A beauty that you can spot from far, Janira Ider has been making waves in the fashion industry lately. From Paris to Pakistan, we get to know more about her!
Model: Janira Ider
Photographer: Fayyaz Ahmed
Stylist: Saad Sarosh
Hair and Makeup: N-pro
BTS: Syed Umair
Grazia: Describe yourself in 3 words
Janira: Dreamer – I think from a very young age I realised that I could achieve a lot of things if I was persistent enough. Dreams without direction and hard work are nothing but if you add a bit of stubbornness, dash of luck and spice it up with hard-work then you get a semi-baked recipe of success.
(Although I believe the measure of success is different for each one of us) Adaptable – I am like a sponge when it comes to adapting. If I go somewhere I will take my surroundings and people into account. I observe a lot and learn quickly. A lot of people get surprised when they find out I am not just a pretty face. Change is the only constant thing in life and if you can’t adapt and change then you’ll get left behind especially when you are hyper-ambitious.
Diva – I think my diva mode comes from the fact that I was loved by my family and not because of the vanity that comes along with the profession of modeling. I was the princess in the house for my parents, aunts and cousins and that’s something that I grew up with.
Grazia: How did you end up joining the world of Fashion Modeling?
Janira: I have been an expressionist for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I used to write stories, dress up and act ( in front of a mirror). Somedays I turned into a rock star in my own bathroom posing in that life size mirror with my own personal mic that was my shampoo bottle. I liked to sketch, sing and perform. My mum used to be a dress-maker and she would design fancy outfits for me. Anyway a few months after I turned 18, I was spotted by a casting agent who was selecting models for an upcoming Pageant. She not only encouraged me (not that I needed that much of it) but she also told me that I have really good features and if I can work hard then I can be a really good model. So that’s really how my career started. I won the title Miss Algeria and internationally represented my country.
Dress: Sania Maskatiya
Grazia: Why and how did you start your career in the Asian Modeling industry?
Janira: I moved to London when I was 20. I got signed by a local modeling agency and soon after a friend of mine recommended me to do an Asian fashion show. I was getting a lot of attention from the designers and before the end of the show I got booked for a couple of shoots.
I think knowing your strengths and weaknesses is really important as an artist. Coming from a mixed-race background I quickly noticed that my features and physique were quite appealing in the South-Asian market. I was already interested in South-Asian movies, songs and cuisine. I also knew a fair bit about the culture and society so it was a match made in heaven. In hindsight, I think I made the perfect choice. I could have gone into western fashion but the novelty, uniqueness, fair bit of fame and respect that I have gotten in the South-Asian market is unmatched. Above all, it is something that I am comfortable with.
Grazia: Where are you originally from? What is home for you?
Janira: Haha , I was waiting for that question! That is something that I get asked very often. My dad is Algerian and my mum is Spanish. So technically I am half European and half African-Arab although I look more South-Asian at times.
Home? That sure is a hard one… I guess when you have lived and worked in 3 different continents before your 25th birthday then the term “home” is directly connected to personal comfort. I shuttle between Paris, London, Lahore, Alicante and LA. Generally speaking, I think that feeling of “home” is overly romanticised. But to answer your question in a literal way I would say it is Paris. It’s where my parents live and it’s where I studied. Even though now Lahore feels more homely than any other place in the world. I mean recently I have even had fleeting thoughts about settling in Pakistan.
Grazia: What is your fitness routine like ?
Janira: I love working out and keeping fit but I am not fanatical about it. As long as you are in shape and presentable for your job you shouldn’t stress too much about fitness. I know that models are labeled and presented as fitness junkies but I personally think that doing too much of it not only drains you but it also takes away whatever little time you get left with after hectic modeling schedules. Overall, I like being active, my morning fitness routine usually involves a quick run but because I am traveling quite often my routine changes a lot. For example if I am in Lahore I’d concentrate more on stretching, meditation and yoga. If I am in Paris or London I’d start the day with a quick 20 min run followed by a couple of laps in the swimming pool and end the session by going to the sauna.
Dress: 9 Lines
Grazia: Share some beauty tips and tricks for our readers?
Janira: Ok first of all, I try to eat healthy. I think it’s the best thing that you can do for yourself and your body.
If you just concentrate on eating healthy and cut fried food from your diet then you’d gradually notice an amazing transformation. Also, keep away from excess sugar and that’s coming from someone who has a massive sweet tooth. As far as beauty products are concerned then I’d say I am someone who is quite big on this whole natural “organic ingredients” thing. I use handmade soaps, rose water along with organic face and body oils.
I am not a big fan of promoting beauty products on social media as I think every skin is different and people should do their own research on products before using them. Just because you see an influencer promoting something, does not mean it will suit you or be good for you.
A lot of young girls don’t realise that most of the promoters have an entire team of beauticians and a very healthy skin routine and diet. You should know your skin type before jumping on the bandwagon. Oh and once again, diet is the key.
Grazia: Is acting something you will consider at some point?
Janira: I think acting is something that I’d definitely consider in the long run. I was actually approached by someone who was starting a project in Pakistan and they somehow thought that I speak fluent Urdu but because I don’t have the command on the language just yet. I think I will prepare myself first before jumping into any projects in Pakistan. In France, I have recently started working on a short-film and due to contractual obligations I can’t share a lot of details. But to answer the question, yes acting is something that I have always been interested in and the fact that I look multi-ethnic and can speak 4 languages, I think I can do well in this field with a little bit of hard-work and preparation.
Grazia: Tell us what a day in your life looks like ? Take us through your routine.
Janira: Again, it depends where I am in the world. My day usually starts with a run and a long shower. It wakes me up and I do most of my planning and check my to-do list while I stand in shower. I am scrolling through emails, DMs and WhatsApp messages and replying to bookings while drying my hair and by the time I have had my french press coffee or fresh smoothie, I have half my day planned and I am ready to go. Show days can be both stressful and rewarding at the same time. I try to plan on show days more as this is where I get a lot of exposure and bookings. On such days I generally rise at about 5 in the morning and I make sure to have a Spanish omelet (all thanks to my mum for teaching me how to make it).
On some days (depending where I am) I go to a cafe and trust me it’s not easy to control your sweet tooth with all the pastries and chocolate croissants but I make sure that my diet is in check. You don’t want to fill yourselves up right before a shoot or a show and feel bloated but you still want to go up and have the energy and look excited and bouncy so it’s important to have fuel but the right kind.
On my days off at home I am dressed just in a hoodie with a cup of coffee and a book overlooking the busy morning traffic in Paris. I try to switch off my work mode when I am not working. I think it’s really important to just pause, breathe and think about your surroundings… self reflection and me-time is necessary when you are living a life where half your time is spent traveling. After my coffee time, I usually hit the swimming pool and sauna, spend time with my family and try not to think about work. I don’t get to see them a lot because of my routine but as you grow up you realise that your parents need you as much as you needed them when you were young. I take my dad for lunch and we spend some quality family time. In the evening I usually see my girlfriends who I am comfortable with and who are usually not related to work or the fashion industry.
Dress: Zuria Dor
Grazia: An advice for aspiring models.
Janira: Research and know yourself. Find out what your target market is and how you can break into it. It’s quite hard when you start and you need to have a really thick skin because you’ll get doors slammed in your face and would get pretty harsh comments and unsolicited advice. It’s a cut throat industry and I am sorry if this sounds harsh but if you don’t have a thick skin and are easily offended or too sensitive then it might not be your thing.
However, if you are determined then get used to rejections but don’t find comfort in them. Instead, use those closed doors and “no’s” as fuel for your motivation. And keep pushing and believing in yourself. I’d also like to add that you set your standards with your behavior. People look at you and treat you according to your behavior and presentation. If that hem is too short or that neckline is too low then say no. Speak up. Don’t worry about losing jobs or clients, once they see value in your looks and posture they will come back. Don’t do anything that you don’t feel comfortable with. Set your standards once you reach a certain point and then you will get projects accordingly.