Fledgling models would knock the doors of and send out headshots to top modeling agencies to be discovered. Sometimes they caught the eyes of a scout, but signing with the top firms usually took tremendous time, effort, and overcoming many obstacles. Today, there is a crop of aspiring models competing for followers and the attention of scouts.
Due to this traffic, building a loyal fan base is a tough feat. So is capturing the eye of the top people in the business when so many others are trying to do the same. When a social media brand attracts the right attention, there is something very special about that rising star. You might call them an ‘It’ guy or ‘It’ girl. This is how 19-year-old Kenza Boutrif signed with one of the most famous agencies in the business: Wilhelmina, to enter the world of modeling.
Boutrif is half Algerian and half Congolese. She grew up in Belgium and moved to London when she was 6. Boutrif began her Instagram account when she was just 13, filling it with posts of makeup, outfits, and lifestyle content.
Modeling professionally for two years now, Boutrif overcame several personal challenges when she moved from Belgium to London. She didn’t only French and had to learn English while in a new city. At first, she felt like an outsider, especially in school. Yet Boutrif eased into her new home, and with this, her confidence increased.
As a matter of fact, London embraced Boutrif as tightly as she embraced it. By starting her Instagram feed barely in her teens, she gave young girls in the U.K. an influencer who was real and someone they could relate to. Boutrif became very popular very quickly as she inspired her peers to be their best possible selves. Not to mention it was a young woman of color posting this content, thus reflecting United Kingdom’s inclusiveness. Not only does Boutrif insist on being true to herself, but also to her followers.
As she began modeling, Boutrif maintained long-term goals as they helped track where she is headed and kept her focused. She also credits consistency to her success. Boutrif calls her greatest achievement to date being the new face of British online shopping juggernaut ASOS, and the photoshoot has been her favorite assignment so far.
Looking at projects other than modeling, Boutrif calls Rihanna her greatest inspiration, as this powerhouse is a musician, actor, and entrepreneur with her enormously successful Fenty brand. Boutrif is currently working on some projects she cannot officially disclose, and one of them will be launching soon. Her days begin around 8 or 9 in the morning with a Starbucks in hand; she does not go a single day without this essential. She gets ready to head out on any assignments and then returns home to work on personal items.
Despite taking the fashion world by storm, Boutrif is a bit of a homebody. She is most comfortable at home relaxing and watching movies with her cat. The perfect London day for Boutrif is heading to the north end where she grew up to spend time with friends and family. If not in the northern part of the city, she is in London’s famous West End, a place where there is always something to do and good food to enjoy. When she isn’t in London, you will likely find her soaking up the sun in Greece enjoying a beach vacation.
Calling herself spontaneous and ambitious, Boutrif hopes to own multiple businesses and properties in the next five years. Like Rihanna, she too has entrepreneurial goals. While she is signed to a modeling agency, Boutrif independently manages her content and other non-modeling projects. While negotiating deals and keeping track of things can be challenging, Boutrif is up for the task. Not to mention this lets her sharpen her business skills.
Though stunningly beautiful, there is more to Boutrif than her stunning looks. She has a unique style and can create a multitude of memorable looks. With an uncanny ability to connect with her 700,000 plus followers, she stands out in the large field of aspiring models. These characteristics have caught the attention of major brands that hope to work with Boutrif and find out if she can lend them her magic touch.
By personally managing her fashion and influencer projects, Boutrif has proven herself to be a savvy and focused businesswoman. Her Instagram page is targeted and well-curated to represent her brand with pinpoint accuracy. Like her idol Rihanna, Boutrif seems to have a natural talent for creating a brand that reflects the woman behind it. Both of these ladies have another thing in common: they are not afraid to show the world just how ambitious they are.
Boutrif partially attributes her success to professionalism. For a 19-year-old to have such a strong work ethic is highly admirable, and to see this in someone so young in such a high-profile business is mostly unheard of. Combined with a level head and using the pandemic to nurture creative ideas instead of falling into a funk, Boutrif is a force of nature.
And this force of nature has some excellent advice for aspiring models, influencers, and entrepreneurs. Boutrif emphasizes the importance of long-term goals and never losing your focus while working to achieve these goals. If you want to stand out on social media, consistency and tenacity are absolute musts. While she is an exceptional role model for her fans, you don’t have to be one of Boutrif’s followers to appreciate her wise words.
At heart, Boutrif is a North London girl who is deeply grateful for the opportunities she has been presented with. Humble rather than boastful, she looks forward to her upcoming ventures and continuing to be a good influence on social media. No longer an outsider, Kenza Boutrif is on top of the world, and her career shows no signs of going in any other direction than straight up.