Rayan Baghdadi -one of the first Iranian models working with a notorious brand such as Dolce & Gabbana
Rayan Baghdadi is an international model, based in Dubai, traveling around the world for big names such as Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Cinco, Armani, Ted Baker, Cartier and the list goes on.
We are really curious to know how everything started and how he got to leave his home country, Iran at a very young age, being far from family and friends and starting from zero in a quite different world.
Rayan, tell us, how did you start your career as a model, at what age and why did you choose this path?
-It was at the age of 16 when I started flirting with modeling. One of my good friends saw the potential in me and decided to use my face for some of his brands, local brands, back in Iran. Everyone was so amazed with the results that it didn’t take long until I had my professional portfolio done and ever since the campaigns kept coming and I do believe that this was the right thing to do.
-Why do you say so? Is modeling the only job you have or do you see yourself doing something else?
-Oh, that’s a big yes, I have been doing modeling ever since and I have focused so much on my career that I left no space for anything else. I truly think that when you try to do way too many things in your life you can’t be successful in all of them and that’s the reason why up to the date my life has been dedicated 100% to modeling.
I love how passionated you speak about your work, if only everyone around us would put all this passion in the work they do, world would be a better place. Tell me Rayan, why did you choose Dubai first of all?
-I first arrived in Dubai in 2014, Rahil Hesan has booked me for her fashion show at Dubai Fashion Week. She flown me from Tehran only for this fashion show, I was at that time 21 years old, little I knew about this city. But I fell in love with it right away and most importantly I saw the potential of it. And I was right.
So this was your first job in Dubai, what happened afterwards?
-The years that followed, my career bloomed so beautifully. I start working with top agencies in Dubai, being part of many fashion shows, such as Fashion Forward and Arab Fashion Week, walking for House of Nomad, Amato, Michael Cinco, not to forget Ted Baker, Aramani Exchange, Diesel, Gap, La Martina, Reebok, Vilebrequin, Bloomingdales, Harvey Nichols and so many more.
I was the face of Dolce & Gabbana, “The One” in Middle East and Europe. My face was all over the world, big billboards, magazines, tv commercials, it is still something I am very proud of!
I do recall seeing you in an ad with Dolce & Gabbana and I was truly impressed, you played your role so well, you were a perfect match with the brand itself. Well done! How was it working with Dolce & Gabbana team?
-Honestly, it was so intense, the day started at 3:30 am and God knows when it has finished (laughing). Everyone was focused on delivering the best, we filmed a tv commercial, we have done a photo shoot for the perfume as well and we change two locations. The team is professional, friendly and very easy to work with and the results speak for themselves.
You mentioned about working with the agencies in Dubai. Are you working exclusively with one or do you work as a freelancer? What is the best?
-At the moment I chose to work as a freelancer, it’s best for myself and my career at this time. However, I did start to work exclusively with MMG when I first came. I had an agent those years as well, but life got us apart and I continued on my way.
Rayan, before we end our lovely conversation over a coffee, here, sitting by the beach in this beautiful cafe, would you name few of the magazines you were featured in, so our readers know where to look for you?
-Of course, let’s start with Vogue Arabia which I am the most proud of, we move then to Harper’s Bazar Arabia, GQ, Elle, Air Magazine, Esquire, A&E, Debonair, Friday Magazine, just to name a few.
That’s quite impressive! Thank you so much for your time, it was delightful talking to you and getting to know you better. Good luck in the upcoming campaign. I know you are working on something big!
-It is my pleasure, I am very happy to be able to share everything with you and yes, something big is coming up. Very soon! (Smiling)
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