Rayan Elz: Meet the Ghanaian model whose dreams just came true as a Vogue Open Casting Finalist

In a moment that seems straight out of a fairy tale, the Ghanaian fashion industry is buzzing with excitement as Rayan El-Mahmoud, a Ghanaian-Lebanese model, made history this week as a Vogue Open Casting finalist.

With her radiant smile and undeniable talent, Rayan joined other models in what is poised to make a mark on the fashion industry in a nothing short of extraordinary way.

Rayan, who couldn’t contain her excitement shared the news, in an emotional post online,

“A VOGUE OPEN CASTING FINALIST!! VOGUE!!! It’s like living in a dream, and I find myself saying the word ‘dream’ over and over again,” she shared about her journey, the power of dreams and the unwavering belief in oneself.

But how did she get discovered by fashion’s holy bible and land a coveted cover?? The answer is simple, Rayan joined a teeming list of modelling enthusiasts who shared videos of themselves introducing who they were to the Vogue team upon their request.

Vogue Magazine, in its May issue, unveiled the Open Casting initiative—a global modelling endeavour with the mission of discovering new archetypes and personalities that truly reflect the diverse world we live in.

The initiative was a call to prospective models, regardless of agency representation, to submit their photos and embrace the opportunity to redefine beauty standards.

READ MORE: Art Attack: This Ghanaian Artistic Director is launching his debut book “Voices” featuring 80 Ghanaian visual artists

In a world where fashion icons like Shalom Harlow, Naomi Campbell, and Kate Moss were discovered in unconventional ways, Rayan and other models followed in their footsteps by submitting their videos and asking friends and family to tag vogue under the comment sections, creating their unique path to stardom.

In just three weeks after the launch of Open Casting, Vogue team revealed that they received an astounding 60,000 submissions from aspiring models around the world.

This overwhelming response demonstrated the hunger and enthusiasm among a new generation of talent waiting for their moment to shine.

However, the panellists which included Vogue Editors and other key fashion industry figures sieved the application down to the final 8 who made to Vogue’s Open Casting class of 2023.

They include Mars, Colette Kanza, Abrar Mohamed, Mengyao Wang, Cynthia Machava, Rayan El-Mahmoud, Dulmi and Rania Benchegra who were selected from across different continents and countries.

Aside from the latest spread, the eight finalists will also be featured in a forthcoming Vogue documentary on the project.

Rayan Elz’s journey is a shining example of how initiatives like Vogue’s Open Casting can change lives and her decision to participate in this groundbreaking venture has led to her discovery and eventual recognition for her modelling prowess.

Her incredible rise from an aspiring model to a Vogue cover star is a story of passion, perseverance, and the transformative power of the fashion industry’s ever-evolving landscape.

As we look forward to witnessing Rayan’s continued ascent in the fashion world, one thing is clear: her story is an inspiration to us all and we eagerly anticipate the future chapters in the remarkable story of this Ghanaian-Lebanese sensation.

Congratulations, Rayan Elz, on your well-deserved success!





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