Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Yasmeen Ghauri (Urdu: یاسمین غوری; born March 23, 1971) is a Canadian former model.
Yasmeen Ghauri was born in Montreal, Quebec to a German mother, Linda, and a Pakistani father, Moin Ghauri. Ghauri had a difficult childhood, and was bullied by her classmates at school. Ghauri was reportedly working at a McDonald's restaurant at the age of 17 when she was discovered by Montreal hairdresser and artistic director of Platine Coiffure, Edward Zaccharia. Soon after her discovery, there was a shift in mentality within the fashion industry, moving from predominantly Nordic-looking models to more "ethnic" models, a trend which Ghauri helped to inspire.
Despite her parents' disapproval, Ghauri actively pursued a modeling career, premiering in Milan and Paris before moving to New York in 1990. Here, she was noticed by fashion critics and labels alike. The New York Times described her runway walk as a "ball-bearing swivel of her hips". Her appearance prompted part of what is now termed in fashion the "Canadian invasion".
Ghauri enjoyed fame in the early 1990s after her first major cover with Elle Magazine in January 1991. Soon after, she became the face of both Chanel and Jil Sander. By the end of 1990, Ghauri appeared on the cover of French Elle magazine in July and December. In September, she graced the catwalk for Gianni Versace's show in Milan and by the next month, she was walking for Chanel, Helmut Lang, Jean Paul Gaultier and Lanvin in Paris. She became the face of Christian Dior and Anne Klein in 1991. In January, she was photographed by Steven Meisel for the cover of Italian Vogue magazine and toward the end of the year, she appeared in British and Italian Vogue editorials. Photographer Patrick Demarchelier, who photographed her for the Italian issue, called her his favourite subject.
In 1992, she landed a contract with Victoria’s Secret and became a face of Valentino couture and Versace. According to a NYMag.com online model profile, Ghauri walked the controversial Gianni Versace "Bondage" show in Milan in February 1992. Ghauri became the face of Hermès and Lanvin in 1993 and was photographed by Gilles Bensimon for Elle. She appeared in the 1995 documentary Unzipped by Isaac Mizrahi, and walked the 1996 annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
When Ghauri stepped out of the Yves Saint Laurent show in 1996 at the last minute, speculations arose that she was retiring. She did indeed retire to start a family with her husband, Ralph Bernstein, and now has a daughter, Maia, and a son, Victor.
Ghauri was the inspiration for the character Jasmine in the comic book series Jonathan Steele. Just like the real person, the comic book character is a former model, born in Montreal to a Pakistani father and a German mother.