Taleedah Tamer accomplished several feats this year before hitting the age of 18 in August. The bicultural model, who is the daughter of Saudi Arabian businessman Ayman Tamer and Italian model-dancer Cristina Tamer, became the first model of her heritage to walk a couture runway in Paris and feature on a global magazine cover.
Tamer said she never planned to be the first, but believes it’s a great responsibility.
“Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved and admired my mum’s modelling pictures and hoped that one day I would have pictures of my own. As I got older, I started to really appreciate and have a passion for art and photography and I think modelling stemmed from that,” she said, in an email interview.
Gulf News tabloid! caught up with the budding starlet to find out what’s next for her.
Q: What were you like when you were growing up? Were you an introvert, an extrovert?
A: Being part of a sportive family made me very active. I practiced ballet from the age of six and also did horse[back] riding. My whole family always had a love for horses, especially my dad, and that really reinforced my motivation and passion for riding. I also took part in swimming skiing and snowboarding. I have also always had a love for music and have been playing piano since I was six years old and took up guitar when I was 13 years old.
Q: What was it like growing up in a bicultural household?
A: Growing up in a bicultural household is very different. My mum has always been there with me on any job and has taught me the importance of being professional, to always be nice to everyone around me and to make everyone feel comfortable with me. These are the main important lessons that she has given me.
Q: Who did you look up to when you were younger, in terms of beauty?
A: Since a young age, I’ve always looked up to models who used their career for a higher purpose. I looked up to Gisele [Bundchen] when I was younger, when she was building a business at a new level. I always thought that she had one of the best walks and looked up to her and her success.
Q: What’s the best lesson you learned from your father, and the best lesson you learned from your mother?
A: A lesson my father always taught me can be simplified into these words: ‘Have fun, be good, and do your best.’ ... My father has always taught me to do things in a way that I enjoy myself, that I do them at my absolute best with full commitment and that I am able to help people and others around me while doing so. My mum has taught me countless things that would take too long to mention. However, two specific ones come to mind. First is to always make sure that people around me have my best interest at heart and to be very wise with the people I trust. Second is one that I have learned through observing her, which is to always be kind. My mother is and always will be the kindest person I come across. She is selfless and always has the best intentions.
Q: Which languages do you speak?
A: I speak three languages fluently; English, Italian and Arabic. I studied at an Arabic school until the last four years of high school and always spoke Arabic with my friends and father. Italian is the language our mother raised us with and English is the common language in the family.
Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
A: Rude people. I truly dislike it when people do not take into consideration the impact of their actions and words and how it makes people feel.
Q: If you hadn’t entered fashion, what career path would you most likely have taken?
A: I know that modelling is not the only career path I will take as I want to do other things in the future. I have many other dreams and hopes that I plan to accomplish. I am truly enjoying modelling and intend to pursue my career and learn as much as possible from the experience.
Q: Finally, if you could be dressed by any designer in the world, who would it be and why?
A: I look up to and love many different and unique designers and hope to be given the opportunity to work with them. I think it would be an amazing experience to work with Karl Lagerfeld, Donatella Versace and Giorgio Armani because they have been in the industry for decades and [I] would love to collaborate and learn from them.