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Digital Cover featuring Leila Ben Khalifa


Arabian Moda x Leila Ben Khalifa
Leila wears Zuhair Murad and a Jovadi necklace and ring.

This December Arabian Moda celebrates new beginnings with Leila Ben Khalifa. 

Exceptional and expecting best describes Leila’s current state of mind. The mother-to-be breaks her social media pause, looks back at an international career from Milan and Paris, to the Middle East and soon Hollywood, as she exclusively announces pregnancy and reveals her love story for the very first time.

Fashion Editor & Stylist: Victor Concepto
Photographer: Rajah Kraiem
Filmmaker: Habib Dargham
Makeup Artist: Assia
Location: Paris, France

AM: Leila, you’ve had a versatile career, let’s trace back the debut of it in Italy…
I was born in Tunis and moved with my family to Italy at the age of five. I started a modeling career there while studying interior design at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. After graduation, I lived in Milan and got scouted by TV producers for television appearances on Italian channels. My first national job was as a co-host for a daily talk show on Mediaset’s channels.

AM: And what came next for you in the Middle East?
I got my first acting role which was playing a character opposite my real-life personality in the Arabic film Maskoun, which was followed by a leading role in the pan-Arab series Maktoub. In 2015, I participated in Dancing with the Stars Arabia as a finalist. My most recent work in the region was hosting four seasons of Fashion Star Arabia on Dubai TV and Dubai One.

Arabian Moda x Leila Ben Khalifa
Dress, Zuhair Murad. Ring, Jovadi.

AM: France was also a milestone in your professional life, describe your experience at the leading French channel TF1?
I remain grateful for the opportunity that TF1 gave me. With the famous host Christophe Beaugrand I co-hosted popular shows like The After Secret and Le Debrief Quotidian. A sister company of TF1 offered me a role on Les Mystères De L’Amour series. I’ve met so many great talents and human beings during my time on the channel. Some of them became good friends and family, but the most precious thing is the love I gained from the public. They supported me and loved me in my good and bad times.

AM: And if you had to choose between acting and television hosting, where do you find yourself the most?
I honestly love both. But besides having the talent for it, I feel like acting requires more dedication and hard work to achieve a high status. What I find very fascinating in acting is that you employ your creativity to be transported to another world. It allows me to be whoever I want and whenever I want. It’s like a super power that enables me to explore a different life in a new character I personify. I’ve been studying so many personalities with my coach Carl at the Susan Batson Studio. I’m really grateful for his support.

AM: Motherhood is around the corner, what kind of mother you will be?
Nobody teaches us to be a good parent, it’s something that we are going to experience when we have the blessing of having a child. So, what I can say right now is that I will cherish this gift and will do my best to be a compassionate, endearing, kind, protective, strong, intuitive and caring mother.

Arabian Moda x Leila Ben Khalifa
Dress, Zuhair Murad. Earrings, bracelet and ring, Jovadi 

AM: Your child will belong to different cultures and countries, what are some values you want to instill?
We would love our child to speak several languages, be curious about the world and other cultures, be tolerant, loving and respectful to all types of people, and to be someone that wants to have a positive impact on the world.

AM: Those who follow your stories will notice the love story you share with your partner. Tell us how did you meet and where it all started?
I met Alex years ago through common friends. As he is a New Yorker living in Miami, and I am a Tunisian living between Milan and Paris, we never really had the chance to connect. After four years we bumped into each other on a summer holiday and he finally said more than a hello. As soon as we started talking, we felt a strong connection. We conversed about so many things and realized that it was like we were talking to the male and female versions of ourselves. At one point we were even completing each other’s sentences. We were very intrigued by one another and we’ve been together everywhere since then. I found the love of my life, my best friend, partner in crime, my twin and flame, all in one person. Both of us are very passionate people and together we discovered how powerful our shared passion is. We trust each other in both of our separate worlds, and we elevate each other with constant open communication. I’m very lucky that the universe has sent me the person that I see having a family and spending the rest of my life with. We couldn’t be any happier and more blessed now with our baby on the way.

Arabian Moda x Leila Ben Khalifa
Dress, Zuhair Murad. Earrings and ring, Jovadi.

AM: You currently live between many cities and mainly in Miami, how do you balance having different homes?
I’ve always been a citizen of the world. Having different homes has been part of my reality and I feel lucky about it. Wherever I am, I make sure to have a productive day to maintain my routine and good life habits.

AM: And speaking of that, living between warm and cold climates, how is your fashion style like?
Having two houses, I keep my winter clothes in one and summer clothes in the other. I usually travel light because of that. My style depends of the occasion; My daytime look has to be a comfortable with a sport-chic vibe. I go for more feminine and glamorous at night. I really like to play and experiment with different styles.

Arabian Moda x Leila Ben Khalifa
Leila and Alex at the Cannes Film Festival.

AM: Talk us through a day in the life of Leila
I sleep 8-hours a night and keep myself hydrated. I start my day with a cup of hot water, ginger and lemon. I eat a lot of fruits and balanced meals. I allow myself to have a cheat day because it’s good for the soul. I work out 3 to 4 times a week, I practice Pilates, Thai boxing and cardio. I like to have a simple beauty routine and do facials every month. And last but not least, I try to be happy even when things are not always ok. I see the glass half full.

AM: Besides the baby shower and maternity break, what’s next for you?
My pregnancy has been such a blessing for me to the point that the things I was manifesting in the United States have begun to materialize. I will be shooting my first US movie in January. It’s an incredible story inspired by true events and is produced by a real talent, Danny Abeckaser. We have an incredible cast that includes Domenick Lombardozzi, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Joseph Russo to name a few. I can’t wait for this experience to begin.

AM: A message to your followers?
I would like to take a second to say that I love them and will always be appreciative for their support and apologize if I disappear from social media. I need to find myself and my happiness every now and then, to come back stronger with good news that make them proud.