The agenda-setting journalist, model and public speaker sat down with Danielle Snyder for the latest episode of the #NoFilter podcast.


Noor Tagouri with Danielle Snyder recording the #NoFilter podcast.


When journalist, model and public speaker Noor Tagouri discovered that she had been misidentified by American Vogue at the beginning of this year, she suddenly became the subject of headlines across the globe. While the magazine published an apology online and in the following issue, the incident ignited a wider conversation about diversity and inclusion within the fashion and media industries – a conversation in which the 25-year-old has become an influential voice.


“You can see where [companies] are [embracing diversity] just because they think it's a trend, and you can see when people are doing it because they genuinely want to serve a community, or they want to let people know that they're seen and heard,” she tells Dannijo co-founder Danielle Snyder in the latest episode of the #NoFilter podcast. “If that's your intention then you really have to tap into true inclusion, and what that looks like is: call somebody up, include them in the conversation, and then pay them for it. Don't sit there and act like you're doing them a favor, because the fact of the matter is modest fashion is a three billion dollar market.”


It’s a market that is rarely considered by the industry though. “I show up to shoots with a suitcase filled with scarves because no-one really thinks to bring them, which is really frustrating,” says Noor, who can name a catalog of brands that make scarves in the right kind of fabric and shape. “I just closed for Rebecca Minkoff's show, and she had a matching scarf for the jumpsuit, and it was just a regular scarf, but it ended up being the perfect material and the perfect cut for what I would wear on my head anyway.”


Noor was born in the US and raised in southern Maryland, though her parents are both from Libya in north Africa. She was drawn to journalism from a young age and excelled at school, starting college at just 16, the same year she began wearing the hijab, a headscarf worn by many Muslim women to cover their hair in the presence of men outside of their immediate family.


From left: Sydney, Noor's husband Adam, his sisters, Danielle, Noor and Danielle's mom.


It was a decision that came as a surprise to her parents, since Noor had always expressed some reticence about the hijab. “Reflecting on it, I realize I had this strong distaste towards the hijab because I was surrounded by people with blonde hair and blue eyes,” she says. “But, part of why I was so against it, too, was because I knew I wanted to be on television and I had never seen anybody on TV with it before.”


Noor says she knew as a teen that she would face challenges gaining a foothold in the world of journalism, and admits she “had to work so much harder” than her peers to succeed without compromising her values. “I had an experience when I was working in television where people would be like, ‘Can you take [your headscarf] off for the broadcast?’” Noor refused of course, but acknowledges that such questions expose wider problems within an organization. “I think to myself, ‘If you had more inclusion within your company, you wouldn't be asking me this because you guys would have already had that conversation, or you would have people who are culturally aware,’” she says.


Noor’s talent as a journalist speaks for itself though, taking her from CBS Radio to CTV News and Newsy. She covered the Baltimore protests after the death of Freddie Grey, and has produced a documentary: The Trouble They've Seen: The Forest Haven Story, as well as the award-winning hit podcast ‘Sold in America’ about sex trafficking in the US.


In her candid conversation with Danielle, Noor also talks about her personal connection to the stories she tells, why she used to hate being described as an activist, and her relationship with Adam Khafif, her husband of two years and the entrepreneur behind clothing brand LISNUP and the non-profit Asever.


To listen to the full interview, download the latest episode of #NoFilter with Danielle Snyder, and revisit past interviews with Brooklyn Decker, Questlove, Gary Vaynerchuk and Jenny Mollen.

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Continue the party with late-night drinks at Parker & Lenox, a speakeasy that regularly flies musicians in from New York or Buenos Aires to perform at weekends, and for salsa dancing, Club San Luis in Roma Sur is an experience in itself. It has a 20-piece live band, and the dancing is phenomenal.

~ Danielle