Yazemeenah Rossi is a 64-year-old model who started a modeling career at that age when a model is usually being replaced by a younger generation, once again proving to the world that there are no age limits in fashion. She is a woman who thoroughly enjoys her age and lives the life to its fullest.
The Fashiongton Post: Before going into modeling career around 30, what jobs did you have before?
Yazemeenah Rossi: I was a mother of two kids at 20, working from home, making clothes, knitting, interior design for friends and private clients. I knew since teen that I would never work in an office or stay at the same place through all my life, so even at the time when raising my children I was very active and independent.
F.P.: Why did you decide to pursue a career as a model at the end?
Y.R.: One day someone needed a model because their model was in emergency at a hospital, and asked me if I could start right away that evening. So, I jumped into that because I simply love the unknown! I never worked outside my home and in front of the public before, so it seemed exciting to me, as well as made me smile… how ironic was life, as my mother always told me that I would never be a model because I couldn’t stand still maximum for 10 minutes when she was fitting my clothes on me… Thus I started to work as a fit model. It was not glamorous at all at the beginning and was a hard first experience, though I kept my eyes wide open and saw an opportunity in it. It became better and better as more as I aged.
F.P.: What is your greatest strength as a model?
Y.R.: My strength is in being true to myself, have integrity, and being stubborn… I will not do things I don’t want to do. And this applies to every part of my life, not only modeling actually.
F.P.: Where do you think that people dress the worst?
Y.R.: Everywhere you have people who dress well and less well, regarding their living, cultural and social conditions, etc. I travel a lot, and sometimes even in very poor countries I can find people dressing well, because elegance is not just about the trends and pricey things… it is also a reflection of the dignity of the being, which is manifested through the choice of the items that people choose to wear. It is all about the sense of harmony and balance.
F.P.: Is it fair to say you like to provoke?
Y.R.: I have no intention to provoke, I am just being myself.
F.P.: Do you need to be fearless to be fashionable?
Y.R.: When you do what you like — there is no room for fear, and your fashion is an expression of who you are, what suits you, and the way you are connected with your true self.
F.P.: Collaborations with various fashion brands nowadays become more and more important for models. Are they a good way of cashing in?
Y.R.: I don’t work for ”famous” fashion brands anymore, and prefer to work for the new generation designers who usually have little budget but appreciate my authenticity and have no clue about my age.
F.P.: Some media say that you are thinking about giving up modeling. Is that true?
Y.R.: Media sometimes say a lot of lies and distort the facts… Once they used my images taken on the Internet… some of those when I was 50, saying that I am 78 (!) and look so young because I use their products… thus creating me a life that has nothing to do with mine at all! Getting back to the question — I never said that I would stop modeling but, on the contrary, always mentioned that I would work until the end for as long as this work is pleasurable to me.
F.P.: Do you earn a living only by modeling or are there any other projects or work?
Y.R.: I still have some income from running TV commercials, but there is less and less work for professional models these days, since the social media and selfie–era are totally changing the industry. I also work on several other things as, for example, hand made collection of shawls, jewelry, and fine art photography.
F.P.: Which role does traveling play in your life?
Y.R.: Traveling started when I was a few months old and always been a very important part of my life… Being born under Sagittarius, instilled this energy of discovering and be excited of the unknown.
F.P.: What kind of fashion related movies are you passionate about?
Y.R.: I have not seen a lot but the one I really like is the one about Alexander McQueen.
F.P.: Do you usually differentiate between your work life and your private life?
Y.R.: Not really, I am an entity in its wholeness. The way I present myself professionally is the same way I am with myself alone. You can see in my personal pictures that they are somewhat similar to editorial pictures… because it is who I am. I don’t loose my personality.
F.P.: Nowadays most people share a glorified version of their lives online through social networks. Do you do that with yours or no?
Y.R.: For me there is no need to bring a glorified version of myself other than who I am… I am sharing the true me by posting about my life, my reality, the way I see the world and the beauty I appreciate in the little things of my daily life. This is touching people by giving them an authorisation to simply let them be who they are.
F.P.: Your piece of advice to the readers of The Fashiongton Post?
Y.R.: It is the same thing I would advise to myself. And what works for me is to be ME, not to copy anyone, to develop more and more my inner connection with the world, by being aware that my being is not only the aspect of my physical body but much more, being deeply connected with the invisible world of all limitless possibilities and being carried by this magic!