Growing up in Tel Aviv, Israel, and moving to New York City at the age of 16, Adi has evolved past her self-described “geeky” roots and into supermodel territory. Her success story happened almost instantly. Signed by Next Model Management at a competition she entered with friends when she was 16, Adi moved to the city where she finished high school while walking the runway for major labels like Fendi and Prada. She was supposed to return to Israel at 18 to join the army, but won a Calvin Klein ad campaign instead. Since then, she has worked all over the world – Iceland, Morocco, Vietnam and the Maldives to name a few. Adi’s transformation has been nothing if not remarkable. “I was a kibbutz geek girl,” she told Uinterview exclusively. “I co-founded the Israeli Star Trek fan club with three others.”
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In 1997, I entered a competition with a couple of girlfriends in Israel. Two of us got into the competition. One of the judges in the competition was with Next Model Management. When I was 16, they moved me to New York and put me in a high school in New York City. I was supposed to go back to the Israeli army at 18, but that never happened. I did a Calvin Klein fragrance ad that year instead.
I did one shoot in Iceland which was one of the most intense shoots I ever did. We saw polar bears, and we all freaked out. Nobody believed that they were real pictures afterward. Once I shot a cover for Spanish Elle in the Maldives and while I was standing in the water I saw a baby white shark. I was like, “Oh look at the fish!” And then it looked up at me with all its teeth, and I ran out of the water screaming. Last summer, I shot an ad for L’Oreal Bio, their new organic soap. And we shot it in Morocco, and they hoisted me above an orchard. They put me on a dolly 45 feet above an orchard sitting in a harness. The campaign is running in France until this October.
Probably an even spread. I’ve worked a lot in the U.S. since I’ve been based in New York for the last 10 years. But being Israeli and speaking Arabic, I’ve gotten a lot of jobs in random countries. I’ve been to Morocco five times. Vietnam was really, really cool. I got to fly in a helicopter to for five hours to get to the place we were shooting. It was a campaign for Levi’s five years ago. It was like being in the war in the ’60s. I thought I was going to have Agent Orange sprayed on me every minute.
I’m in Turkey now for vacation. I’m running a 100 miles an hour from all the Turkish coffee. I’m in Istanbul and then I’m going to Ibiza tomorrow. In Ibiza, I’m just going dancing and partying with my friends. They are really cool. We went heli-skiing in Canada last year. It’s a very fun group that I was lucky to join a couple years ago.
To be honest, when the recession started, the first 3 or 4 months, everyone was in shock about the financial situation and nobody was booking any jobs. I had all this time on my hands, so I went to DJ school. I’ve always loved going out to clubs and always complained when the DJ doesn’t play the song that you want. So I was like, ‘Fuck it! I’ll be the DJ.’ And I’ve dated my share of DJs as a model. I’ve only been working as a DJ for the last two months at the SoHo Grand [hotel in New York City.]
My musical producer got me it, and it was for a trial period. It was very chi-chi there, and everyone was sitting down, and halfway through my set everyone was dancing. When I finished, a third of the people left, so they offered me a repeat gig on the spot. I wear really crazy outfits when I DJ because I love latex. All these clothes you can’t really wear in real life. I’m doing it once every two or three weeks. Then they’ve asked me to do a party at Rose Bar [at Manhattan’s Grammercy Hotel], which they offered me. It’s going to be a midweek kind of drinking party. I love DJ-ing in the daytime—with waterguns in the day time to get everyone wet!
For the last three years, I’ve had a baby clothing line with my brother, Eggbaby, which is what I was doing when I wasn’t modeling. It was so serious and the line is amazing. It’s in Barneys, Saks and Neimans, so we are very excited about it. But DJ-ing is so much more my type of real job. You can see them at Egg-baby.com.
I was living on a kibbutz, which is a socialist commune that we have in Israel, where everybody works and everything is free. When I was 14, my mother remarried and we moved out of the kibbutz to Tel Aviv suburbia. And I was like, ‘Oh, this isn’t working for me!’ If I’m moving out of socialism into capitalism, I’ve got to go all the way to New York. It was such a cold winter and I was living in the south Israel where if it went down to 50 degrees, they would shut down the school. I came to New York for a week and froze my ass off and ran back to Israel. My family said, ‘You can do this!’ and so I came back to New York City to go for it. I was a kibbutz geek girl – I co-founded the Israeli Star Trek fan club with three others. I didn’t own a pair shoes until I was nine. So New York was a big change for me.
I loved it! I saw it three times!