Three years after moving to Ottawa, Tanzanian-born Herieth Paul responded to an open talent call with hopes of becoming an actress like the movie stars in her favourite Disney films. But upon arrival, she was told she would make a great model — and the shy 14-year-old wasn’t about to argue.
Now 21, Paul has appeared on the cover of Elle Canada, is a face of beauty label Maybelline, and has walked many a catwalk, including the 2016 Victoria’s Secret show — the largest and most-viewed fashion event in the world. For this shoot, the supermodel worked with photographer Max Abadian (who has worked with the likes of Miranda Kerr, Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid, and Jennifer Lawrence), wearing fall trenches under intense Los Angeles heat.
For this feature, Ottawa Magazine teamed up with Fashion Magazine to highlight the season’s hottest coats — and how to get the look. Nicolina Leone talked to Paul about staying stylish when the temperatures drop.
I understand this wasn’t your first time working with Max Abadian. What is it like to work with him? Was it easier to work with him this time because you’re more familiar with his approach?
It’s amazing working with Max every time. He’s such a professional and always makes me feel so calm and comfortable in front of his lens. We have similar vibes, so this specific shoot was a breeze and went super smoothly.
I’ve read that Max likes to keep things simple — what was the shoot like?
The atmosphere was very easygoing, and we were shooting on location in Los Angeles, which was absolutely beautiful even though it was very hot that day!
How does travelling influence your style?
Travelling around the world definitely influences me and gives me many ideas when it comes to my personal style. For example, I’ve just discovered scarves aren’t only for people’s necks. They can be worn as headbands, as bracelets, or as beautiful decoration on the side of a purse.
You’re familiar with Ottawa winters — what type of coat do you wear here? Would warmth trump fashion in our extreme cold, or do you have something in mind that would combine both?
Warmth definitely trumps fashion, always! Ottawa winters are amazingly beautiful, but they are really not a joke. Very cold. I love wearing cashmere or wool sweaters underneath my coat to keep myself extra warm in the cold winter months.
What’s your favourite winter activity in Ottawa?
Skating on the canal and eating yummy BeaverTails.
What would you like to see more of in terms of style and fashion in Ottawa?
I love Ottawa’s fashion and style, and it’s definitely had an influence on my fashion. It has a very easygoing and relaxed style, and that’s totally what I’m into.
Do you have any tips to stay stylish in the winter months despite being so covered up?
A wintery perfume to keep you feeling and smelling good and also a bright purse to brighten up your day! I always go for an orange or a mint-green bag to lighten up my outfit and mood during winter.