Angolan born model Sharam Diniz has an impressive modeling portfolio – the winner of Ford Supermodel Portugal and Look Model Search has worked for so many top fashion brands from the likes of Balmain, Carolina Herrera, Hervé Léger, BCBG Max Azria, Hervé Léger, Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu, and most recently got featured in the 2016 Spring/Summer collection of Sophie Theallet. We were thrilled to get Sharam away from her busy schedule to talk to us about modeling in New York and how she got scouted for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. 

Sharam+Diniz+Angolan+Model+Interview+With+Zen+Magazine+AfricaSharam Diniz is signed to Next Models in New York

Zen: Describe a typical day in the life of Sharam.
SD: I love to be in my own space. When I am not working I go to the gym and when I have some free time for myself I might go watch a movie or just hang out with friends at my place which is my comfort zone.

Zen: What was your childhood like?
SD: My childhood gives me the best memories as a child and helped me become the human being I am today. Everything seemed so simple and fun. I was born and raised in Angola, a tropical country South West of Africa. As a child, I would go to school during the week while on the weekends we normally used to head to the beach with my parents. On Sundays church was compulsory.

Zen: How did you get into modelling?
SD: I was 17 years old when I was scouted and then invited to compete on ‘Step Model Look 2008’ organized by my local agency (Step Models) in my hometown, Luanda. Winning was a blessing, and after that L’Agence Models in Portugal offered me a contract. In 2010, I won the Ford Models Competition in Portugal and Model Look Search Office, in London. Subsequently, my plane took off! I was put in the most important markets of the modeling industry such as New York, Paris and Milan, being represented by Next Worldwide.

Zen: What’s it like during a photo shoot? Do you get nervous?
SD: It all depends on the project. I can feel a bit tensed because I have “to be” someone that I’m not familiar with, or get to wear small shoes (laughs) which can be really painful or even for some reason if I have to be in a swimsuit and it’s freezing (laughs).

Sharam+Diniz+Angolan+Model+Interview+With+Zen+Magazine+AfricSharam seen here modeling luxury jewelry from MEISSEN’s
advertising campaign. Photographed by Matthew Brooks

Zen: What’s the most challenging part about modelling?
SD: Definitely the acting! As a model you have to wear different characters all the time, the only difference is that most of the times this interpretation is for pictures and not for television. Still the same hard work because the picture has to speak for itself and my job is to deliver the same message to the world without saying a single word.

Zen: How is modelling in America like?
SD: Modelling in the United States of America is a huge opportunity to build a career. There’s a lot more diversity as well as work, because it’s a huge market comparing to Europe and Africa.

Zen: What is the one major thing you have learned from being a model?
SD: Modelling is all about opportunity and it has taught me that if I am not always in my best shape I might end up losing jobs. So it’s important as a model to always keep in shape.

Zen: What are a few of your favorite or let’s say special moments in modelling?
SD: I have so many!! Apart from my latest awards, Golden Globes Portugal as Best Female Model 2013, GQ Portugal Woman of the Year 2014, Angola Fashion Awards Best Female Model 2015, which are the most recent recognition’s of my work, I have so many others; one of them would be my first big campaign in New York City for 7 For All Mankind by my amazing friend David Lipman, Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2012 being the first Angolan & Portuguese Model walking in the show, being on the cover of Vogue Portugal as the 1st Angolan Model, GQ, Elle, Chanel L’instant campaign by Patrick Demarchelier, working with Balmain, Carolina Herrena, and many more.

Zen: Speaking of special moments. You recently walked the runways in New York for the Victoria’s secret fashion show 2015. Tell us how was it like walking on such a massive stage like the VSFS?
SD: It was my second time walking for the brand and comparing to the show in 2012 I can tell that I was very nervous.

Below is a photo of Sharam at the Victoria’s secret fashion show 2015:

Sharam+Diniz+Angolan+Model+Interview+With+Zen+Magazine+Afric

Zen: Why were you nervous?
SD: My first time walking for the show was in 2012. And this year it was a bit different because I felt more mature in some ways. The excitement compared to the first show was completely different. It was a dream come true walking for the show again. I haven’t done the show for 2 years compared to the other models who have done it 2 to 3 years straight.

Zen: How did you get signed up for it?
SD:
This year I worked harder to be able to be in the show. I went to the first call and 2 days later I got the callback. 3 days later I found out that I was in the show. I am very superstitious so I decided to keep the secret for almost a week (Laughs).

Zen: Can you tell us a bit about your beauty regime?
SD:
I take care of my skin by doing facials monthly, washing my face with a cleanser daily and wearing day and night moisturizer.

Zen: Who are a few of the fashion designers you have worked with both internationally and locally in Africa?
SD: 
I have worked with Carolina Herrera, Herve Leger, Jason Wu, Denis Basso, BCBG, Balmain, Vivienne Westwood, Chanel,  David Tlale (South Africa),  Nadir Tati (Angola), Rose Palhares (Angola), Fiu Negru (Angola), and Soraya Piedade (Angola).

Zen: How would you describe your personal style?
SD:
 My style is versatile and refined. I like a wide range of things, provided they are of quality.

Zen: Describe African fashion in your words.
SD:
I believe African fashion has evolved greatly and it is on track to become what it should be: an important sector of the economy and society, creating jobs, developing culture, and opening prospects for young people and many professionals from different complementary areas.

Sharam+Diniz+Angolan+Model+Interview+With+Zen+Magazine+Africa (3)“Only determination and willpower will help you achieve your
goals.” Sharam shares advice to new models
getting into the industry

Zen: Do you have a signature scent/favorite perfume?
SD:
 I love Tom Ford Tuscan leather.

Zen: Who are your favorite photographers?
SD:
 My 4 favorite photographers are Patrick Demarchelier, David Lipman, Steven Klein, and Mario Testino.

Zen: Advice for aspiring models.
SD: Only determination and willpower will help you achieve your goals. You also need patience because good things take time to happen, and you must not give up on your dreams. And above all, trust and love your body. A woman has to enjoy herself, and feel safe even with the imperfections that nature gave her.

Zen: 5 things you cannot live without.
SD: Love, food, work, internet and my cellphone.

Zen: What are your plans for the future?
SD: I’d love to achieve so many different things in my career. Without a doubt, to continue building my name in the industry and staying relevant and humble to the worlds eyes is what I’m working towards.

More photos of Sharam below:

Sharam+Diniz+Angolan+Model+Interview+With+Zen+Magazine+Africa (4)Sharam+Diniz+Angolan+Model+Interview+With+Zen+Magazine+Afric (3)Sharam+Diniz+Angolan+Model+Interview+With+Zen+Magazine+Africa (2)Sharam+Diniz+Angolan+Model+Interview+With+Zen+Magazine+Afric (2)Sharam’s tattoo on her right arm “Sharam-Sharam”
translates to modesty and shyness in Arabic

Connect with Sharam Diniz on social media!
Instagram: @sharamdiniz | Twitter: @sharamdiniz | Facebook: Sharam Diniz