If there’s anyone that perfectly embodies the easy confidence and understated feminine allure of Salt Label it would have to be model Janna Saouda, 18 years old, and one of the faces of our latest Lite Collection.
For our Wellington based brand, Salt Label, Janna's experience and classy vintage look are the perfect pairings to bring our minimal style to life.
We were curious to get a behind the scenes look at what life is really like as a model, and so we decided to spend a little time getting to know Janna. Join the conversation for a glimpse at Janna's favourite brands, travel tips, biggest inspiration, and her musings on op shopping.
Photographer: Val Cabadonga
For those who don't know you, can you give us a rundown of who you are and what you are about?
I am a model, self-taught MUA, and teacher aide living happily in New Zealand. 18 years old, I am a Lebanese Kiwi who loves to travel and experiencing new cultures but still could not love anything more than my hometown Wellington. I work as a teacher aide during the day but spend my free time practising my photography and adventuring with new features of my art, as well as creating awesome collaborations with designers such as Suzy Broad for Salt Label.
Do you have any favourite New Zealand labels that fill your wardrobe?
I love so many New Zealand brands but you may not find many in my wardrobe. I am a passionate op shopper and gain my labels by luck if anything. I find that you should get staple pieces such as sleepwear, swimwear, intimates and shoes brand new. For any other clothing you can usually grab something different and with a twist of unique fun from an op shop if you look long enough. - A real recycling goddess, woohoo!!
Tell us a random fact that not people would know about you?
My name Janna is Arabic for 'paradise' and my sister's name Amera, is Arabic for 'princess'. I think most people see my passion for my descent and pride in my background. My father was born in Lebanon and is the youngest of 9 children. The family has obviously grown since and I think it’s quite fun that I have 27 cousins I still have yet to meet scattered around Lebanon, Greece, and Germany. Another random fact people might not know about me is that I have had every hair colour imaginable since I began with a bright pink pixie cut at 5 years old working my way through the rainbow as I grew up, it’s helpful when my Dad and Stepmum are hairdressers.
What trends are you loving at the moment? What is your favourite piece from Salt Label?
At the moment I am loving the 90’s comeback of flare jeans, funky shirts, and sneakers. I have always loved my colourful and comfy shoes, the casual summer vibe of a nice fitting pair of jeans coupled with your favourite pair of shoes is the best. I love that leaving the bottom half simple gives you the freedom to choose any top you like to dress the occasion up or down. I absolutely adore too many pieces from Salt Label to choose, from the dad caps to the Lite collection. My ultimate two favourite pieces from Salt Label have to be the Basic Ellie pair in deep blue and Lite Sophie one piece in white. The Ellie two piece is such a lovely shape and high waist bottom made with this amazing blue fabric, and the Sophie one piece curves to your body shape but still sits really nice and comfortably on my body.
Photographer: Tamara Jones
Where is your favourite holiday destination? Any travel tips?
My favourite holiday destination is difficult to choose as I feel that so many cultures offer different experiences to people. If I had to choose a place I loved and would strongly suggest for others to visit, it has to be the Philippines specifically the island of Boracay. The people are welcoming and friendly, the beach has white sands and clear water, it is definitely a place for relaxation. I think the most vital travel tip is to be organised and stay prepared for not only any uneasy situations that may arise but also the culture shock. I recommend that when people travel to unfamiliar countries they not only prepare themselves for the shock but also adjust as much as possible to the society and cultural traditions. As a traveller, you want to have the closest and local experience you can whilst respecting the values of the culture.
Apart from being in front of the camera, What else will we catch you getting up to?
As I briefly mentioned before, I work as a teacher aide helping children with learning disabilities progress with things such as their techniques of learning, fine motor skills, etc. In addition to this, I also move around and work at the schools preschool and after school care. Working with children really fills me with so much joy, I feel very lucky that I get to do what I enjoy while also being able to incorporate the other things into my life I love, such as modelling. When I’m not working I love to expand my styles of art and poetry, at the moment you can usually find me sketching unusual portraits of my all time favourite icons. I think my passion for art is the reason why I love the creativity in fashion collaborations I get to be a part of. Another form of art I love to do in my spare time is my personal project as a self-taught makeup artist freelancing in Wellington. I love meeting and finding out about new people so it’s amazing that freelancing, modelling, and my job allow me to do that every day.
What’s your biggest inspiration at the moment?
At the moment I don’t think I have one specific inspiration as opposed to having just pure passion and drive to see what could happen next. I get really excited about the future as I’ve seen how quickly and randomly life can bless you but also curse you and I think that gives me momentum to do everything 100%. My mum and my dad both taught me to believe completely in everything I put my energy into and I think that combined with the awesome opportunities that are open to our generation push me to try new things every day and step out of my comfort zone.
What’s next for Janna Saouda?
My biggest hope for the future is a volunteer trip in 2018 helping children learn English in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and providing conservation protection in Madagascar. The one trip I have desperately wanted to make is to Africa ever since my dad visited and explained to me his experience with the children who wanted nothing more than basic education and a sense of a different culture so unfamiliar to theirs. I also hope to host an art viewing of my work at some point next year as a personal goal to develop my art into more of an important part of my daily life and to challenge myself to do something I’ve never done before. I’m excited to see where 2018 takes me and I’m excited to continue working towards different experiences along with all the people I’m looking forward to creating unique work with.