Creative Direction: Amy Sessions
Photographer: Greg Adamski
Cover Stars: Taleedah Tamer
Videographer: Mark Mathew
Fashion Assistant: Sarah Joseph
Makeup & Hair: Ania Poniatowska by MMG

Louis Vuitton’s CR23 collection evoked power, strength and other-worldly beauty with cover star Taleedah Tamer.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

For the first 30 minutes of my day, I start off by drinking some water right after I wake up. I brush my teeth, take a shower and get ready for whatever I have going on that day. I’m usually in a rush so I make a pressed carrot and orange juice and head out. I’m generally not a big breakfast person so I usually don’t have breakfast and eat something later on in the day. If I have some time to spare, I’ll read some of the books I’m currently into in a quiet space or I’ll follow a Qi gong YouTube session in my room or go outside. Qi gong is a great practice that allows you to recenter your Qi or chi following soft and slow body movements and control over the breath. This really helps me energise my body and mind, gets my blood flowing and generally helps me feel ready for the day. Qi gong usually happens at varying times of the day depending on when I have time but it’s something I try to practice as consistently as possible. I think that’s about it, each day can differ but this is my usual routine.

You’re the first Saudi model to walk a couture show – tell us more.

When I was 17, I was asked by Antonio Grimaldi to open his couture show in Paris. Antonio and I had worked together in the past. Actually, the first job that helped me kickstart my career was in Jeddah with Antonio Grimaldi shot by a local photographer. After that, the behind-the-scenes videos and shots started to circulate. I was then approached by another luxury publication to be featured in one of their editorials which then led to me being on the cover of their August/September issue shot by Stefania Paparelli which was an experience I will never forget. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity and trust they showed in me during that time. To put it short, this is the story of how my career started and everyone who helped me get to where I am along the way.

Tell us how your career has grown since you’ve started and where you would like it to go in the future.

Everything I mentioned above happened prior to COVID-19. I began working professionally for about a year and was also attending university during this time. Once COVID-19 hit, I decided to take a break from modelling and focus on my studies. As I was quite young and lacked self-confidence, this also played a part in my taking a pause. I continued my university, working on a few projects that I re- ally felt passionate about during this time. I have now graduated from university in the year 2022 and I’m working on my career again and working with my lovely mother agent Zineta Blank at Visage models, who’s supported me throughout this journey and from the very beginning, to whom I’m very grateful. For believing in me since the age of 15 when she received some polaroids of me taken by my mum in my home in Jeddah. My goal is to continue to work with these inspiring people and to be at the forefront, of this change, watching the industry flourish in the Middle East. Hopefully being a part of that change. I think modelling can be a wonderful job if you learn how to navigate it well. It can be very exhilarating as it constantly pushes you to try new things and step out of your comfort zone in order to create the art as an collaborative element, which inspires me. Once you start working on these projects, you truly start to understand and appreciate what an immense team effort it is. Each member of the team worked their hardest to make that art happen. That is something that pushes me and inspires me to continue this work.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

That’s a great question. It’s a topic I’ve started to think about a lot, especially when it comes to my career. I think I started at a very challenging age, for me personally to which many could relate to. I lacked self-confidence and I think that affected my work and me reaching my greatest potential. It was something I was aware of at the time but I didn’t understand how to fix it or make it better. I questioned my place and what I had to offer and I think that’s because I didn’t really understand myself quite yet. It definitely helped me grow, and become stronger and more independent. However, what I would tell my younger self is that none of it matters. At the end of the day, I was enough with or without my job and others’ approval. It’s hard to communicate this to someone. It’s one of those things you start to understand in your own time and with experience. In the end though these are the experiences that build you up and I’m grateful for the path I’ve taken and the strength it’s taught me.

This is The Collectors Issue. Do you collect anything, or which piece is most sentimental to you?

I do collect several things and have been collecting perfumes since I was very young. I was always mystified by the different scents bottled up in the beautiful glass and finding different scents that appealed to me, something about it always felt magical. In recent years I’ve started to accumulate quite an anime and comic figurine collection. Animation is something I’ve always been really passionate about. It’s helped me temporarily escape and get through many difficult moments. I never really understood the concept of buying figurines and displaying them but once I started with the first one, I was hooked. Seeing your favourite characters in real life, 1/8th scale, displayed and just learning about them always puts a smile on my face. Animation making is something I’d like to learn and try out in the future but we’ll have to wait and see.

November’s – The Collectors Issue – Download Now

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Images: Supplied