TV presenter, model, fashion and art lover – Rabea Schif is a true media all-rounder. Best known for presenting Prominent! on VOX, she has also been seen in several commercials, internet formats and music videos and has worked for numerous fashion magazines. At her young age, she can already look back on an exciting life. Thus, Discover Germany speaks to Rabea to find out more.
Rabea was born in Frankfurt and grew up in Niederrad, as the youngest of three siblings. Being the granddaughter of a soldier from Louisiana, she is coined by her American roots. At an early stage in her life it already became clear that Rabea was made for the spotlight. As a teen she played in Frankfurt’s theatre ‘Die Komödie’ and landed a role in ZDF’s Inseln unter dem Wind. The rest of her résumé reads like a dream to many.
After visiting the English-speaking Frankfurt International School, Rabea decided to study art and design in London. Shortly after, she started a career in the fashion industry. Jobs at ‘Smile Management’ and ‘Project Felix’ followed. For three years, she travelled the world for Exit magazine and visited clients, such as Kenzo or Céline, to sell them ad placements. On the side, she successfully worked as a model and jobbed as a freelance producer, styling assistant and design assistant – for Tatler magazine amongst others. Furthermore, she played in several music videos and commercials, for example, for Sony, Nike and Nokia.
However, Rabea’s real dream always was presenting. Thus, when she heard that the British music and TV producer Simon Fuller was holding a casting for his new internet show The Chic Fix, a weekly format which dealt with topics like fashion, culture and celebrities, it did not take her long to apply and get the job.
After two years, the channel was sold and The Chic Fix was discontinued, but Rabea kept going and kept her dream of presenting alive. She smiles: “I remained persistent, never gave up on my dream and was very lucky. On top of that, I had a really great management who always believed in me.” That is exactly why more and more presenting jobs slowly came rolling in. But what exactly is her fascination with presenting? Simply put: “I love meeting new people and hearing about their lives. I can learn something new during every encounter and I love sharing this with the viewers. I think my strength is that I’m able to make people feel as if they’re not in an interview, but rather in an intimate conversation with me.”
Throughout her time in London, companies sent Rabea and her microphone to London’s Fashion Week to speak to
fashion bloggers, models like Poppy Delevingne or to the art director of British Vogue. However, after 13 years in London, Rabea wanted to move back to Frankfurt. She explains: “I met my husband around seven years ago and moved back to Frankfurt because of him. Also, after living in London for 13 years, I wanted to be closer to my parents again.” Today, she is married and lives with her husband in Frankfurt’s city centre, not far from the hospital she was born in.
Back in Frankfurt, Rabea did not slow down: she presented the German web TV channel fashionDaily.TV, went to the film festival in Cannes, visited the fashion show Bread & Butter in Berlin and, after meeting the founder of the online shop fashionhub.com, she started to sell the shop’s remainders of luxury brands like Acne, Prada or Malene Birger in a pop-up store in Frankfurt’s Zeilgalerie shopping centre. From 2011 to 2012, she became the creative director of the ‘The Hub Concept Store’. In 2015, she started to present the well-known celebrity show Prominent! on VOX. From this time she recalls: “I will always remember my interview with Lady Gaga – she was so sweet and gave me the feeling that she was also interested in me. She was polite, full of respect and not at all arrogant.”
‘Germans could dare more’
As a real fashionista with numerous years in the fashion business, Rabea knows what she is talking about. “I discovered my passion for fashion at a very early stage. I loved to go shopping with my mum and always watched her when she styled herself. My mum was actually always my big fashion inspiration,” she recalls. After having lived in London – one of the world’s greatest fashion capitals – for such a long time, it must have been a big change to move back to Frankfurt. “To be honest, I love both cities. London stands for the Swinging Sixties, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie – things that have always accompanied me. Fashion there is always one step ahead – so many significant trends have been born in the British capital, something that has always inspired me. In addition, there is a huge selection of beautiful shops, ever-changing exhibitions and awesome clubs. There is such a vast choice of incredibly good restaurants and bars, as well as an unbelievable diversity of various people in London,” she smiles.
“But Frankfurt is my home town and will always be close to my heart. Maybe the selection isn’t as large as in London but when you look closely enough, you can find great places and things here too. I think it’s great to see how the city has evolved in the past few years and how great the quality of life is here. After all, Frankfurt is the smallest big city in the world – a true little gem in my eyes,” says Rabea.
In a fashion sense, Frankfurt also has a great deal to offer, according to Rabea: “There are several cool shops: I think that Hayashi and Pfüller are great for high-end fashion. When I want to buy vintage items, I love to go to Epiphany, 13 or Aschenputtel. I also really like the concept store The Listener. The only shopping down-side in Frankfurt is that we unfortunately don’t have a large variety of shops. That’s why I admittedly buy loads of things online since I moved back here.” She adds: “I also think that overall, Germans could dare more in regards to style and fashion. They could have more courage to look different and maybe also taking on a trend before it is already several months old. I always say that, unfortunately, no fashion trend has been born in Germany so far – but maybe that will change in the future?!”
TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTO: RAMON HAINDL