At 19, she was signed by BMI as a singer and songwriter. But a wider audience got the chance to see her on the small screen two years later as guest star, playing Chelsea, on the Disney Channel series Austin & Ally. A few months later, Sofia was cast as recurring guest star, playing Soleil, on MTV’s series Faking It, before landing a starring role in the Disney Channel Original Movie Descendants, in which she plays Evie, the daughter of the Evil Queen from Snow White. Soon more leading roles came along in “Adventures in Babysitting” and “A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits”. Soon after that, her musical talent received a similar recognition when she joined the list of Hollywood Records and Republic Records artists, taking her music career to the next level.
Sofia Carson is an extremely busy young woman, and her rich life has garnered her millions of followers on her social media accounts, making her the ultimate modern influencer.
Velvet meets Sofia Carson at the luxurious Palazzo Avino on Amalfi Coast, for an exquisite fashion shoot where she revealed her romantic side in a selection of opulent looks. Here we share the photos, and a conversation with the world’s new sweetheart.
At what age did you realize you wanted to take acting and singing seriously, as a career?
In all honesty, I can’t remember a moment in my life when I didn’t know, with every part of me, that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. Performing is a part of who I am, I’ve worked my whole life to be here, and I can’t tell you how grateful I feel that a dream I once dreamt as a little girl is now my reality….
Both roles- acting and singing- are hugely gratifying. Which do you prefer and why?
I’m deeply in love with both. I believe they are completely interconnected, and I can’t imagine doing one without the other.
As a performer, I am a story teller; to lose myself in a song, or to lose myself in a character- both are beautiful means with which I can tell my stories. And I love them both dearly.
Starring in Disney series is a dream come true to millions of people, however, Disney’s remake of the original Cinderella Story: If The Shoe Fits is seriously amazing achievement. How did it feel to live every little girls dream?
It was a beautiful experience that I will cherish forever! Growing up, I watched Hillary Duff and Selena Gomez, who are now icons of my generation, play Cinderella…And then, to have been cast in the same role, and continue their legacy, was surreal. When I think back on that experience, I can’t help but smile. Everything about making that movie was magical.
You have incredibly dedicated fans and followers on social media, how does this feel?
There really is no feeling in the world quite like it. To know that there are over 13 million (which is too big of a number to wrap my head around) young women, young men, girls and boys who have chosen to be on this journey with me; who have chosen to support me; who have chosen to listen to my music; who have chosen to constantly gift me with so much love….is my greatest honor. As well as my greatest responsibility.
As a singer, do you have an icon you look up to in the music industry?
Since I was a little girl, I always idolized the careers of Cher and Barbara Streisand, two of the greatest performers of our time who have had incredible careers in both music and film. From this generation of musicians, I admire the career of Lady Gaga- an incredible musician, song writer, pop star, actor and activist who stands for those who feel like outcasts, who feel like they don’t belong. I think the most honorable thing we can do with the platforms our careers have given us is to use them for good, use them to give, to make a difference. It is what I Iong to do.
Who are your favorite fashion designer(s), and why?
I’ve loved fashion since I was a little girl. To me, it’s a beautiful and incredibly personal form of self expression through art. What one wears goes beyond choosing a dress, every outfit tells a story and paints a picture of who you are.
so I am very hands on in selecting my looks, whether that’s for performances, or red carpets. I’ve always gravitated towards designers that marry romantic femininity, and timeless class, with contemporary, sometimes “edgy, designs. I adore Giambattista Valli I met him during my first Paris Fashion week when I attended his show, and season after season I fall in love with his collections. I wore one of his pieces to the Academy Awards this year.
Raf Simons’ first collection with Dior is one of my favorite collections of ALL time…and I love what he’s done with Calvin Klein. I also gravitate towards Anthony Vaccarello’s work with Saint Laurent, and Miuccia Prada’s recent re-launch of their Linea Rossa like is spectacular- I attended the launch during NYFW and am a huge fan of the collection.
How would you explain your style in three words?
Classic. Feminine. Edgy.
At such a young age you have achieved so much within acting and singing, do you have any other projects outside of these industries?
For the last two years, I’ve worked with UNICEF and the WE MOVEMENT. Ever since I was a little girl, I promised myself that if ever I was lucky enough to have the platform that I have, that I would use it to give, and do everything I can to educate women and young girls around the world who have been unfairly denied an education.
This year I became an ambassador for the WE Movement, and was recently in KENYA where I saw the incredible work they are doing. My sister and I helped build schools, and met the students that they are educating; it was absolutely and simply, life changing.
I met high school girls who, only a few years ago, the reality of an education was an impossible dream… and today, these girls will be the first in their families to receive an education, the first to have a high school degree, and next year, the first to attend the very first college in the Masai Mara. They are the epitome of GIRL POWER. I am forever changed by them, and forever inspired by them to continue to do whatever I can to educate women and girls around the world…
We know “Disney’s Descendants 3” is coming next year, however, you have been cast to star in hit TV series, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, what can you tell us about your role in this?
I feel so honored to be a part of the phenomenon that is Pretty Little Liars! Marlene King, our fearless leader, creator and producer, writes female led, & female focused stories, and I feel so lucky to work with her, learn from her and be on this journey with her. Ava is a complex, layered and quite mysterious girl who lives in a town called Beacon Heights- as the Pretty Little Liar world goes, Ava is hiding plenty of secrets that will be revealed as the series progresses. I can’t say much else, just that you’ll have to watch and see…
Photography EUGENIO QOSE
Creative director AMENI SHAFIK
Hair and makeup ELISA RAMPI using Smashbox
Location PALAZZO AVINO, Amalfi Coast