WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH
CELEBRATING COURAGEOUS WOMEN THAT INSPIRE US

The tantalizing Yasmeen Ghauri is one of the world’s top models. This Canadian beauty is born to Pakistani and German parents. Her father Moin Ghauri was a Muslim cleric in Quebec’s Muslim Community. Both parents, Linda and Moin were opposed to their daughter modeling but they later on supported her because she loved what she was doing. In an interview with E! Yasmeen said, “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 was discovered, at age 17, while working in her local McDonalds. It was Edward Zaccharia, the artistic director of Platine Coiffure, who spotted her. In order to pursue a career as a model Yasmeen first moved to Milan and Paris before settling in New York in 1990.

Yasmeen’s emergence onto the fashion scene coincided with a change from the trend of having predominantly white American models, to models with a more diverse background. Yasmeen became increasingly well known for her mixture of Eastern and Western looks and she became the catalyst for what is known in the industry as the ‘Canadian Invasion’. In 1991 an article in the New York Times described her as the: “Coffee skinned Yasmeen Ghauri, whose hard to get gaze was bellied by the ball bearing swivel of her hips”.

Yasmeen was soon in demand from an impressive list of high end fashion houses and appeared in campaigns for Givenchy, Hermès and Versace amongst others. The early to mid-90s saw Yasmeen on the face of many top fashion magazines including Vogue and Elle, this includes being photographed by the iconic Steven Mesial for Italian Vogue. Fashion favourite, photographer Patrick Demarchellier also described Yasmeen as his favourite subject.

As well as catwalks shows for fashion greats like Versace, Chanel, Helmut Lang and Lanvin, Yasmeen became a frequent face in Victoria’s Secret catalogues and the iconic swimsuit issues, this served to further heighten her success. In 1992 Yasmeen also walked the infamous Versace ‘Bondage’ show. This didn’t alter her success at all as the next year she went on to become the face of Hermès and Lanvin.

In 1995 Yasmeen appeared in the documentary ‘Unzipped’ by Isaac  Mizrahi and the next year, 1996 was a big year for Yasmeen as she walked in the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and then later that year pulled out of the Yves Saint Laurent show at the last minute, confirming rumours of her retirement from the industry. She retired to spend more time with her husband Ralph Bernstein and start a family, they now have two children together.