Экзотичная красавица Ясмин Гаури - одна из моих любимых топ-моделей 90-х. Необычное лицо, потрясающая пластика и тело, сводившее с ума всех дизайнеров. Любимица Патрика Демаршелье, муза Аззедина Алайя и лицо рекламных кампаний Chanel, Valentino, Hermes, Lanvin etc. В 1997 навсегда оставила модельный бизнес.
Yasmeen was born to Pakistani Moin Ghauri and German Linda Ghauri. While her father was an imam, a Muslim cleric for the Islamic Community of Quebec (ICQ), her mother was opposed of her pursuing modelling as a career. Early on in her life, Yasmeen had a troublesome childhood and was tormented by her classmates at school. This led her disociate from children from her age group and she joined older children in her neighbourhood. Her strict religious upbringing had led her to fall into a state of self-doubt. Yasmeen was reportedly working at a McDonalds restaurant at the age of 17 when she got noticed by Edward Zacharia, artistic director of the Platine Coiffure, a hair-salon in Montreal. She was walking outside the salon when Edward caught sight of her and brought her in to Joseph Del Tortoon, the owner of the salon. He had been working with models for the past 12 years and knew instantly Yasmeen could be one of the very best. Standing at a height of 5 ft 10 inches with her exquisite looks and slender curvy frame, she had what it takes to be a model but on that particular day she was having a bad hair day. Del Tortoon describes her appearance as being 'messy'.
At the restaurant where she worked, she would often turn up dressed in black from head to toe and was recently named the Employee of the Month. People would usually cite her as one with a rebellious nature, her brown hair was dyed black and her toe-nails polished black as well. Zacharia and Del Tortoon soon transformed her into a fashion-smart teenage urbanite. They told her to join an agency in Montreal where her modelling career took off. Zacharia even went to arrange photo shoots for Yasmeen to appear on some postcards, some of which featured her topless with her hands covering her breasts at the corner of St Lawrence Boulevard, Montreal. The postcards were never distributed because her father disapproved of them. There was a shift in the mentality of the people in the fashion industry and where once the all-American models were the only contenders, more ethnic inclusions to the catwalk were more than welcome. Yasmeen's coffee-coloured skin, brown silky hair and brown eyes were a perfect fit. She would henceforth be called an "exotic" beauty, something Yasmeen would humbly not want to associate with her name. Yasmeen met Carol Bernardi six weeks after she was discovered who found her work at local shows in Montreal and who later introduced her to managers of the New York-based Next Management Co.
“ My father was not really happy with me modelling. I am putting him in jeopardy. I am going to hell; it's very dramatic. ”
—Yasmeen Ghauri, Interview with E!
While she was off pursuing her new-found interest in modelling as a career, her father wasn't much happy about her chosen career. He had gotten divorced in 1980 and Yasmeen lived with him. She remembers making him seriously unhappy when she told him she was to take up modelling. When all hell broke loose, she decided to move to New York, where she was lucky enough to model for Versace in 1990. Here she got noticed by the fashion police, critics and labels alike. She was soon praised for her poise and an exaggerated walk on the runway that earned her a title of 'the panther'. Her popularity on runways for collections and couture shows grew even more. Her curvaceous features were a particular talk of town, New York Times quoting her exotic walk as a "ball-bearing swivel of her hips". Her appearance on the catwalks prompted part of what is now termed in fashion as the "Canadian invasion". Added with the likes of Linda Evangelista and Shalom Harlow, Yasmeen is said to have brought Canada to the fashion scene in the 90s.
“ I am a Muslim and modelling is not something that we allow. But it was her decision, and she will have to live with the consequences.
Yasmeen's father—Moin Ghauri ”
Career and achievements
“ When she turns at the end of the runway, she puts her foot down heel first, like she is making a statement. It is a sign of extreme confidence. ”
Yasmeen and Monica Bellucchi
Both French and English, Yasmeen became the sweetheart of the New York and Paris fashion scene. Yasmeen enjoyed fame in the early 90s when she landed her first major cover with Elle in January 1990. Soon afterwards, she became the face of both Chanel and Jil Sander. By the end of 1990, she had appeared twice on the cover of French Elle in July and December. In September, she graced the catwalk for Gianni Versace show in Milan and by the next month, she was walking for Chanel, Helmut Lang, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Lanvin shows in Paris. Her success was duly noted and she became the face of Christian Dior and Anne Klein in 1991. In January alone, she was photographed by Steven Meisel for the cover of Italian Vogue and appeared in the Harper’s Bazaar editorial. Towards the end of the year, she appeared in the British and the Italian Vogue editorials. Photographer Patrick Demarchelier who photographed her for the Italian issue called her his favourite subject.
Year 1992 was to be her definitive year in modelling when she landed a contract with Victoria’s Secret and became a face of Valentino couture and Versace. She would later walk the controversial Gianni Versace “Bondage” show in Milan which made fashion critics take serious note. Demarchelier photographs her again with Walter Chin for the Italian Vogue towards mid-1992.
“ Muslims are not allowed to dance. You are not really supposed to show skin, you are supposed to be covered and be modest and all these things are completely opposite of what I am doing now. ”
—Yasmeen Ghauri, Interview with E!,
She became the face of Hermès and Lanvin in 1993 and was photographed by Gilles Bensimon for Elle. But her most controversial appearance would be the feature she did for Playboy in May 1994. Soon after appearing on the covers of the Italian Marie Claire, British Vogue photographed by Pamela Hanson and then Harper's Bazaar again photographed by Demarchelier, she appeared on the documentary Unzipped by Isaac Mizrahi on August 11, 1995. She later walked the 1996 annual Victoria’s Secret show, and the spring Christian Dior, John Galliano, and Jean Paul Gaultier shows in Paris to retire in 1997.
Retirement and marriage
When Yasmeen stepped out of the Yves Saint Laurent show in 1996 at the last minute, speculations arose that she might be retiring. She however was planning on pursuing a degree in business upon the advice of her long-term friend Ralph, a law firm executive and a real-estate businessman. She named her daughter Maya meaning faith in Urdu and although she lives fairly away from media attention, she is pretty active with fund-raising events, most notable of which have been the charity for saving Germany's famous Black Forest.
Photo by Patrick Demarchelier
Photo by Sante D'Orazio
Photo by Rufen Afanador
Photo by Wayne Mayzer
Photo by Pamela Hanson
Photo by Eric Boman