Elisa Sednaoui

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Elisa Sednaoui
Elisa Sednaoui Deauville 2011.jpg
Born (1987-12-14) December 14, 1987 (age 31)
OccupationModel, actress, film director, philanthropist
Modeling information

Elisa Sednaoui (born December 14, 1987) is a model, actress, philanthropist and film director of Italian, Egyptian, and French descent.[5] She has appeared in such films as Eastern Drift,[6] La Baie du renard, Bus Palladium,[7]Les Gamins, and Remember Now,[8] as well as in fashion campaigns for Chanel Eyewear, Giorgio Armani, Missoni and Roberto Cavalli.[5] In 2013, she created the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation, dedicated to promoting creative learning, after-school initiatives for youngsters.[9]

Family and early life[edit]

Elisa Sednaoui was born in Bra, Piedmont, Italy and raised between three countries, Egypt, Italy, and France. She spent much of her early life in Luxor. Her mother is of Italian heritage, while her father has Syrian-Egyptian and French roots. The Sednaoui family, a Melkite Greek Catholic family of Syrian descent, finds its roots in the city of Sednaya, from where their surname originates. The Sednaoui family migrated to Egypt at the end of the 19th century and developed successful department stores in Cairo. These stores were once the Middle Eastern counterpart of the famous department stores known in London, Paris and New York.[citation needed]


Sednaoui’s first feature film, Šarūnas BartasEastern Drift was released in Paris in December 2010.[10] She played the lead female role of "Gabriella", alongside Bartas. The film was shown at La Berlinale 2010 – section “The International Forum of New Cinema.”[11][12] In La Baie du Renard, a short film selected to close Critics Week (Semaine de la Critique) at Cannes Film Festival 2009, Sednaoui starred alongside Pierre Torreton [13]

She was recently[when?] seen on French screens in Christopher Thompson's first feature film Bus Palladium, co-starring with Marc André Grondin and Arthur Dupont. Sednaoui also starred opposite French actor Pascal Greggory in Karl Lagerfeld’s short film Remember Now, the introduction to the 2010 Chanel Cruise Collection.

Sednaoui has also appeared in Love Lasts Three Years, released by Europa in January 2012, [14] and The Legend of Kaspar Hauser, a surrealistic adaptation of the 19th century Teutonic foundling story transposed to Sardinia.[15]

Directorial work[edit]

Sednaoui co-directed with Martina Gili the documentary Kullu Tamam (Everything is Good).[16] The film showcases Egyptians not covered by mainstream media by telling the stories of characters who, despite their differences of age and belief, share the sudden discovery of what is usually referred to as “freedom of expression”. The film depicts the countryside of Luxor.[17]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Bus Palladium Laura Directed by Christopher Thompson
2010 Eastern Drift Gabriella Original title: Indigène d'Eurasie. Directed by Šarūnas Bartas
2012 L'amour dure trois ans Anne By Frédéric Beigbeder
2012 La leggenda di Kaspar Hauser The Lost Girl By Davide Manuli. Featuring Vincent Gallo
2013 Les gamins Irène By Anthony Marciano. Featuring Max Boublil, Alain Chabat
2014 Soap Opera Francesca


In 2013, Sednaoui created the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation,[18] a nonprofit organization that promotes creative learning after-school programs for youngsters. The foundation's pilot program, a music workshop for youngsters in Luxor, Egypt, took place in April, 2014. During a full school-week, local youngsters attended the workshop (organized with the support of Makan—the Egyptian Center For Culture and Arts—and fellow NPO MIMA Music), which consisted in creative, game-like activities that helped them write and record a full song.


In addition to film, Sednaoui has appeared in campaigns for Chanel Eyewear, Giorgio Armani and a Roberto Cavalli fragrance campaign in February 2012, shot by Steven Klein for print and Johan Renck for television.[5] In December 2015 she collaborated with Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino on his campaign for Missoni Fragrance.[19] Before his death during February 2019, Sednaoui served as a muse to Karl Lagerfeld. [20][21]

Sednaoui has been featured on the cover of magazines such as Glamour Italia, Vogue US, Italian Vogue, Vanity Fair, L’Officiel, Flair, Marie Claire and Elle, among others.[22][23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Laila Bonazzi (19 July 2018) Il potere della fantasia secondo la modella e mamma Elisa Sednaoui, Marie Claire, Retrieved 2019-06-25
  2. ^ http://www.imgmodels.com/elisasednaoui/los-angeles/women
  3. ^ http://www.imgmodels.com/elisasednaoui/sydney/women
  4. ^ https://models.com/models/elisa-sednaoui
  5. ^ a b c "Elisa Sednaoui: The Interview". Harper’s Bazaar. 2011-02-17. Archived from the original on 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  6. ^ "Eastern Drift". Variety.com. 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  7. ^ "Fabric Mag". FabricMag.com. 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  8. ^ "Elisa Sednaoui Is Sunday's Top Model". NYMag.com. 2010-09-13. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  9. ^ "The Elisa Sednaoui Foundation". Retrieved 2014-06-20.
  10. ^ "Sharunas Bartas". Flixster.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  11. ^ "Eastern Drift: Globalization according to Bartas". Cineuropa.com. 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  12. ^ "FILM FILE". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
  13. ^ "Closing Night: La Baie Du Renard". SemaineDeLaCritique.com. 2009. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  14. ^ "Love Lasts Three years". Variety.com. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  15. ^ "La Leggenda di Kaspar Hauser". IMDB.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  16. ^ "Elisa Sednaoui takes on Hollywood with new film gig". racked.com. 2012-02-28.
  17. ^ "Actress Elisa Sednaoui: "Classics Like Biggie Never Tire Me"". GlobalGrind.com. 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  18. ^ "Grand Plans: Inside Elisa Sednaoui's Foundation". Vogue.com. 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
  19. ^ http://www.vogue.it/beauty/notizie-bellezza/2015/11/missoni-look-paolo-sorrentino-spot-profumi-da-donna-regali-natale-elisa-sednaoui
  20. ^ "15 faces to watch for 2011". Vogue UK. 2010. Retrieved 2014-06-21.
  21. ^ Amy De Klerk (February 19, 2019). "Karl Lagerfeld has died in Paris". Harpers Bazaar. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  22. ^ "Cavalli's New Woman". Vogue UK. 2011-10-25. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
  23. ^ "Elisa Sednaoui". Vogue.IT. 2010-04-10. Archived from the original on 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2012-03-20.


External links[edit]