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Sarah Lysander on how she turned selfies into Instagram success

Sarah Lysander is Hello! Fashion’s March cover star…

When the pandemic first hit and the modelling industry literally drew to a halt, British model Sarah Lysander became industrious. “I thought, since I’m here, why not use my skills and creativity. Studios weren’t open, so brands needed people to shoot e-commerce from their homes.”

She began by taking selfies and mirror pictures of the cosy outfits she was wearing and filming herself doing makeup routines, “because I had all of the time in the world,” she says, of her compelling Insta reels. The more she posted, the more brands contacted her, “It really started growing from there.” One of her most recent brand partnerships is with fashion house Dior, whom she started to collaborate with last year.

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Behind the scenes on Sarah Lysander's HELLO! Fashion cover shoot

Approaching her new role professionally, she explains how she puts a lot of consideration into what she posts. “I’d say I work in quite a different way to a lot of influencers, which makes my page a bit more individual. I try to mix an editorial style with day-to-day content. So I really take it one step further, rather than just whipping out my phone and standing in front of a brick wall.”


Sarah wears Dior on her Hello! Fashion shoot

During lockdown she also became engaged to long-term boyfriend Bashir Arab-Sanchez, which she announced to her 190k Instagram followers in April 2020. And her best friend, singer Dua Lipa, followed by sharing her delight on her own official handle: ‘My best friend is getting married’, she posted. ‘My heart is going to explode from all the happiness, love and excitement this gives me.’

Bashir is a model-turned-booker and now represents Sarah at social media agency, V Management. “At first it was difficult trying to find the medium ground of how to talk to each other at work. But we figured it out and it’s been the best thing. He’s honestly the most supportive person that I’ve ever known.”

Sarah shares her friendship with Dua Lipa on Instagram

Global trips while modelling inspired Sarah to launch her own swimwear brand, Lysander Swim, in 2019 which specialises in ‘cheeky’ cuts. She tells us that, whilst balancing content creation, modelling and running a brand is difficult, she loves it. “I run the brand with my fiancé, we’re literally doing seven full-time jobs between the two of us. We do every part of it, so it’s really tough, but we’re getting through it, because it’s definitely proven there is a gap in the market for this in the UK.”

Read the full interview in the new March issue of HELLO! Fashion out now….

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