What is modelling according to you?
For me, modeling is about working as part of a team using my own talents, which are then complemented by photographers, makeup artists and hair stylists to produce the best possible shot. It’s about creating a persona and providing a perfectly unique image that best captures my body for the products which are being advertised whether it’s clothes, accessories, makeup or even locations.
What separates some models from others?
Confidence. Personally, it took me time to find the confidence I have now. It’s remembering that every shot that is taken exudes who I am as a person. If I lack confidence that will be reflected in the image. Even now, after all these years, I’m still learning new things about myself on each job and, with the help of a team, I’m pushed to the best of my ability.
I’ve realized that to be a good model you must appear effortlessly cool and aesthetically poised while remaining true to yourself.
How did you start modelling?
I began modelling discreetly. My upbringing made it difficult to pursue modelling due to cultural boundaries. Regardless of the risks, I was determined to follow my heart and chased my passion. I was fortunate to meet some wonderful photographers and artists from my home country who helped me produce beautiful images. This is where my journey began.
Why have you moved to Dubai?
Modelling is technically illegal in Iran unless you are posing conservatively in a hijab. Naturally, I respect my country’s Islamic rules, but I desperately wanted to follow my dreams and the only way that could happen was to move.
How do you manage business along with modelling?
My mother owns a textile business in Iran and is my inspiration, role model and mentor, especially when it comes to the business side of the company. It seemed a natural progression to join my passions together. I firmly believe that if you love what you do, you’ll never actually ‘work’ a day in your life.
Can you tell us more about The Mina Jay Collection and how it began?
The Mina Jay Collection is a women’s clothing brand, focussing predominately on comfort. It is inspired by my Persian culture while incorporating an LA lifestyle.
It had always been a personal dream to create my own line encompassing styles and designs that reflect my character. In 2019, having fulfilled many aspects of my modelling career, I was able to launch The Mina Jay Collection.
Are you going to give up on modelling and just focus on your line?
Modelling is who I am. It defines part of my identity and always will. I’m in the fortunate position that I’m able to multitask and while I can, I will contribute to the fashion world both as a model and a designer.
What are your future goals as a businesswoman and model?
Ultimately, I want to grow and develop my clothing line, increase my social media presence and get more recognition for my brand worldwide.
I also want to follow in my mother’s footsteps and inspire young women, as she inspires me.
What would be your advice to girls who want to become a model?
I would tell young women they are perfect in their own unique way and that most importantly, they shouldn’t compare themselves to others. Beauty ultimately comes from within.
I would say to any young woman to never stop chasing your dreams despite obstacles you may face. Make the dream a reality. That’s the mantra.
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