Earing dropping like a pearl upon the ocean, hair swinging like it’s about to break the notion, our Cover star for L’Officiel November issue, Maryam Zolghadr is about to set your eyes on fire. 

Team credits:
Model: Maryam Zolghadr – Select Model Management @maryam_zol @selectmodelglobal
Photographer: Michelle Monique @michellemoniquephoto
Wardrobe Stylist: Julia Perry @juliaperrystyle @labartists
Retoucher: Amira Alexandra Alkaysi @amira.retouching
Hair Stylist: Jenn Lagron @jennlagron
Makeup Artist: Barbara Lamelza @barbaralamelzamakeup @labartists
Producer: Jesse Abudayyeh @jesse.abudayyeh
Photo Assist: Eric Larson

Over-sized jackets to those flawlessly blended braids, our Cover star for the L’Officiel November issue Maryam Zolghadr rocks everything with pride and beauty follows her path. “I think in this new era of modelling it’s very important to be multifaceted. You have all the tools in this digital world to monetize your platform and optimize your reach.” Says a model and Entrepreneur herself.

Interview

As I got older I started to notice there weren’t many models that looked like me. I wanted to represent Iranian women through my creativity, fashion, and media.

1. Starting from where it all began, where did you get the passion for modelling?
As a little girl growing up watching fashion shows, I was always mesmerized by all the beautiful models with different ethnicities and backgrounds. I remember opening up my pink suitcase where I would hide all my favourite clothes and catwalk the looks for my siblings and cousins to see. As I got older I started to notice there weren’t many models that looked like me. I wanted to represent Iranian women through my creativity, fashion, and media.
 
2. What are the difficulties that a model has to go through in their day-to-day life? How did you overcome them?
The industry has a lot of perks for models but it also has a cutthroat side. Models face rejection daily from castings and agencies. The battle to overcome the rejections and continue pursuing different castings and jobs can be a struggle. I always look to move forward and never dwell on the bookings that did not happen but celebrate the ones that did. This resiliency has helped me navigate my life up until this point. Always remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 
 
3. Being from Iran, what differences do you see between the average Iranian woman and an American woman?
Well, the timing of this question is perfect and very relevant. I think Iranian and American women want the same things. Currently, there is a historic movement happening in Iran led by women to fight for their freedom of choice and self-expression. The regime in Iran for the past forty years has been enforcing repressive laws on their female citizens and depriving them of their most basic human rights as simple as choosing what to wear or how to appear in public. The young women in Iran are risking their lives going to the streets protesting in hopes of change. Also in America, women are fighting for their freedom to choose what’s best for their bodies and life. This makes me so proud to be an Iranian American woman. I hope to one day see freedom of choice and true equality for all women in the USA, Iran and globally. 
Interview

I always look to move forward and never dwell on the bookings that did not happen but celebrate the ones that did.

4. You are not only a model but also a successful entrepreneur. Tell us something about your brand; Record Not Found?
I think in this new era of modelling it’s very important to be multifaceted. You have all the tools in this digital world to monetize your platform and optimize your reach. 
When the pandemic happened, the modelling industry took a huge hit along with many other industries and suddenly all my shoots were cancelled and I was left with no work. During that time I recognized online sales were at an all-time high, so I took the risk and created a comfortable and stylish streetwear brand called Record Not Found.
I launched RNF as a passion project and it helped me to get by during those difficult times.
 
5. You are a style junkie. What are some of your favourite fashion brands?
Dior and Chanel will always be my favourite brands but currently, I love what Matthieu Blazy is doing at Bottega Veneta.
I also love wearing local brands you find in small boutiques while travelling because you get to wear unique and one-of-a-kind pieces. It’s also super inspirational to meet up-and-coming designers.
 
6. Talking about that glow on your face, how do you manage to keep that beautiful skin glowing and alive?
I take my skincare routine very seriously. It’s not a one-time thing. To have glowing youthful skin you need to consistently incorporate a healthy diet and clean beauty skincare regimen as part of your lifestyle. I have both a morning skincare routine and a nighttime one. I’m also weary of exposing my skin to the sun without proper protection. My newest beauty secret is infrared saunas. It helps prevent acne by detoxing your skin and getting rid of the bacteria on the surface of your skin. 
Interview

I take my skincare routine very seriously. It’s not a one-time thing.

7. How much do you think education is significant in one’s life? And how has education helped you become a better version of yourself?
Growing up in an Iranian household education was of the utmost importance. My parents, like any other Persian parents, wanted me to either become a doctor, an engineer, or a lawyer. So, I became an electrical engineer and graduated from UCLA. My educational background was the foundation that taught me skill sets that I still incorporate into my daily life today. 
Being an engineer has enhanced my problem-solving skills and taught me that there could always be multiple ways to solve the same problem. I don’t dwell on one way of thinking.

8. Suppose someone wants to take you out on a date. What are the requirements they have to fill in?
I’m attracted to people who are intelligent, successful, kind, family-oriented, and yet mentally stimulating. That is the perfect mix to keep my interest.
 
9. Tell us something about the projects that you are currently working on.
I am currently collaborating on a WEB3 platform named nebu.la that empowers artists in the music industry. I am very excited about what the team is creating over there and I’m very excited to work alongside these innovative minds. In short, Nebula is a marketplace for musicians to earn additional revenue by selling royalty payout rights to fans. It’s a new way to empower the artist by using blockchain technology. I’m learning so much in the process of this new wave of digital media.

10. What words of advice do you have for people who aspire to flourish in the field of modelling and entrepreneurship?
If you have a passion for something, make sure to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, then how do you expect others to? It’s important to be realistic while focusing on your goals. In the process of achieving great things, you will often run into situations that try to discourage you. When one door closes then dust yourself off and open the next. Always remember to love yourself and be confident in anything you do in life. That’s how I live my life.
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