Freckle Power: Julia Dalia Joins The Dots Between Exclusion And Diversity
Berlin-based model and blogger Julia Dalia is using her presence and online voice to promote diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry. Growing up with West African and Czech roots in Germany, Dalia shares she always felt different from those around her in highschool, but ultimately, this distinctness made her stronger. Today, with her stunning freckled face, natural hair and influential views, Dalia has amassed over 24.6k followers on Instagram, is signed to a Berlin modeling agency and writes a popular online blog. We chatted with Dalia to learn more about her work, views on diversity and positive approach to life.
On Insta you are calling yourself “Daughter of the King”. What’s that all about?
Thats easy. I am the Daughter of God, and He is King.
How did you start modeling?
One day, a photographer approached me through a friend, and he wanted to photograph me for his book, an art project. He then recommended me to an agency in my hometown. That is how it all started about ten years ago.
How did you start blogging?
I was inspired by my diverse environment and needed an outlet.
What are differences and similarities between the world of modeling and blogging? Which one do you prefer?
The already arisen trend points into a direction where influencers model for brands. I think in the future you won't have to strictly separate the two. If the overall image of an influencer connects with the brand's philosophy, that makes a great and authentic match— especially for a target group that trusts the influencer. It's a point where influencers can be role models and work with brands that stand behind them and likewise. As a blogger, you have freedom and power to go into the depths with a brand and connect their image with your vision. That's beautiful.
Why did you move to Berlin?
I love my hometown, but I left Düsseldorf after I finished my school. Compared to Berlin, it seems somehow limited. In Berlin, there are so many creatives and many more options.
Berlin’s energy is crazy. How do you profit from it?
People are exceptional. Energy is always from people. It is the "working creatively and growing together“ kind of vibe I love in Berlin. I'm blessed to be part of it.
Your dad is from Ghana and your mom from Germany. How did both of these cultures affect your personal style?
My dad is Ghana/Togo and my mom German/Czech. Visualizing and promoting diversity in the media landscape is at the heart of my interest. Also, I'm open to cultures, new experiences and new foooood.
What is a must have for 2017?
A brave heart. Ask yourself what you really want from life and who you really are. Be that.
Did you ever feel different growing up?
Yes, how could I not with a face full of freckles and that curly afro hair? The boys in my highschool made me feel that I was different. It took me some time to count it as a blessing that I look a little different from others.
Did you feel excluded from some things? If yes, how did you manage to transform a negative feeling like that into a positive one?
There is a saying: If you don't belong, don't be long. Whenever people didn't appreciate who I was, (I learned sooner or later) it was not for me. That's always a lesson. I moved on and kept growing somewhere else.
What are your goals for 2017?
Keeping my positive attitude towards life and focusing on topics such as cohesion among women, sustainability in fashion, self-acceptance and encouraging young girls to feel good in their skin and with their natural hair.
Who do you look up to and why?
My biggest idol is Jesus. The way he perceived people, walked, talked and always placed value on everyone.
What motivates you?
Career wise, I can feel the paradigm shift I mentioned earlier. Also, there is a lively discourse about topics regarding women. It's inspiring that brands are interested in my stance, attitude and thoughts on women. And what makes me jump out of bed in the morning is knowing I have a purpose— that gives me energy and makes me brave.
How can we book/reach/stalk you?
I'm working with the best agency for almost 6 years now: Deebeephunky. If you have questions, inquiries or just want to say hi you can drop me a message on Instagram @julia.dalia.