Living a jet-set lifestyle and chasing the sun around the globe sounds like a dream, but this is reality for Manon Isabella. We asked Manon Isabella to allow us into her world for a brief glimpse…
By LLI and Manon Isabella
Photography by Otto van den Toorn for Miccy’s Jewelz, and Jose Miguel Mangas
You live in Dubai but also travel often, and live a life that many only dream of. How did your lifestyle all come about?
Well, it all just happened, to be honest. Sometimes in life, things just fall in to place, and I haven’t looked back since. I had the chance to see a lot of the world thanks to previous jobs and I feel incredibly lucky that I have been in so many amazing cities and been able to explore a lot of other cultures.
How is life in Dubai? Do you find it restrictive in any way, especially as a woman?
Life in Dubai is absolutely lovely. You can describe Dubai as “New York of the Middle East.” It’s a cosmopolitan city where all cultures and religions live together, which gives a great vibe. Everybody treats each other with respect and accepts each other, regardless of their religion. The city itself is pretty lively, and there are a lot of things to do every night of the week. The thing about Dubai that I love the most is that Dubai is super safe!
You run a luxury lifestyle and travel blog; how have you found the world of blogging and what are the highs and lows?
I think when you start a blog, it has to be a passion, as you will spend so many hours in researching, creating content, connecting with brands, etc. I am very active on Instagram lately, as I find Instagram more effective than my blog. I had a lot of feedback from my followers that they preferred me posting on Instagram instead of a blog post for the simple reason that a lot of people do not really have the time to read your blog every single day. I do continue with my blog though, especially for my travel articles, as it is the perfect way to introduce my followers to new hotels and new places, and I had such good feedback about those articles.
What does a luxury lifestyle mean to you?
I am not going to lie—I do love luxury items. I can be extremely happy with a designer bag or with a new fragrance. On the other side, I think that a luxury lifestyle also means that you are comfortable—comfortable in your skin and with yourself and your surroundings.
Is there such a thing as too much luxury?
Not for me! Haha! Although, people who flash their money at all times and want people to see it makes me cringe.
Are there any countries you have not visited yet and would love to?
I have been in every single continent, but at the top of my wishlist is LA and Miami. I have never been to either place, but I hear so many good stories about those destinations that I can’t wait to go and explore. They are on the agenda for 2018!
You have a superb portfolio as a model. What are your views on the modelling industry and on magazines in general and how they portray women?
The model industry is a tough world. I do agree on the new French law that requires models to present a doctor’s certificate proving they are healthy to work according to a range of criteria, including BMI. Fashion brands face fines of up to €75,000 or imprisonment of up to six months if they breach this law.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time and what are your goals as a luxury lifestyle blogger and influencer?
Five years is a long time. I am also working on other projects, but for now, I love what I do and I think that is the most important thing. My work does not feel like work at all, so I can easily “work” 14 hours per day. I will continue exploring new brands and places as my aim is to inspire my followers.
You have a large social media following, especially on Instagram. How did you build so many followers and how do you see the whole social media phenomenon?
Social media is so important these days; almost no business can be without social media.I’m focusing a lot on my Instagram, which is a full-time job, and it takes a lot more than just creating a pretty picture. For me, it started as a hobby, as I started to share my pictures and experiences from my travels, from cities and places where I went or from the hotels that I stayed in. A lot of people started following me as they were interested to see new places too. After that, I started focusing on my Instagram, so I interact a lot with my followers, and I am very active myself to explore new accounts, as there are so many lovely accounts out there!
What are your top 5 emerging luxury brands for 2018?
I am in love with the Versace SS’18 collection! Gucci is one of my all- time favourites. Louboutin for shoes always amaze me. A Louis Vuitton carry-on is high on my wishlist, and for bags, Chloe is always right.