Maryam Zolghadr: Umetnost lepote

Top Wade Allyn

Sa Maryam Zolghadr, zvezdom naše digitalne majske naslovnice, iskreno smo razgovaraili o nebičnim životnim iskustvima, obrazovanju, finansijskim projektima ali i o karijeri modela kojoj ništa manje nije posvećena. 

Maryam ti si snažna, pametna i nezavisna mlada žena poreklom iz Irana koja je uspela da ostvari karijeru u SAD. Reci nam šta te je navelo da pređeš Atlantik i svoju karijeru započneš baš tu?

Ja sam rođena u Americi, gde sam i živela sve dok moja porodica nije odlučila da emigrira u Iran kada sam imala osam godina. Moji roditelji su želeli da se moja braća i ja naviknemo na Iransku kulturu. Nakon završene srednje škole u Iranu, odlučila sam da se vratim u Los Anđeles jer sam osećala da su u Iranu mogućnosti za žene ograničene. Kao mlada sedamnaestogodišnjakinja želela sam da budem u okruženju gde mogu da se razvijam i gde mogu da ostvarim svoj pun potencijal.

Haljina Oscar de La Renta
Top Akris
Cipele Faith Connexion
Minđuše i prsten Lanvin

Recite nam kako ste se osećali tokom povratka u Ameriku sa samo sedamnaest godina i sa kojim borbama ste se suočavali kao mlada devojka? Koja su vaša dostugnuća koja su vas oblikovala da budete osoba kakva ste danas?

Kada sam se prvi put vratila u Ameriku  bilo je teško i ništa nije bilo lako. U džepu sam imala samo tri stotine dolara. Bez finansijske podrške definitivno sam bila u teškoj situaciji, ali imala sam toiliko ambicija i bila sam sigurna da me ništa neće sprečiti. Nakon što sam potrošila novac koji sam imala, krenula sam da radim više poslova, a uporedo sam pohađala fakultet sa punim radnim vremenom. Na kraju sam počela da štedim svoju zaradu i da izdržavam mamu u Iranu. Nakon nekoliko godina, uspela sam da izgradim skroman život za sebe sa čvrstim rasporedom. Tada sam shvatila da moram da otvorim put i za svoje dve mlađe sestre. Dovela sam ih u Los Anđeles iz Irana, i bila njihov zakonski staratelj i finansijska podrška. To je bio veliki pritisak za mene, bilo je potrebno da održim svoj lični život, svoje obrazovanje i dobrobit svoje majke i sestara. To svakako nije bilo lako, ali nakon nekoliko godina napornog rada i posvećenosti uspela sam da budem primljena na inženjerski program UCLA. Sbog svojih akademskih zasluga bila sam blagoslovena višestrukim stipendijama na tom putu. Na kraju sam diplomirala sa visokim uspehom i odličnom ocenom. Gledajući unazad ovo burno putovanje učinilo me je ponosmon ženom kakva sam danas. Ništa nije bilo lako, ali odustajanje nikada nije bilo opcija.

Recite nam nešto o tome kako ste u mladosti doneli odluku da se bavite poslovnim investicijama? Kako ste se odlučili za buduću profesiju i obrazovanje?

S'obzirom na činjenicu  da sam uvek briljirala u matematici i fizici tokom srednje škole i fakulteta, prijavila sam se na jako težak smer na faskultetu The Henry Samueli School of engineering at UCLA, i bila sam primljena uz punu stipendiju. Jedan od mnogih izazova sa kojima sam se susretala tokom studiranja elektrotehnike odnosio se na zagovornike koji su podržavali narativ u smislu da sam "previše lepa da bih bila inženjer" i da ovaj smer nije namenjen "lepim devojkama". To je u meni probudilo još veću želju za dokazivanjem. Prevazilaženje ovog stava postalo je stvarnost onog trenutka kada sam diplomirala kao najbvolji student u svojoj klasi sa odličnim uspehom.

Moja manekenska karijera takođe je imala dosta izazova, ali slično kao u vremenu kada sam bila student elektrotehnike, tada sam želela da prevaziđem uverenje da persijske devojke ne mogu da se bave modelingom jer to kultura ne dozvoljava i tabu je. Smatram da su persijske žene nepravedno zapostavljene u društvu i želela sam da kroz svoju manekensku karijeru i ekspresivnu umetnost pokažem da persijske žene mogu da rade sve što žele dokle god imaju jasnu radnu etiku i posvećenost. Verujem da sam kao uspešan model, inženjer i preduzetnik uspeo da prevaziđem stigmu o tome šta persijske žene mogu i ne mogu.

Kombinezon Phillip Lim Diamond
Minđuše, ogrlica i prsten Patricia Robalino
Čizme Antonio Ortega Couture

Šta je najzanimljiviji, a šta najteži deo vašeg posla?

Najzanimljiviji deo modelinga su različiti kreativni ljudi koje srećete i mogućnost putovanja koje dolazi sa radom. Što se tiče teškog dela mog posla to je svakako način da prihvatate odbijanje ali ujedno i sposobnost da naučute da vas to ne uspori.

Da li ste pored modelinga uključeni i u druge projekte?

Da, uključena sam u razne projekte. Od startapa do postojećih komapnija, moj finansijski portfolio je raznolik. 2013. godine uložila sam novac u kupovinu svoje prve nekretnike. Onda sam tokom pandemije uvidela trend rasta u e-trgovini, pa sam iskoristila tu priliku i pokrenula brend odeće pod nazivom Record Not Found. Startapi mogu biti zabavni i izazovni u isto vreme. Prošle godine sam želela da investiram u već uspostavljeni poduhvat pa sam kupila udeo u kompaniji za benzinske pumpe. Ulaganje u različite tokove prihoda omogućilo mi je da vidim velike prinose, ali što je najvažnije omogućilo mi je da imam dovoljno slobodnog vremena da unapredim svoju karijeru modela. Snažno verujem u dobro izbalansiran, diversifikovan finansijski portfolio s'toga takođe imam zdravu poziciju u držanju kriptovaluta i NFT-ja.

Koja su vaša mala zadovoljstva i "zavisnosti"?

Kolekcionar sam dizajnerskih ručnih torbi. Takođe sam ovisna o putovanjima i finoj hrani.

Hajde da pričamo o vašoj strasti prema putovanjima. Koji gradovi u vam omiljeni i zašto?

Putovala u preko 30 zemalja i obišla sam preko 100 gradova. Zaista je teško izabrati favorita jer svaki grad ima svoje jedinstveno iskutvo, kulturu i hranu. Zaista sam uživala u putovanju na Kubu, Bora Bora je jedno od mojih omiljenih ostrva sa jednom od najlepših peščanih plaža i koralnih grebena. Bali u smislu zena i duhovnosti je odlična destinacija. Italija je u znaku hrane, dok je na Islandu izgledalo kao da prolazimo kroz različite planete dok smo se vozili kroz glečere, crne peščane plaže i polja lave koja su podsećala na Mars.

Kombinezon Phillip Lim Diamond
Minđuše, ogrlica i prsten Patricia Robalino

Što se tiče vaše manekenske karijere, da li više volite da slikate kampanje ili šetate pistom?

Modne revije su uzbudljive i haotične, ali više volim da snimam kampanje za brendove. Volim da budem na snimanju i da sarađujem sa kreativnim timovima koji ostvaruju viziju. Neke od poslednjih kampanja koje sam radila i u kojima sam zaista uživala su Too faced, Mary Kay, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kylie cosmetics i Reebok.

Izgledate jako negovano. Podelite nam svoje tajne, šta vam pomaže da izgledate i da se osećate savršeno?

Hvala vam. Veoma sam zahvalna na genetici svojih roditelja, ali u pogledu mladolikosti i osećaja zadovoljstva samim sobom moja tajna je zdrava ishrana i briga o sebi. Duboko verujem da biga o sebi, fiizički i mentalno, čini da zablistate spolja. Nikada ne jedem brzu hranu i trudim se da moja ishrana bude organska bez dodatih konzervanasa ili boja za hranu. Naravno, infiuzija za hidrataciju je jedna od mojih tajni ali nemojte nikome reći.

Recite nam nešto o svojim ciljevima, šta biste poželeli ženama širom sveta?

Jedan od mojih ciljeva je da izgradim uspešan brend oko svog imena i želim da budem u poziciji da mogu da stvorim prilike za žene širom sveta. Lično, jedno od mojih sledećih poglavlja je osnivanje porodice i tome se veoma radujem. U bliskoj budućnosti želim da vidim više žena na pozicijama moći, kao liderke, zakonodavke, želim da ih vidim kao rukovodice i milijarderke. Ovo će učiniti svet boljim mestom i nadam se da ću biti u prilici da na to i utičem.

Top i pantalone Wade Allyn

English here:

Maryam, you are a strong, smart, and independent women, originally from Iran, who managed to build a career in the USA, tell us what inspired you to cross the Atlantic and develop your activities there?

Actually, I was born in America until my family decided to migrate to Iran when I was eight years old. My parents wanted my siblings and I to become more accustomed to the Iranian culture. After finishing high school in Iran, I decided to leave Iran and return to Los Angeles because I felt like opportunities for women were limited. As a young seventeen year old I wanted to be in an environment where I can develop and reach my full potential.

 Tell us how coming back to America at the age of seventeen felt and what were the struggles you faced being a young girl alone? What were your accomplishments that shaped you to be the person you are today?

When I first came back to America it was difficult and nothing came easy. I came with only three hundred dollars to my name. Being alone with no financial backing I was definitely in a tough spot, but I had so much ambition nothing was going to stop me. I spent all that money on presentable clothes and immediately began working multiple jobs while also attending college full time. Eventually I started to save my earnings and began supporting my mom in Iran.

After a couple years passed I was able to build a humble life for myself with a robust schedule. It was then that I realized I need to pave the way for my two younger sisters to follow. Therefore, I brought them to Los Angeles from Iran and was essentially their legal guardian and financial support. There was a lot of pressure on me at this young age to maintain my personal life, my education, and the well being of my mom and sisters. It certainly wasn’t easy but after many years of hard work and dedication I was able to get accepted to the UCLA engineering program. Because of my academic merit I was blessed with a full ride and multiple scholarships along the way. Eventually I graduated with honors maintaining a high gpa. Looking back, this tumultuous journey has made me the proud women I am today. Nothing came easy but quitting was never an option.

Tell us about your period of formation at a young age, when you had to choose your future profession and education. Why did you decide to connect your life with businesses and investments?

Given the fact that I always excelled in math and physics during high school and college, I applied to one of UCLA’s most difficult departments, The Henry Samueli School of engineering at UCLA, and was accepted on a full scholarship. One of the many challenges I faced throughout my time as an electrical engineering student was the naysayers perpetuating the narrative that I was “too pretty to be an engineer” and that this major is not intended for “pretty girls.” This made me more eager to prove that I can excel in anything I put my mind into. Overcoming this narrative became a reality for me after I graduated at the top of my class with honors. 

My modeling profession also has had its fair share of challenges, but similar to my time as an engineering student, I wanted to overcome the narrative that Persian girls can’t model because it’s frowned upon by culture and it’s taboo. It is my opinion that Persian women are one of the most under represented women in society and so through my modeling and expressive art I was eager to show that Persian women can do anything they want as long as they have a strong work ethic and commitment. I believe by being a successful fashion model, engineer, and entrepreneur, I was able to overcome the stigma concerning what Persian women “can” and “can’t” do.

 What is the most interesting and difficult part of your job?

The most interesting part of modeling is the different creative people you meet and the traveling opportunities that come with the work. As for the difficult part of my job is accepting rejections and not letting it slow me down.

Top Wade Allyn

Are you involved in other ventures outside of modeling?

Yes, I am invested in several ventures. From startups to existing companies, my financial portfolio is diverse. In 2013, I invested in my first real estate purchase. Then during the pandemic I saw an uptrend in e-commerce so I took advantage of the opportunity and started my own streetwear brand called Record Not Found. Startups can be fun and challenging at the same time. Last year I wanted to invest in an established venture so I purchased equity in a gas station company. Being invested in different streams of revenue has allowed me to see great returns but most importantly it has afforded me the luxury of having free time to advance my modeling career. I am a strong believer in having a well balanced diversified financial portfolio; therefore I also have a healthy position in holding crypto and NFT’s.

What are your guilty pleasures and addictions? 

Collecting designer hand bags! Also I’m addicted to traveling and fine dining.

Let's talk about your passion for travel. Which cities are your favorites and why?

I’ve travelled to 30+ countries and probably over 100 cities. It’s really hard to pick a favorite since each city comes with it’s unique experience, culture, and food. I really enjoyed the raw experience of traveling to Cuba. Bora Bora is one of my favorite islands which have one of the most beautiful white sand beaches and coral reefs. Bali in terms of zen and spirituality is a great destination. Italy the food. Road-tripping in Iceland felt like you were passing through different planets as we drove through glaciers, black sand beaches, and lava fields that resembled mars.

In terms of your modeling career, do you prefer shooting for brands or taking part in fashion shows?

Fashion shows are chaotic and exciting but I prefer shooting campaigns for brands. I love being on set and getting to collaborate with creative teams who bring a vision to life. My recent campaigns that I really enjoyed shooting was for Too faced, Mary Kay, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kylie cosmetics and Reebok.

Haljina Maison Alarcon
Natukvica i minđuše Patricia Robalino

You look stunning, share your secrets, what helps you look and feel perfect?

Thank you! I’m very grateful for my parents genetics but in terms of longevity and feeling happy with myself my secret is healthy eating and self care. I’m an adamant believer that taking care of yourself internally both physically and mentally makes you shine externally. I don’t ever eat packaged or fast food and I make sure my food is always organic without any preservatives or food coloring. Oh and of course IVs for hydration, that is one of my secrets, don’t tell anyone.

Tell us about your goals, what would you like to wish women around the world?

One of my goals is to build a successful brand around my name and want to be in a position where I can create opportunities for women around the world. On a personal note, one of my next chapters is to start a family as well. This is something that I am very much looking forward to.

In the near future I wish to see more women globally in positions of power as leaders, lawmakers, executives, and billionaires. This will make the world a better place and I hope that I can be a small part of this needed positive change.

Jakna Alexander Mc Queen
Top Port de Bras

Team: 

Model: Maryam Zolghadr @maryam_zol
Agency: Select Model Management @selectmodelglobal
Photographer: Anna Turayeva @conceptica
Digital Tech / Photo assistant: Alonzo Santiago @as_photog
1st Photo Assistant: Yana Melnyk @m.y.photoworld
2nd Photo Assistant: Mariella Correia @mariellacorreiaa
Wardrobe Stylist: Veronica Porras @veroporraslizano
Wardrobe assistant: Alexandra Martinez
Make up artist: Virginia Le Fay @virginialefay using MAC Cosmetics
Hair stylist: Nina Alcantara @nina.hair.makeup
Retouching: Vishal @vshretouch
Studio: Vault Place @vault_place
PR Agent: Maria Borovenskaya @mariborovenskaya

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