Zarya Azadi was born in the Kurdish region of Turkey in Diyarbakir and belongs to the Yazidi (Ezidi) religious community. During the civil war in Turkey Zarya’s family fled to Germany as refugees in 1991. Zarya is the first woman in her family and community that decided to leave her parents’ home and to study abroad. This was very controversial at the time as the Yazidi (Ezidi) community is very traditional. With the support of her family, Zarya moved to Oxford in England and successfully completed her Bachelor degree at the Oxford Brookes University in 2013. During her studies Zarya was working as a catwalk and fashion model in Europe. At the age of 20 years Zarya met her best friend and fashion designer Angel Sadel at the Oxford Brookes Fashion Show and became her muse for her fashion collection. With her exotic and unique look Zarya has walked for many multicultural fashion shows e.g. Alternative Hair Show at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Ethiopian Fashion Show ‘Habesha’, Pakistani Fashion Week, UNICEF Fashion Show and the South African Fashion Show. Zarya has also been walking the catwalks at the Fashion Weeks in London, Los Angeles, Berlin, Milan and Paris. At the beginning of her career Zarya also participated at various competitions e.g. Miss Germany, Miss Oxford, Top Model Worldwide and Top Model UK.
With her designer friends Odair Pereira- fashion designer of Dair Designs and Mary Katrisiosi – jewellery designer of Tigerbite Jewels, Zarya has been collaborating several times over the years.
Zarya was also invited to the World Fashion Week Paris 2014 Reception & Jimmy Choo Lifetime Achievement Award. It was the launch of the World Fashion Week by Jimmy Choo in Paris. Zarya attended the Fashion Week together with her designer friend Tina Lobondi, a Congolese fashion designer based in Paris and London. A core objective of the WFW's World Fashion Exhibition, Paris 2014 was to support the eradication of female genital mutilation, specially focused in African countries, which affects millions of girls around the world.
Zarya is an experienced international catwalk model for over a decade and started modelling since the age of 17 but always tried to keep a low profile as her private life is very important to her. After a break from the fashion industry, Zarya was contacted by her community’s non-profit association to support them with their work. Zarya was happy to help to raise awareness for humanitarian work such as women’s right and education for children.
Zarya is fluent in German, English and Kurdish (Kurmanci) and lived in various cities in Europe. After living in England for 6 years, Zarya decided to move back to Germany and be close to her family in 2014. This was the year when the terror group ISIS were attacking the Yazidi (Ezidi) community in Iraq.
‘’It was time for me to go back home and reassess my goals in life’’, said Zarya.