THE global fame of pop superstar Dua Lipa is being challenged — by her lookalike little sister.
Modelling beauty Rina has been hailed as an It Girl after working with some of the world’s top fashion brands.
Her celeb pals include supermodel sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid — leading some to compare the Lipas to well-connected showbiz clan the Kardashians.
Rina, 20, admits she has “worshipped” Dua, 26, since they were children.
She said: “I’d try to dress like her, I’d steal her clothes. “When I wore them, I’d feel older. It’s still like that. I go Theviraltime her closet and say, ‘Mmm, you haven’t worn that in a while.’ She’s like, ‘Oh God, bring that back.’”
But now Rina is carving out her own style and a reputation as a Generation Z influencer.
She describes her outfits as “extra” — meaning over the top — and brands such as Prada and Nasty Gal have been keen to snap her up.
In February, Rina made her catwalk debut at Milan Fashion Week for upscale Italian streetwear firm GCDS, alongside Game Of Thrones actress Maisie Williams.
Her elder sister also modelled before finding music fame.
But unlike Dua, whose chart-topping hits helped her to earn £22million last year, it is acting that interests Rina.
She said: “Performing, being on stage, being in front of the camera — I knew that was what I wanted to do.”
While studying for her A-Levels, Rina attended weekend classes at Sylvia Young Theatre School, whose former pupils includes Nineties pop stars Billie Piper and Louise Redknapp as well as Spice Girl Emma Bunton.
And now Rina has bagged a role in an upcoming horror movie directed by Italian filmmaker Gianluigi Carella.
She said: “It’s the first major project for me. “I’d been in front of so many amazing casting directors but now it’s finally real.”
Although they don’t see each other often, Rina says she and Dua FaceTime “all the time about everything”.
She added: “When she’s here we just sit on the couch, do sister time.”
Rina also has a lot of celebrity pals, including Bella and Gigi Hadid, thanks to
Dua’s two-year relationship with their brother Anwar — which has recently come under strain due to career pressures.
The sisters and their 15-year-old brother Gjin, an aspiring music producer, regularly hang out with the Hadids.
But despite Rina’s glamorous life, the starlet remains grounded. She lives in a house share in London and celebrated her birthday at Soho Farmhouse with old school friends who knew her before she found fame.
She even spent lockdown at her parents’ home in Kilburn, north London, with her “best friend” Dua, who she says she had not seen in “God knows how long”.
Rina said: “When we’re home we still have to help lay the table and do the washing up.”
It’s this down-to-earth upbringing that has helped Dua and Rina rise to the top. Born in Britain to Kosovar-Albanian parents who fled conflict and political instability in the Balkans, the Lipa siblings spent their early years in the UK.
Before leaving Kosovo, their father Dukagjin was training to be a dentist, and their mother Anesa a lawyer, but they gave up their professions to flee their home country in search of somewhere safer to raise a family.
They settled in Hampstead, North London, and to earn money, the couple picked up jobs waiting tables at cafes and bars.
Dukagjin — who once sang in a rock band — took night classes in business and Anesa retrained in travel and tourism.
Dua said: “I’ve seen my parents work every day of my life. While I was going to school they were going to school.”
And Rina said: “Throughout my whole childhood they didn’t push me in a direction they wanted.
“They didn’t have a certain path set out for me. It was just, ‘What do you want to do? OK — how can we help you?’”
When Rina was six years old, the family moved back to Pristina in Kosovo after Dukagjin, who had finished his business course, was offered a job as a marketing manager.
Rina said: “Our parents spoke Albanian to us, so I didn’t need to learn the language.
“It was more of an issue for my sister. She could speak it but she couldn’t read and write it.”
Three years later, when Dua was 15, she asked her parents for permission to return to London, believing that was where she needed to be if she were going to be a successful singer.
‘SHE WAS READY’
Rina says: “She was young, but she was mature, she was ready. My parents didn’t let her go easily — it was all done in a very controlled way.
“She had to get back at certain times and she lived with a family friend. But it was hard. I missed her. She worked very, very hard. I really looked up to her for that and I do to this day.”
In 2015, the family was finally reunited with Dua when they returned to London.
But by the time Rina was taking her A-Levels two years later, Dua was becoming a global sensation.
She released her self-titled debut studio album — and its sixth single, New Rules, which came out a month later, became her first UK number one.
Her best-selling single to date, the song also charted in the top ten all over the world, including Australia, Canada and the States.
Dua was 2017’s most-streamed female artist in the UK on Spotify. And the following year, she became the first female artist to be nominated for five Brit Awards at the age of just 22, going on to win two of them.
But the awards didn’t stop there. Her 2018 single One Kiss with Calvin Harris reached No1 in the UK and earned her the 2019 Brit Award for Song of the Year.
In March last year, Dua released her second album Future Nostalgia, which topped the charts in 15 countries including the UK. She has also won three Grammy awards and one American Music Award.
And Dua, now worth £36million, was eventually able to buy her parents’ house for them.
She’s even made their dad a viral sensation after taking him as her date to many award shows.
When she rolled up to the 2019 Brit Awards with her family in tow, host Jack Whitehall declared: “He is the coolest dad.”
Fans who saw Dukagjin at the bash tracked down his Instagram account, leading to him gaining 180,000 followers.
So having watched her older sister — and her father — take the industry by storm, Rina knows taking the next step won’t just be a Lipa faith.
Bright young things
IT’S not just Rina making her mark. Here are other emerging Gen Z stars . . .
Maddie Ziegler (net worth £3.7m, 13.6m followers)
SHOT to fame in 2014 after dancing in Sia’s music videos for Chandelier and Elastic Heart with Shia LaBeouf. Now 19, she has branched out into modelling and fashion design.
Eitan Bernath (net worth unknown, 6m followers)
THE 19-year-old TikTok star from New Jersey became famous for his short cooking videos. He has made regular TV appearances and his first cookbook, Eitan Eats The World, is out in May.
Holly Humberstone (net worth unknown, 134,000 followers)
WINNER of this year’s Rising Star Brit award, the 21-year-old singer/song- writer from Gran- tham, Lincs, has had more than 40 million streams for her hit Falling Asleep At The Wheel.
Selah Marley (net worth £1.5m, 172,000 followers)
THE granddaughter of reggae icon Bob Marley and the daughter of eight-time Grammy winner Lauryn Hill has modelled for Chanel and Beyonce’s Ivy Park Line. Selah, 23, is now forging a career in rap.
Jobe Bellingham (net worth unknown, 157,000 followers)
JOBE is the brother of England star and Borussia Dortmund player Jude. The 16-year-old is already capped at under-17 level for England and is a scorer for Birmingham’s youth team.
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