“Sharam Sharam” is what 23-year-old Angolan-Portugese superstar Sharam Diniz has tattooed on her right arm. “It translates to modesty and shyness in Arabic,” she says very soft spoken. Being called a “black panther” and with a title like 2014 GQ Portugal's “Woman of the Year,” it is hard to believe that Miss Diniz would have a shy bone in her body. As her modeling career is just kicking off, she has already been a Victoria’s Secret Angel and has a coveted timepiece campaign with the mythical house of Chanel. With 2014 already paving to be a great year for Miss Diniz, she insists on finishing her education too – a “must.” “To be a good model: you need to be intelligent. To be a successful woman: you need to work hard, you need to read, and you need to continue studying.”
Here, Miss Diniz met with Playing Fashion after our shoot and talks Zumba, social media, and what beauty is in her eyes.
WHEN I WAS YOUNGER
my dream was to be an actress – not a model. Ever since I was fifteen, a daily routine of mine has been to watch soap operas. In soap operas, most of the stories and dramas are based off real life, which is what I like about them. They’re not fairy tales, but closer to true stories.
FAMILY IS MOST IMPORTANT TO ME
My mother was always supporting my modeling. My father, on the other hand, wanted me to finish secondary school. He and I made a contract that if my grades suffered: I would put modeling on hold. But thankfully, that didn’t happen. Of course, then I couldn’t go to parties or the beach with my friends because I had to study… I really wanted to continue working in this industry.
FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND INSTAGRAM… I’M ADDICTED!
The first thing I do when I wake up, is look through my phone and check my emails, texts, and even my Instagram likes! Recently, I was on a Mediterranean cruise with no reception and I kept looking at my phone thinking “Oh my God, I don’t know what’s going on!” My phone is with me everywhere; I don’t think I could live without it.
I LOVE TO TRAVEL
My mother was a flight attendant; growing up, planes were like my second home. I adore Paris too… It is very difficult to pick a favorite city when there are so many. I love visiting my family and friends back home, though I hope my next job is somewhere tropical on the beach!
I’M VERY VERSATILE WHEN IT COMES TO MY STYLE
he same way I love wearing jeans and being casual with pieces from Rag & Bone, I love being elegant with Carolina Herrera and sexy with Prabal Gurung. I shop a lot – especially at Saks because they have everything and everyone. I don’t just shop for the brand name though, rather for the item itself, so I like H&M and TopShop too. It’s important to mix things up.
FASHION IS INCREDIBLY TRANSPARENT
Everything depends on your look and what certain client it fits. You cannot think to yourself, “Oh, why can’t I look a certain way?” because you will get jobs that other girls don’t. You need to be grateful and thankful for what you build for yourself. Every year, it gets easier.
I ADMIRE WOMEN LIKE GISELE BÜNDCHEN AND NAOMI CAMPBELL
When I think of Gisele, I think of everything: covers, campaigns, shows, beauty, intelligence, maturity, charisma. If I had to emulate someone it would be her. When you reach a certain level, it is still important to stay grounded and remember the influence you have.
TRUE BEAUTY IS BEING YOU AND BEING NATURAL
As much as I love getting my hair and make-up done, I still believe in taking care of yourself, having a good personality and listening to other people. When you are learning and growing, that is most beautiful.
DARK IS BEAUTIFUL TOO
Most window shops and campaigns have Caucasian and blonde girls. Dark skinned girls need to be able to feel that they too can be models and actresses. I think this is changing. With women like Lupita (Nyong’o) starting a sort of revolution, girls with African roots can think to themselves “I’m dark, but I am still beautiful.”
SKINCARE IS VERY IMPORTANT
I swear by facials from Mamie McDonald on 5th Avenue in NYC. She suggested this range of products from Luzern Laboratories in Switzerland. It keeps my skin hydrated and beautiful.
I GET A DEEP CLEANSING FACIAL JUST ABOUT EVERY MONTH
and I try to remove my make-up right after a job, because you don’t want to spend a long time with make-up on your face. I also wash my face before bed every night. You might think it’s clean but you’ve been outside!
ZUMBA CLASSES ARE MY FAVORITE
I also box and do Pilates. When I’m not traveling, I’ll go to the gym about four or five times a week and do casual stuff like cardio and weights. I get excited for Fridays because that’s when they have the Zumba classes.
I LOVE TO EAT!
Especially seafood. Shrimp and sushi are my favorites. MOMOYA on 23rd & 7th in Chelsea is my go-to for sushi. Rather than limiting myself from certain foods, I just go to the gym afterwards to burn off the calories because I eat just about everything. Ferrero Rocher and peanut M&Ms are my guilty pleasures.
Photography by Jens Ingvarsson; styling by Robert Mishchenko; make-up and hair by Kristine Cruz; model: Sharam Diniz / Next; casting by Bert Martirosyan.
Opening Image: top by Martin Keehn.