Rayyan is model that was raised in the DMV area and now located in Dubai. She has been modeling for almost two years. She likes finding new coffee shops to try, exploring local art galleries, museums and discovering new music/musicians.
How does it feel to be selected as one of the Abners Angels?
I feel grateful being recognized for doing something I’m so passionate about.
What made you become a model?
I consider modeling an art form, that interprets fashion, expression and uniqueness all of which are aspects of my life that I’m passionate about. When I was five years old, I was actually scouted by an agent while with my mom on the metro in DC. Since then, it’s something I’ve always gravitated towards and wanted to be a part of. I’ve always loved fashion, but in my own way where I would start styling myself and attempting to make my own clothes from a very young age.
What are some of the difficulties of the modeling business?
Facing rejection is probably the hardest thing, especially for jobs and opportunities you really envisioned yourself being a part of. I find myself constantly having to forcefully break barriers and constantly present myself as the best option. No matter how many times I get rejected.
What is one model/photographer you would love to work with?
I’d love to work with Imaan Hammam. She’s so unique and I love the energy she carries.
What is your greatest weakness, as a model? What are you doing to improve on it?
Getting out of my comfort zone. Forcing myself to be comfortable being uncomfortable, feel natural in front of a camera whether its just a photoshoot or if there’s a video aspect as well. Also practicing modeling as an art form. Developing myself and setting myself a part from other models is probably the most challenging thing but constant affirmations. Setting goals and keeping a healthy positive circle around me has helped me realize, all of this is achievable and I’m my only competition.
How do you maintain your figure?
I believe in maintaining self rituals and eating clean is one of my rituals. I’ve been pescatarian for a year now and it has honestly been one of the best decisions I made for my body. I also don’t eat dairy, which has helped as well. It’s all about understanding your body and what it agrees with. That’s the best way to maintain your figure. I do soul cycling and yoga as well.
What are some of your favorite designers or stores?
I’m a big fan of Sami Miro and her designs, Sami Miro Vintage. Her personal style has always inspired me and I love how she makes vintage so on trend. She pieces together items that you wouldn’t traditionally pair and her freedom to create art through fashion inspires me.
What’s one small thing you could do each day that would greatly improve your life?
Positive affirmations. Every morning, I write them down and say it out loud so that I attract positivity into my life.
How do you spend your free time?
Usually with myself. I’ll drink some coffee, journal, read a book or curate a playlist.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
I was once at a dinner a couple of years ago with the Arab Fashion Council members and had wine spilled all over me before the dinner even started. It was honestly hilarious and I had a lot of very important people in the fashion industry of Dubai checking to see if I was okay. Definitely a great ice breaker though!
When was the last time a stranger made your day?
I had someone DM me on Instagram asking for advice on how to start her modeling career and be body positive. I honestly was so humbled that someone would reach out to me and value my opinion on modeling. I found it so reassuring that people are potentially looking up to me. I’m happy to be that role model for girls who want to follow their passion, regardless of their age, size, background, experience, etc.
What are some small pleasures that make you way happier than they should?
Getting up early in the morning on the weekend, sitting in my balcony, with a fresh cup of coffee and my favorite music playing.
What makes you special and unique?
My ability to express art through different mediums is very special to me. I write poetry as a form of self expression. I love music and curate playlists to express my differing moods and feelings, I sketch occasionally and create visual stories through social media. In terms of uniqueness, my heritage has always made me feel like I stand out. My mother is Arab-American from Sudan, Egypt and Syria. My dad is a black American, St. Vincentian and Irish. I speak English and Arabic, grew up in the DMV and now currently live in Dubai.
How can everyone keep in contact with you on social media?
Follow me on Instagram @rayyanumrani.