In 1999 Zohre Esmaeli and her family had to leave their native Afghanistan on the run from the Taliban. They came to Germany, where she was discovered as a model.
Today Zohre is successful as an international model and booked at shows across the world. Recently, she has created her own collection. She mixes traditional Afghan styles with European designs.
Esmaeli is an ambassador for the German anti-discrimination agency and runs her own charity project called “Culture Coaches”. The organization aims to help refugees settle in German society.
Born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1985, Zohre and her family escaped to Germany when she was just 13 years old. Longing for a new life without war and fear the family embarked on a perilous journey that took them over seven months. More than once Zohre found herself in dangerous and life threatening situations.
Finally in Germany, for the first time in years, the young girl was able to go to school and explore the endless possibilities that Europe has to offer.
At the age of 17 Zohre was discovered as a model and soon after started to work with various German, Swiss and Austrian photographers. Eventhough her family had doubts about this very untraditional career choice, she held on to her dream.
Zohre is still the only high fashion model born and raised in Afghanistan.
Unlike most models, Zohre started to develop her career on her own terms. In 2003 she started beeing the face of “BRETZ” and continued working with them until 2007, when she was discovered by “Manfred Bogner” who placed her into most “Bonnie by Bogner” ads and fashion shows.
With repeating appearances in major fashion publications for more than three years (including Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan) she finally decided to meet agencies all over the world to open even more possibilities, which eventually led her working in Barcelona, Vienna, Milano and New York City.
In 2006 she arrived in Paris and walked for various designers during fashion week, all thanks to Belgian national “Gerald Watelet“ who saw her potential and hired her for the first time.
Still her difficult past and heritage is a big part her and who she is. In between editorial shoots and advertisement campaigns, she dedicates a big portion of her time to helping others through different charities such as “Women for Women” and the German-based “Afghanistan – Hilfe die ankommt”.
Zohre has written a book about her life published in German.