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Yasmin Warsame (1976- ), also known as ياسمين ابشير ارسام, is one of the most successful Canadian fashion models of all time. She was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, the same place that Iman is from, but later she fled to Canada. She has grace, class and one of those beautiful, perfect faces. She now lives in New York where she works for IMG, modelling for top designers in both New York and Paris.

Michael Kors calls her the new Iman. Fashion magazine in 2004 named her “The Most Alluring Canadian”.

About black beauty she says:

I believe that “Black beauty” is underrated and isn’t appreciated, so that’s what I want to represent in this modelling industry. I want to inspire young girls and women all around the world to follow their dreams, especially women of colour.

I just love her.

yasmin_warsame1She is tall and thin: she stands 1.78 metres tall (5 foot 10) and her measurements are 81-61-89 cm (32-24-35 inches). She has a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.69, giving her more of an hourglass figure than most fashion models.

She has one of those faces that can look either unmistakably African or like a brown-coloured white woman, depending on how she is made up – which probably matters in something as white as the fashion industry. She is known for her high cheekbones.

Her family left Somalia for Toronto, Canada. There she studied psychology at university and got into modelling. Unlike most models she did not start modelling till her 20s and did not become well-known till after she had already had a child.

yasmin06When she was four months away from giving birth to her son, she was booked to model for the Sears catalogue. Sears said she was too “couture”. So in the summer of 2002 she moved to Paris, the centre of all things couture. There she had only one thing on her mind: “Walking down the runway… and not falling.”

Paris proved to be her big break: there Steven Meisel took pictures of her for a feature in Italian Vogue. From that she went on to model for top designers.

She has also appeared in ads for Revlon, Chanel, Banana Republic (as a token), Neiman Marcus and others.

She has appeared on the magazine covers of Surface, Trace, Canadian Flare, French Revue de Modes, Italian Amica, British, American and Spanish Elle and Italian and American Vogue. Among others. She was in the all-black issue of Italian Vogue in July 2008.

In 2007 she was a judge on “Canada’s Next Top Model”.

One her best moments modelling:

It was when I sent my mum (in Somalia) a large amount of money. I spoke to her and she was almost in tears. That was the moment that made modelling so worth it.

Among her friends are the models Iman, Belinda Baidoo, Oluchi Onweagba and Ubah Hassan.

She says:

I hope my face is not my only fortune…I believe I had a life before modelling and will always have a life after modelling.

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