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April 19, 2012

Inspirations: Yasmin Warsame, Somali-born Supermodel

Yasmin Abshir Warsame (full name: Yasmiin Abshir Warsame), a Somali-Canadian model and activist, born May 17, 1976 and named "The Most Alluring Canadian" in 2004. Unlike her fellow models who began in their teen-ages, Yasmin started modelling in her early twenties and was five months pregnant with her son Hamzah when she got her first job.

Warsame was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1976, as a Muslim and moved to Toronto, Canada with her family, when she was fifteen years old. She studied psychology and social sciences at Seneca College.

Professional modelling agency scouts from SHOK Models in Toronto, Cindy LaChapelle and Camille Bailey found Yasmin in 1997 while she was riding the TTC Subway train. She signed a contract with SHOK Models.

As her mother agency, SHOK Models arranged her first testing with Toronto based photographer Chris Albert and booked her first modelling assignment with Fiorio Salon for the ABA (Allied Beauty Association)annual hair show. Yasmin did the show while she was in her first trimester of her first pregnancy.

In 2000, Warsame modelled for the Sears catalogue and Ford Models, in Toronto. In the summer of 2002, she headed for Paris, where she was featured in the Italian Vogue, photographed by Steven Meisel and again in the summer of 2002 she was featured in the Italian Vogue, photographed by Steven Meisel. In December 2011 she was featured as the cover model of YYZ Living then later an entire 2012 editorial from Flare.

Warsame has worked for the following agencies: NEXT [Paris and London], IMG New York, View Barcelona and Tony Jones Amsterdam. She has been featured on the covers of Vogue Italia and American Vogue, American and British Elle, and Amica and Surface magazines. She has also modelled both the couture and ready-to-wear runways for everyone from Christian Dior to Jean Paul Gaultier. In addition, Warsame has done high-profile advertising campaigns for Valentino couture, Dolce & Gabbana, H&M and many others.

Warsame is a volunteer for the Somali Youth Coalition in Canada. She currently lives in New York and Toronto, and is signed with IMG Models.

Yasmin Warsame's story reminds me everyday that no matter where you are in the world, anything is possible. She is the inspiration for the month of April, 2012.

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