of it pushing me to train hard and eat healthy all year round its very good to be in top shape makes you feel better about your self. Modeling also keeps me really busy so i havent been able to maintain a steady relationship for a year now which can be a little lonely at times but then again i came out of a three year relationship with a girl about a year ago so i dont really think im ready to begin another just yet so its all good. modeling is great also cause it gives you the chance to travel a lot to see different places which is always great fun.

18- what’s inspire you in life as a person?
Achieving my goals and dreams is what inspires me in life to keep moving on and always doing more than i did yesterday so i can be the best at what i do. I dont compare my self with others and what they are doing because i find no inspiration in such thoughts so i just stick to my own ambitions and work my way up staying focused on what i do have to do not what anyone else is doing, i wish success to anyone who works hard for what they want.

19- what’s the dream project you fantasize to do?
My dream project is to star in a movie along side Johnny Depp because hes my favorite actor and because i would love to meet him in real life, i feel like he is someone you could learn so much from. Another dream i have is to be the face of a big united nations campaign against poverty or hunger.

20- thru out your modeling carrier so far what is the best memory you have?
through out my modeling career i have a lot of amazing memories, but i think my favorite one was while doing an editorial for a magazine was with a female model in a touristic spot in brussels belgium, and in the shot we had to hold hands and walk out a huge building that resembled a wedding chappel, as we walked out holding hands to take the shot there was a huge double decker bus full of tourists packed full and the bus stopped right infront of the chappel, then the tourists thought we had just gotten married due to the photographer and team standing their taking pictures of us so all the tourists got up and started cheering, clapping, taking pictures and chanting ” KISS HER, KISS HER, KISS HER, KISS HER” 🙂 was a memorable moment 🙂 now i know what it will feel like on my wedding day

21-where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years i have no idea where i will be or what i will be doing, all i know is that right now im doing what i love and for me thats good enough 🙂 but i have a huge feeling that in ten years ill have a nice wife with a baby or two 🙂 at least i can hope so 🙂

22- Do you want to share anything with the viewers that nobody knows?
Every time i overeat, especially at my mothers house… after the meal i lift up shirt to check if my abs are still there haha :s and I like to take long walks by myself to clear my mind.

Waleed is keeping to work like crazy on new movies and fashion projects, we will keep following his new projects and bring you updates on all the news. and we will wait until he will come to New York and we will start doing some new projects and put it here.. so stay tuned!

Agency represented:
Posche Models
Maxed Management

Personal Photos:

Make sure to follow Waleed here:
http://www.facebook.com/waleedsokkaroffi…
http://dreamsunderthesun.tumblr.com/
http://twitter.com/#!/WillySokkar
http://www.maxedmanagement.com/talents/m…
http://poschemodels.modasphere.com/websi…
http://www.modelmayhem.com/1744310