ABOUT FARAH– Farah “Fafa” Zulaikha is a NYC-based fashion ambassador, humanitarian, model, writer, television host and biomedical researcher, earning international recognition and influence in the realms of philanthropy, fine arts, fashion and media. She is noted for her large-scale role in major charity endeavors across the globe which include her family’s own self-funded charity medical camps along with ambassadorships at some of the world’s leading organizations, her popularity as a worldwide youth leader/mentor, her talents in various forms of media/arts and her collaborations with top fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands.
EARLY LIFE/EDUCATION/DISCOVERY- Throughout her young lifetime, Farah has exhibited a social conscience and global awareness beyond her years, and unparalleled by most of her generational peers. She has returned to the her family’s ancestral land frequently, spending months learning about global issues such as poverty, hunger, access to medical care, conflict and human rights violations. In addition she and her family would oversee the construction of local schools, hospitals, community centers, infrastructure and personally distribute medicine/supplies while treating patients free of charge.
Coming from a family of scholars, Farah’s aptitude for education has continually grown in value over time. She has been a star student throughout her numerous educational pursuits, as Farah’s father (a respected doctor and community leader) volunteered for and was elected as School Board President of her district. Her admiration of his dedication to education, charity, and prestigious medical career inspired her to pursue the field of medicine and biomedical research.
Farah was seemingly born to do incredible things with her mind. She is credited by the New York State Public School system for possessing an abnormally high-level IQ and after extensive testing was designated into a special program for gifted students when her first grade teacher in Westchester, NY was shocked that upon entry into her class, Farah was not only literate, but on a fourth/fifth grade level. During reading hours she was given special permission to leave her classes and attend fourth/fifth grade reading classes until she was asked to skip grades in school as her academic and comprehension level was far advanced than those of her peers. An award-winner since childhood, Farah was the recipient of her school’s D.A.R.E. Drug Abuse Resistance Education Award where she composed an essay condemning the effects of peer pressure and substance abuse as a fifth grader. She was given a gold medal by law enforcement officials and a state senator as she read her essay aloud to a congregation of her schoolmates, their families and the local media. As a talented musician, she began her education in the musical arts in elementary school with classical violin and chorus. Farah went on to perform in both All-County Violin and All-County Chorus, for the Governor of New York State. Farah also was a winner from her school in the prestigious National Geographic Geography Bee academic competition. An avid writer, Farah was introduced to the literary arts as a special attendee of Columbia University School Of Journalism attending adult conferences and college lectures as an elementary school student from her school’s gifted program. She went on to write a fashion column that gained a student body-wide following in her middle school newspaper. She retained her gifted status throughout her schooling and was asked to join many prestigious institutions and programs such as the famed invite-only Phillips Academy Exeter/Andover boarding schools, known as the most elite private schools in the country and boasting several future U.S. Presidents as alumni. Farah declined to apply as she did not want to leave her family and go to boarding school. She was also invited to the rigorous Summer Institute For The Gifted and the National Student Leadership Conference both of which she was accepted to and attended. Additionally, as a middle school student Farah was named in her local newspaper for earning a top score in the area’s PSAT examination, taking it in 7th grade as opposed to 11th grade when most students take the exam. As a member of her high school’s Debate Team, Farah was one of a handful of students selected to attend the Rutger’s University Model Congress, representing the state of Texas. She was the only member of in the history of her school’s award-winning Step Team to serve two consecutive years as Captain where she oversaw all tryouts, selection and routine choreography leading her team to win a competition trophy at Howard University. She was also elected Treasurer of her high school’s Amnesty International chapter where she began her career of advocacy and activism.
Discovered as a young pre-teen by fashion industry idol Tyra Banks in New York City, her unconventional beauty caught the attention of the supermodel paragon. Labelled “beautiful beyond belief” by Ms. Banks, Farah was handpicked to appear on the inaugural episode of the East Coast version of her wildly popular television production “The Tyra Show” alongside mega-songstress Rihanna. Farah credits this as one of the catalysts to her foray in the global fashion and entertainment scene.
Despite her success in a variety of fields, Farah Zulaikha is still a dedicated student and is currently studying medical sciences in New York City. Most recently, Farah was the recipient of the Pancreum Diabetes Artificial Pancreas Contributor Award, an international award for her efforts towards the development of an artificial pancreas device for diabetes sufferers.
TV PERSONALITY & FASHION AMBASSADOR– Farah has been interviewed by and featured in both U.S. and international versions of publications and media outlets such as VOGUE, Elle, TeenVogue, Seventeen, SOMA, The New York Times, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, Sports Illustrated, PIX 11 News, MTV, VH1, Yahoo! News, NY 1 News, Fox News, Bravo TV, HGTV, The Tyra Show, Lifetime TV, SABC South Africa, Fashion TV, Oster Media, The Examiner and others. A skilled interviewer, Farah has been a red carpet staple both for and behind the camera, as a popular television host and presenter for outlets such as Fashion TV and Oster Media. Known for her upbeat journalistic style, Farah has interviewed some of the most sought-after bold faced names in the world including Joshua Jackson, Laura Prepon, Vanessa Hudgens, Lil’ Jon, Maria Menounos, Mackenzie Philips, Ross Matthews, Rose McGowan, Russell Simmons, CNN Anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell, William H. Macy, The New York Giants and others.
Known for her affinity for speaking many languages, Farah speaks Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, Punjabi, and is conversational in Italian. She has appeared several times on international television, and has an active multicultural following. Farah appeared live on Dubai TV as a featured guest on the popular “Dr. Zahid & Dr. Zara Show” interacting with the hosts and live callers in Urdu, Arabic and Punjabi. As a television host she has interviewed multinational designers and celebrities as the most sought-after anchor on The Couture & Luxury Channel and Oster Media Channel. In addition, Farah also speaks Spanish, having studied the language since the age of 12. She continued her studies of Spanish in her secondary education where she was so advanced and rapid in her pace of learning that she was directly advanced two college class levels by her university’s Spanish Department Chair, as the only ethnically non-Hispanic/Latin student placed into a class comprised of and created specifically for Spanish native speakers. Farah appeared live on Spanish-language news television for NY1 Noticias alongside celebrity designer Viktor Luna as the face of his fashion label. She continues to enjoy her love of languages and often engages in conversations on media platforms in various tongues with the press and her international fans.
Farah is lauded for her rare combination of physical attributes and fierce intellect, carving out a niche for herself as one of the globe’s most coveted manifestations of beauty and brains. Declared the “Smartest Model In The World” by then-Hearst owned pop culture mega-website UGO.COM which boasts an international readership of several million fans spanning six continents, Farah took the number one position on a list which included some of the most respected names in the fashion industry including Cindy Crawford, Iman, Christy Turlington, Carmen Kass and Aishwarya Rai. Farah was also branded a “supermodel” during an episode in which she appeared on “Top Billing” one of the most long-running and widely respected international fashion TV programs on the planet. She was labeled again with the term during Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week by the world’s leading celebrity image archive Getty Images, where she has been photographed frequently. The Examiner infamously bestowed upon her another bold and fashionable headline, urging readers of a feature article to “Meet Farah Zulaikha: New York’s Hottest Supermodel Socialite.”
She is frequently noted for her sensational personal style. The Morgans Hotel Group, one of the biggest hotel hospitality groups in the world boasting such properties as the Mondrian SoHo Hotel NYC named Farah their “Mondrian Muse” a title given to only the most fashionable. Declaring her an “international supermodel in sequins” a photo of Farah is featured on the Morgans Hotel Group official website as she is adorned in designer Prada at the Mondrian SoHo Hotel.
Crediting her exotic looks, revered style, sharp intellect and magnetic personality, Farah has also served as a muse and creative collaborator for some of the world’s most legendary artists, authors, designers and creatives, including longtime GIORGIO ARMANI BEAUTY Creative Director/Celebrity Face Designer Tim Quinn. Quinn has personally created special makeup artistry looks inspired by Farah’s unique beauty and showcasing various Armani cosmetics collections including #EYEDOITALL and #BORNBACKSTAGE, which were shot on location at the legendary SAKS Fifth Avenue Flagship Store NYC.
Farah Zulaikha has captivated some of the most magnanimous names in the history of fashion, media and the world at large. A favorite of illustrious Italian fashion deity Roberto Cavalli, Farah emerged as the ingenue front row star of his S/S 2014 Milan Fashion Week runway show. Adorned in a now infamous custom one-of-a-kind genuine peacock feathered gown, Farah was seated in the front row next to Vogue deputy editor Andre Leon Talley, and appeared in British Vogue for Cavalli Front Row Milan Fashion Week. As guest of the Gucci family, she was one of only a select few to be invited by design scion Giorgio Gucci to attend the gala unveiling of his new line of cognacs in NYC, and has been photographed wearing garments by the design house on several occasions. A frequent face amongst the royally fashionable set, Farah was a VIP invited guest at the Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week runway show for popular label “NOON by Noor” from designers and Bahraini princesses H.R.H. Sheikha Noor Al Khalifa and H.R.H. Sheikha Haya Al-Khalifa. In addition, Farah has been photographed numerous times as a guest and muse of Italian fashion icon H.R.H. Countess Marta Marzotto. She has also appeared on behalf of Maserati Motors and American Airlines for The Prince’s Ball, a children’s benefit fundraiser held by H.R.H. Princess Katherine of Serbia. Recently, Farah sat front row at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week S/S 2015 with the creator of New York Fashion Week Fern Mallis, as an exclusive appearance for buzz-worthy design prodigy and International Woolmark Prize Winner Timo Weiland.
Her eponymous website (which includes the Cavalli brand and fashion retail giant NORDSTROM as sponsors) was launched personally by storied celebrity designer Cynthia Rowley, at her NYC Upper East Side flagship store. The gala launch event treated guests to an exclusive opportunity to be styled by Rowley herself in her wildly popular label, as well as unveiling the Farah Zulaikha website/logo and marking the debut of Farah’s bestselling self-titled lip product range that counts Rowley amongst its influential fans. Storied fashion label HELMUT LANG also threw a private Spring 2015 collection preview/photoshoot party at their SoHo flagship store in honor of Farah’s birthday in April 2015. Guests observed curated looks from the new collection by HELMUT LANG senior stylists as modeled by Farah during which the flagship boutique was closed-to-the-public.
In September 2015, Farah Zulaikha beat out fifteen other well-known names in the fashion industry and was the recipient of the prestigious Global Fashion Avenue Award for the Top Model category at the elite Couture Fashion Week New York Spring 2016 runway shows. Presented by Emmy-Winning TV and radio host Rita Cosby, Jennifer Eckhart from FOX Business Network, CFW Producer Andres Aquino, and President of the Greater NY Chamber of Commerce Mark Jaffe, Farah received the award after walking the same fashion week runway moments before in a custom couture pewter silk Andres Aquino gown, made specifically for the model’s tiny waist. Aquino stated at the time that the dress was made “…only for Farah. Only she could fit into that gown and bring it to life.” She was a fan favorite, selected on a basis of public vote nominations, then a final selection by an esteemed panel of fashion industry experts and her own peers. Aquino stated that Farah was selected not only for her beauty and skill, but for her accomplishments in the fashion industry, her kind uplifting congenial attitude towards others, and her extensive charity work.
Most recently, Farah appeared as an exclusive at Milan Fashion Week S/S 2016 for the legendary Salvatore Ferragamo runway show by special request of Ferragamo Brands Creative Director and Head Designer Massimiliano Giornetti. Farah was mobbed by the Italian paparazzi upon arrival at the show as she has rapidly become a beloved muse and sought-after face amongst the elite Italian fashion circle. Greeted personally in front of the press and on the runway by James Ferragamo and top representatives of the Ferragamo brand, Farah was taken backstage post-show for an official photo call featuring an extremely rare embossed leather version of the iconic Ferragamo “Gancini” bag. The shoot was then continued in a more formal editorial style by Vanity Fair Italia contributing photographer Gabriela Di Muro at the exalted Hotel Principe Di Savoia (a Dorchester Hotel) which shared outtakes of Farah’s Ferragamo photoshoot dubbing her “A Princess at the Principe!”.
CULTURAL & SOCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS- In a literary turn as a muse and inspiration that cemented Farah in the annals of history, she caught the attention of “The Queen Of Suspense,” New York Times #1 Best-Selling Author Mary Higgins Clark, who according to the Wall Street Journal, has “…sold 100 million copies in the U.S. alone. All 42 of her books have been best sellers. Ms. Clark is the top-selling author across the seven imprints of her publisher, Simon & Schuster. Each year, her novels, which are published in 34 countries, sell 3.7 million copies globally. Simon & Schuster Chief Executive Carolyn Reidy says that Ms. Clark’s sales are so consistent that they factor into the company’s annual budgets.” With such a vast readership Clark was inspired to share with her loyal fans, an original character based on Farah in her recent best-seller “Daddy’s Gone A Hunting.” The character (aptly named Farah Zulaikha), is the head of a successful international fashion house. Mary Higgins Clark stated in a personal thank you letter that she was inspired by Farah’s unique beauty, leadership and iconic fashion sense for the character.
To purchase a hardback copy of “Daddy’s Gone A Hunting“, please click here.
To purchase a softback copy of “Daddy’s Gone A Hunting“, please click here.
In addition, she is recognized for her positions as a charity spokesperson for various causes, as well as and as an elite societal and philanthropic figurehead. As a native New Yorker, Farah has dedicated a great portion of her young life to giving back to the community which raised her. As an example of an outstanding member of the community and based on her contributions to the State of New York, Farah has served as a Miss New York State Tourism, with a focus on anti-bullying. As part of her reign, Farah arranged and hosted a centennial birthday banquet for U.S. War Veteran Andrew Goldstein. Goldstein was presented with a special award at the banquet, given to him personally by featured guest New York State Assemblyman Joel Miller.
Farah Zulaikha returned to her birthplace Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, NY to make history as the first-ever Young Ambassador and lifetime member of the Vassar Brothers Medical Center Auxiliary in the hospital center’s history since it first opened its doors in 1887. A Top Ten National Gold Seal-winning hospital center in several areas, Farah Zulaikha was named as a face of the hospital center. In April 2013, Farah emceed and hosted the Vassar Brothers Medical Center annual benefit with sponsorship by MAC Cosmetics. The benefit was one of the most successful in the Vassar Auxiliary’s history with proceeds awarded to the hospital center for areas such as the cancer and maternity units.
A huge advocate of education, Farah Zulaikha was also honored with a namesake horse race at New York State’s Empire City Casino. Dubbed “The Supermodel Farah Zulaikha Race For Education” by leading U.S. educational institution Mercy College, Farah appeared in support of raising funds for the college and for spreading awareness about the importance of affordable secondary education in the United States. At the close of the race, Farah took to the field and presented the winning jockey and horse with the first prize.
A global volunteer for UNICEF (with a concentration in Emergency First Response) and Operation Smile, Farah is also a spokesperson for Classy Award Winning National Charity Of The Year, The Nomi Network. Her duties include emceeing fundraiser benefits and appearing in their global ad initiatives. Farah served as both model and wardrobe stylist/creative director for the most recent Nomi ads, shot at the Trump World Tower by New York-based photographer Omar Ortiz. The poignant ads were created in collaboration with the United Nations building site, and featured articles of clothing handmade by rehabilitated victims of the sex trade.
She is also a ubiquitous advocate of her close friend Grammy Award-winning artist NEYO’s Compound Foundation, donating her time to serve the children of the US foster care system. As a spokesperson for the Milagros Day Anti-Domestic Violence organization, Farah emceed and led a historic rally of thousands of politicians, celebrities, domestic abuse survivors and opponents for a march from NYC City Hall across the Brooklyn Bridge and subsequent concert endorsed by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and respective Manhattan/Brooklyn Borough Presidents Scott Stringer and Marty Markowitz.
As a personal guest of former Presidential niece Lauren Bush Lauren and CLARINS Founder Christian Courtin-Clarins, Farah appeared on the red carpet for the CLARINS Million Meals Concert to benefit the FEED Project ending childhood hunger alongside noted exemplars such as Ralph Lauren, Jason Wu, John Legend and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
In another show of philanthropic support, Farah famously faced off against known Ping-Pong champion and popular Delaware Governor Jack Markell, for the Moyer Foundation Celebrity Ping-Pong Tournament at XFINITY! Stadium in Philadelphia. In a highly publicized close match dubbed “The Glam VS. The Gov” which ended in a tiebreaker, Farah was defeated 9-11 by Governor Markell, to raise funds for grief counseling benefitting at-risk children.
In April 2014 on the eve of her birthday, Farah was asked to take part in the NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony. As the creator of the world’s first electronic stock market, the NASDAQ is the leading provider of trading, exchange technology, information and public company services with a reported value of $8.8 trillion across six continents. To an audience that included the most population dense and highly visited zip code in the U.S. and a live global television audience, an iconic photo of Farah (captured by acclaimed European fashion photographer Mich Zoeter) alongside her logo and a personal NASDAQ welcome message to Farah appeared on the entire NASDAQ tower in full view of Times Square. This act bearing her face and name signaled the end of the business day for one of the most powerful finance entities on the planet.
Farah served as the figurehead of the Veterans Advantage NYC Veterans Day Parade 2014 float, as a champion of supporting US war veterans. Appearing on Rosanna Scotto’s live newscast on the Fox network, Farah was positioned on the float firmly front and center in support of US troops and their families who have suffered the ravages of war. She was saluted by officials on the main stage as her float passed and appeared in the parade amongst many prestigious fellow Americans including grand marshal and former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly.
In December 2014, Farah joined the prestigious New York Pops as a special guest violinist under the direction of esteemed Orchestra Director/Composer Steven Reineke, to play the violin at the world-renowned concert venue Carnegie Hall. Farah had her own stand in the first violin section and was highlighted in PLAYBILL and onstage with her own ovation, as a special appearance in an especially complex arrangement of “Carol Of The Bells.” The Holiday 2014 concert also featured “Glee” leading man Matthew Morrison and Broadway star Kelli O’Hara on vocals.
In May 2015 Farah was awarded one of the highest honors in the country, the Distinguished International Humanitarian Leadership Award from the United Nations by the oldest women’s interest group in the United States, the National Council Of Women Of The United States (NCWUS) in an elaborate ceremony at United Nations Plaza. Following a stirring and emotional speech recounting her work with domestic violence victims, Farah was awarded a crystal trophy and plaque by Isaiah Zinba Chabala, UN Ambassador from Zimbabwe. She was also named as NCWUS United Nations Ambassador by current President Mary E. Singletary, and serves on the President’s Advisory Board following in the footsteps of fabled American heroes like NCWUS Inaugural Vice President Susan B. Anthony.
Recently Farah partnered with global fast food giant Shake Shack to create a signature dessert menu item. Made in collaboration with celebrity chef and Shake Shack Culinary Director Mark Rosati, “The Farah Zu-SHAKE-Ha Concrete” frozen custard dessert sold to popular demand at Shake Shack locations in Summer 2015.
Currently Farah continues to associate and partner with many of today’s leading brands who seek to maximize the assets of her top model looks, scholarly mind and captivating social conscience. Farah’s hypnotizing mix of style, grace and soul continues to win hearts all over the world.