Moving through Midtown Manhattan on a summer afternoon with Maryam Basir was an opportunity to walk a few blocks in someone else’s shoes—in this case, peep-toe oxford platforms with five-and-a-half-inch heels. As she passed down 38th Street on the way to a casting call, she carried a rolled-up yoga mat and pulled a small suitcase containing three changes of clothing. Men swiveled their heads for a second look. Women gave her outfit—sheer white long-sleeve blouse, spangled black bow tie, coral shorts—appraising glances. She didn’t seem to notice.
“Among young models, Maryam stands out,” said Scott Wojcik, a casting director who hired her for DSW’s national advertising campaign. “There are two kinds of models, ‘relatable’ and ‘aspirational.’ Maryam is both. That’s extremely rare.” Read More