Social Media Icons

Top Nav

Digital Cover Featuring Farnoush Hamidian

Arabian Moda Digital Cover x Valentino

‘Tis the season to Glow — Introducing Arabian Moda's Digital Cover featuring Farnoush Hamidian.

In a candid interview, the Persian-international model who is the face of beauty brands like Lancôme, L’Oréal and MAC, talks about self-love and breaking stereotypes.

Cover Star Farnoush Hamidian (Metropolitan Models) wears Valentino, Georges Hobeika, Roger Vivier
and Lydia Courteille Haute Joaillerie.
Art Director & Stylist: Victor Concepto
Photographer: David Tenori  
Filmmaker: Maxence Gautier assisted by Antoine L’Hopital Muzac
Makeup Artist: Maude Gobet
Hair Stylist: Pauline Legrand
Location: Hotel Castille, Paris
Arabian Moda x Valentino

AM: Farnoush, do tell our readers more about your background and the debut of your modeling career
I was born in the Mazandaran Province in the North of Iran close to the Caspian Sea. My mother, Arefeh Kalirad Savadkouhi, introduced me to classic poetry books like Rumi and Hafez at the age of 13 and so I decided to become a poet. While growing up in the north I continued writing poetry and drawing imaginary subjects and characters. I started studying Microbiology at university, but since I did not feel any connection with my desire for art, I quit microbiology and transferred to interior design and architecture in Iran.

I was modeling as a hobby for local brands in Iran throughout my teenage years. I then decided to move to Germany in 2014 and started my international career at the age of 28 with MMG models in Dubai and Brave Models in Milano. In 2016, after surviving a very bad health condition caused by a serious brain infection, I took a life changing pause before coming back to the fashion industry with a new perspective.

Arabian Moda x Georges Hobeika

AM: And was your family always supportive of your career?
Well, my mother is my back bone. She has always told me that I deserve to be happy and do whatever I am passionate about. She was the first to see my love for fashion and supported me so much that now I look back and say “Darn, I could have not done this without her.” My father was not so much of a support at the begging, but now he is, and my sisters and brother are my biggest fans.

AM: What would you say was your first big break?
It has to be when I worked alongside Anna Dello Russo on the Middle East’s first Dolce & Gabbana campaign called DG Loves Dubai shot by the Morelli brothers.

Arabian Moda x Georges Hobeika

AM: Did you face any obstacles throughout your career? 
Yes, I have and I actually still do! The first question I am always asked is: “Are you not a Muslim? Do you know that what you are doing is against your religion?” Also, I have been told that I am not what brands seek because I am too exotic. Trust me, it is a mental challenge on a daily basis.

AM: You also mentioned that you refuse to be a size zero model. Tell us more about this decision
The reason is my health! I refuse to be unhealthy. I refuse to be judged for a 5-centimeter difference between my size and a size zero. Especially that I have been through so many health issues and physical difficulties so I am not willing to put myself in danger through starving myself. It’s physically impossible for me to be a size zero because of my bone structure. Of course, not all the girls with a size zero are sick or unhealthy as some have a slim structure by nature.  

Arabian Moda x Georges Hobeika

AM: Are you optimistic about what’s happening in the modeling industry? And do you think there should be more rapid changes in regards to models and agencies?
I really am sorry to say but I think that brands and casting directors didn’t change their mentalities and still prefer the size zero model. But now, and because the society is demanding more diversity, they are like “Ok we will put some extreme plus-size models next to a size zero, and put a couple of models of Asian and African origins in our cast.”

I think that it is only a trend and that a healthy body of normal size has no place in the industry. Of course, there are some celebrities amongst the models that have healthy bodies, but the rest are either extremely overweight, which is unhealthy, or extremely skinny, which is not good. And please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be in the industry, I’m simply saying that we need to have more of a balance.

Arabian Moda x Valentino

AM: What is your proudest career moment so far?
Actually, I have couple of proud moments; one of them is being the face of Lancôme since 2018, the face of MAC Cosmetics worldwide, my latest L’Oréal hair campaign and surely my Dolce & Gabbana campaigns in 2017 and 2018.

A few months ago, I had the pleasure to work with Chopard for their Cannes Film Festival campaign and attend the red carpet wearing a 114 carats non-oiled Colombian emerald on my neck alongside my husband. This has to be one of the coolest moments of my career. 

AM: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
They say if you want to achieve your goals do not share them with others. All I can say is that I know exactly where I am going to be and what I will be doing and it’s going to be madly beautiful!

Arabian Moda x Valentino

AM: Finally, what is an advice you would give to young models, and especially those from the Middle East?
Do not break, do not give up, and most importantly take care of your mental health and love yourself. Dream big and know that every problem has a solution. If you want to achieve something you just need to want it bad enough to work hard towards it without complaining. And never let people get into your head saying that you are not made for this, or that you aren’t good enough. Do not let people make you feel little because that is the sad reality of our industry. It has a glamorous side but it’s a very challenging one. Overall enjoy the happy moments and the sector full of creative people.