Meet the South Sudanese, London-raised model who has opened for Rick Owens, been shot by Nadine Ijewere and painted by Chloe Wise
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Nyaueth Riam is a model whose natural aesthetic is matched by her well-informed opinions on beauty; “beauty has and always will be a reflection of nature,” she says, keeping it real despite her fast ascent in the modelling industry. For SS19, she walked for Ashley Williams, Molly Goddard and Henry Holland in London, as well as opening for Rick Owens in Paris. She has also been shot by Nadine Ijewere, painted by Chloe Wise, and starred in campaigns for Hugo Boss and Mugler. In other words, she is in high demand.
Although she was raised in London, Nyaueth's family are from South Sudan, a heritage that impacts her outlook on what progress looks like in the modelling industry; it's not just diversity, but the coming together of beauty aesthetics from different continents. To her, beauty is global, but also: “profound, organic, effortless, innocent and pure," she says, adding that "we have all at one point felt the love that comes with beauty."
What three beauty products are in your bag right this second?
Elizabeth Arden Lip balm, which can be used on the lips as well as other dry areas on the face and body. Avène Facial Moisturiser; it has very few chemical products and I found this when I had a rash on my face (which it completely cured me of). Eyebrow pencil with the brush at the other end of the stick, to brush the brow and lashes. I’m currently using MAC Stud as I can create very fine strokes. I aim to have products in my bag that will allow my skin to breathe and stay hydrated.
Tomorrow you wake up with another face of your choice. Whose is it and why?
I would not swap my face as we must all learn to value ourselves for our kindness, compassion and what we wish to change for the better in humanity. I would better my own features I guess, as we are all our biggest critics and often overlook our values, , unnecessarily choosing to better ourselves physically.
If you could have a new sense on top of your existing ones, what would it be?
A new, sixth sense, on top of my five existing senses would be to heighten my sense of intuition so that I could feel what others were feeling, which, when I concentrated my energy, would translate to thoughts – so I would feel through empathy what others around me are feeling and thinking. My seventh sense would be invisibility but that can be an answer for another day.
You’ve had an accident which causes you to lose your sense of smell. The doctors can’t return it fully but can give you the ability to smell one scent. What do you pick and why?
If I could smell one scent it would be Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Oud Satin Mood – this scent fills rooms with a distinct bouquet of spicy and dangerously addictive aromas that make me feel as if I’m travelling even when I’m not.
What is the future of beauty?
What I find most fascinating of all, is that, ultimately – through social politics and the vastly evolving cultural merge, celebrated by my generation of so-called 'millennials' – beauty, I do believe, without being condemned for being biased, is changing for the better. We travel, and we call cities, valleys, island and continents – far from where we probably came from – 'home'. Which is reflected in the international, mixed entities that grace NYFW and the covers of September’s Vogue. Through technology and a biting urge to travel, beauty is becoming a celebration of the merging of continents and the breakdown of continental barriers.