All Eyes On Shereen Mohammed

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that I discovered who Shereen Mohammed was, but I distinctly remember that it was instant intrigue. For one, the warmth that translates across all of her work is inviting, and I’m not singularly referring to the quiet, terracotta tones of her IG feed. She has an aura about her that instantly draws you in. Perhaps even more important for me, however, was her deep connection to a rich, cultural history. After uncovering more about the New York native, I learned she was born into a mixed-race family, just as I am. And, to see someone so fervently embrace both sides of her lineage was not only inspirational, but also cherished and respected.

While witnessing that parallel was what initially held my gaze, there’s so much to appreciate and admire about Shereen — her ability to balance a corporate career with a successful second job in modeling, her deep appreciation for quality clothing and thoughtful designers, her constant quest for intentionality in all she does, her amazing hair! And, it seems as though everyone is dying to work with the thirty-something resource-associate-turned-model, as Shereen has built quite the impressive list of client projects including the likes of Girlfriend Collective, Jonesy NYC, and Samantha Pleet, to name a few. We can’t deny it; we’re big fans. And, think you will be, too. Today, all eyes are on Shereen Mohammed.

Instagram handle: @loveshereee

Location: New York, New York.

Occupation: Model, Resource Associate

Tell us a little bit about yourself:  “I come from a mixed family, part Black and part Pakistani. I am born into overflowing, colorful, spiritually abundant cultures that define the very essence of me. I used to visit my family in Pakistan every summer as a child, which sparked my interest to travel the world and learn other cultures. I started posting things I truly love on my [Instagram] feed with the hopes of not only inspiring people to feel confident in what they wear, but to also promote travel. This is one of the things I love to do and felt I was good at. I treat my profile as an extension of myself, so when I’m posting, I’m posting with authenticity. When I used my platform to book modeling gigs, I connected with many independent designers and learned how to market and build myself as a brand.”

What does being a freelance model in New York look like?  “I balance a nine-to-five job at an auditing firm and modeling. A brand found me on Instagram and that’s how I started modeling. Many people started reaching out and I managed to shoot between work hours and on weekends. It wasn’t easy, nor planned, but I was lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing designers, and to be able to choose to work only with people whose art I really appreciate. Over the past year, I’ve been brainstorming ideas on how to expand myself as a brand and really focus on my projects. I sometimes find it difficult to balance gigs with my nine-to-five because it can get to be a lot, but at the same time, having that constant stimulation of learning new things is very exciting and I prefer to stay busy.”

Favorite thing about living in New York?  “Ah, where do I begin! I was born and raised in this city and have honestly never wanted to leave. And how could I? New York is a place where priceless opportunities could happen, filled with infinite possibilities to be everything you want to be.”

What’s your sign?  “A loving, exquisite, divine Leo!”

Signature look/uniform?  “A white linen dress paired with any MNZ slides or kitten heels.”

Fave local shop in your neighborhood?  “I actually prefer to shop online! But, Duo NYC has the best batches of vintage jeans.”

Tell us about your summers in Pakistan.  “I felt a sense of ease in Pakistan. It never fails to be a reminder of the crucial things in life — family and love ones, taking time for conversation, singing and dancing. Sharing meals with my grandma. Walking not running. Listening not talking. Every trip was a reminder of the simplicity of life and I reel so much from my memories as a child in Pakistan.”

When traveling to Pakistan, what’s the one thing everyone must do, see, and eat?  “Nothing beats home-cooked Pakistani food, so if you’re ever traveling to Pakistan, I’d try to find an Airbnb in either Islamabad or Lahore and stay with a family who can help provide guidance and yummy food. I’d visit local markets and head to the villages like Peshawar. The mountains and the stars at night will swoon you.”

Where have been some of your other favorite destinations you’ve traveled abroad?  “I spent a month in Italy with my best friend post-graduation back in 2013. To this day, we still reminisce on our adventures in Florence and Venice: the boys, the beaches, the music, and the natural orange juice we’d make every morning in the house we stayed in outside of the city.”

Where do you want to go next?  “I’d love to go to Ethiopia. A close friend of mine is Ethiopian and we are trying to plan a trip together, hopefully in 2020. I’ve always been fascinated with Ethiopia’s beauty and culture — its richness and diversity in stories, food, clothing, and architecture.”

Fave brand discovered on Instagram?  “Maryam Nassir Zadeh. I love, love, love every collection to date.”

Swimsuit by Maryam Nassir Zadeh.
Swimsuit by Maryam Nassir Zadeh.

Cult beauty product?  “Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum.”

Favorite brunch spot and menu choice?  “Vegan Bibimbap Bowl at Luanne ‘s Wild Ginger or the Vegetarian Ramen dish at Ivan’s Ramen in Lower East Side, Manhattan.”

The last thing you watched (and enjoyed) on Netflix?  “Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce.

Song on repeat?  “This is a hard one, but I’d choose Groove Theory’s Didja Know or Lucy Pearl’s Everyday. Actually, DeBarge’s Stay With Me.”

Currently reading?  “Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies. She is one of my favorite authors.”

What podcast should everyone listen to?  “If you’re interested in fashion and wish to succeed in industries where you’re rarely represented, I’d check out The Cutting Room Floor, presented by Recho Omondi. She shares a refreshing, unapologetic look into fashion through conversations with insiders in the industry.”

What’s a recent movement (social/political/economic) that you think everyone should be supporting and why?  “Abolishing ICE. When there’s a system or something inflicting great amounts of damage and pain, I think the reasonable thing to do is say, this is wrong, let’s stop what we’re doing and start over. It’s time to clear the path to citizenship, abolish the cruel, dysfunctional immigration system we have today and restructure our immigration laws, including ICE. Our immigrants, as well as all marginalized people in the U.S., have done more than Trump can even think of in a day for this country.”

Fill in the blank: Wake up. ________. Repeat.  “Mediate, love, take a step forward towards a dream and cook a bomb meal.”

Fave methods for meditation? “I love taking warm candlelit bubble baths, while listening to a playlist and deep conditioning my hair.”

Favorite day of the week and why?  “Saturday’s are my days to reflect on the past week and rejuvenate either at home or in the city. I look forward to being up early and having the whole day laid out in front of me to plan and enjoy. The first thing I do when I’m up is sit on a comfy chair, wrapped in a blanket with a cup of tea in my hands, enjoying its fragrant steam rise against my cheeks. Depending on my mood, I’d freshen up my apartment, take a morning yoga class, listen to a podcast while responding to emails at a local cafe, buy fresh produce at the farmer’s market or meet a friend for brunch.”

What’s on your want list?  “To own an apartment in Bedstuy, Brooklyn.”

Instagram can be a lot of smoke and mirrors. What does posting with authenticity mean to you in today’s social media landscape?  “I stay original by not comparing myself to others and staying as genuine as possible. I find it superficial to be performative online, so I tend to decline many collabs that don’t feel like me, regardless of the rate or the free item. I like to treat my profile as an extension of myself, so if I’m posting, I’m posting with authenticity.”

If you could, what’s one thing you would tell your twenty-year-old self?  “Be gentle on yourself, honey. Life is a journey to help us get to a place of healing. We’re all going to have obstacles, difficult and dark times, but life will reveal its light, so keep pushing. It’s going to be okay.”

Night in or night out?  “Definitely a night in. I love utilizing my mornings with structured plans and frankly, my body has a hard time recovering from hangovers as it did in my early 20s. I’d rather soak in a scented bath filled with herbs, listen to soft R&B, talk on the phone while cooking, and have a moment to reflect in a journal at night.”

What’s always in your fridge?  “Filtered water, an assortment of veggies, and raspberry sorbet.”

What’s made you laugh recently?  “My friends and I recently threw an early 2000s theme pregame party. We dressed up as one of our favorite artists and danced to so many throwback hits!”

Cocktail of choice?  “Spicy Margarita.”

Sweet or spicy?  “I love homemade Pakistani/Indian food. The spicier the better. My spice tolerance is super high (apologizing to my future husband in advance for all the extremely spicy food we’ll be indulging), and my favorite spicy meal is a curry based okra dish with roti or basmati rice.”

What are your personal indulgences?  “Pampering myself in all aspects from mediating, taking a yoga class, getting a customized facial treatments, to adding a new pair of shoes to my collection.”

What’s next for Shereen Mohammad?  “My dear friend and I have been looking into establishing a platform to share ideas around consulting a more conscious way to shop. We would like to launch a site that’ll give people access to affordable, chic items and add objectives within the site; for an example, items for sale, stories, and my personal brand. From there, we can add more or take away, and continue to add curation. For me, my business is an extension of my love for creating and preserving quality pieces. I am a firm believer that when someone is passionate and loves what they do, it is transparent through their work, which I believe customers innately connect with.”

Written by: Tiana Gidley

Tiana Gidley is a 20-something Contributing Editor at The Bleu. She binge-watches reality TV on Bravo, throws a mean murder mystery party, and makes her bed every morning.

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