Model Halla had been told to pursue modelling for years before she finally signed with Chadwick Models in 2020. “At the time, it just wasn’t something that I considered a priority,” she says. “According to my family, it wasn’t a job that I should focus on, but rather that I should become a doctor or the like.”
When an acquaintance reached out to Halla on Instagram to model for a brand during the pandemic, she agreed, wanting to throw her support behind small businesses at the time. “After the shoot, she insisted I pursue modelling,” she says. “She mentioned she knew of some agencies that she’d like to recommend me to. I didn’t completely believe her, because I didn’t think any agency would ever consider me… A week or two later, I received an email from Chadwick.”
Celine t-shirt & jeans, Shadee sunglasses
Despite these initial self-doubts, and the so-far short span of her career, Halla has proven to be a pro in front of the lens. Her exceptional beauty is matched by an upbeat yet humble attitude, something that she’s cultivated since a young age.
“From the ages of two until 13, I grew up without a mom. My parents were divorced and my father was a policeman who didn’t know how to express emotions… I had the time to reflect on my future and what I wanted it to be, and I wanted to have a positive outlook, different from my parents,” she explains. “Their outlook was not their fault, it was a result of their upbringing, but I realised that I could change my future and outlook by being vulnerable when I needed to be. And by having goals in life and expressing my emotions.”
The most rewarding part of her work so far is “everything” (see, there’s that eternal positivity), in particular meeting and working with lots of inspiring and talented people, and being looked after by agents that “work hard to get [her] busy and booked.” Not without its challenges, she looks forward to a future where makeup artists have her shade of foundation on-hand at shoots, and when there’s more than one go-to hair style during shoots and runway shows.
Halla will always consider Sudan as her first home, although she’s currently residing in Melbourne. If you were in town visiting, she’d take you to The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). A self-titled morning person, if she could only eat one meal for the rest of her life it’d be chickpea salad, and the coolest thing she’s learned recently is that she can paint.
Keep reading for more with Halla, and be sure to have a paper and pen ready, because there’s a lot of noteworthy wisdom throughout.
Emporio Armani dress
Do you consider yourself a spiritual person?
I do. I believe that we exist because God created us and the universe we live in.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I'm my worst enemy when it comes to criticism. So the best advice I’ve got is to always talk to myself with love.
What is your idea of happiness?
To live life with no regrets and not take what people say about you personally. No one in this world knows your story or what you've been through to become the person that you are today. By thinking this way, you'll always be happy.
What would happen if you had to give up social media for a week?
I would spend more time with the people I love and I would do more of the things that bring me joy. Like volleyball, hiking or even just reading one of my books at the beach. Or, giving someone a helping hand if they needed me.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I pray to show that I'm grateful that I made it to another day.
How can we make the most of our time on Earth?
Continue to love and spread love, but most importantly be kind to everyone.
Weekend Max Mara jumper, Baaby bikini bottoms, Shadee sunglasses
Can you recall reading, watching or listening to something that completely changed your mind on something?
I love psychology, and I studied that at school, but recently I've been watching a series on Netflix called Human the World Within. I find it fascinating how we operate as human beings. I also love to watch Planet Earth because I love to learn about our planet and the animals on it. Most of it has changed my mind completely on all of the assumptions that I had made in the past about the world we live in.
If you could say something to your 16-year-old self, what would it be?
I would say enjoy every single day as it comes and don't worry about tomorrow, because each day has its own challenges. Don’t be too hard on yourself but rather be proud of who you are.
What books are you reading at the moment?
Currently I'm reading the Aborginal Health and History.
‘Quite Miss Home’ by James Arthur.
The Princess Diaries.
Are there any social or cultural shifts you hope will happen in the next ten years?
I hope for a wider acknowledgement of the fact that the world is full of different cultures and religions, and acceptance and respect for everyone’s choices. The one thing that I care about and want to see happen most in the next ten years, though, is world peace.
Why do you think friendships are so important?
I think friendships help us not to feel isolated and they give us the chance to offer help and companionship when it's needed. Most importantly, friends help us to feel like we belong and have a sense of purpose in life, which boosts happiness.
What values do you look for in friends?
Honesty and trust.
What are you most looking forward to this year in 2022?
Recently, I've been getting a lot of messages from younger girls saying that they look up to me for embracing my skin and staying true to who I am. So this year I just want to continue to impart that self-love and continue to learn as I grow in the modelling industry. I hope to remain humble and continue to set that great example for younger women who look up to me.
Features Editor: Madeleine Woon Photos: Amelia Dowd Fashion: Cecile Huynh Beauty: Natalie Ridler Beauty Assistant: Rosetta Thomas Photo Assistant: Tom Huntsmith Fashion Assistant: Paul Summers
Halla is represented by Chadwick
We acknowledge the Boon Wurrung / Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of land on which this shoot took place.