“I’m having an amazing time adjusting to being married,” says model Shanina Shaik, whose bronzed skin and sparkling hazel eyes positively glow in the way all loved-up newlyweds do, relishing the honeymoon period. “I’m very happy, excited, and so in love. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life as a wife.”
Shaik married Gregory Andrews (aka DJ Ruckus) last month in a stunning boho-style ceremony on the Bahamian island Eleuthera. The wedding was attended by friends and family, including supermodels, music producers, and DJs. Shaik’s bridal party, which included Victoria’s Secret Angel Jasmine Tookes, wore custom Zimmermann dresses, while her maid of honor, TV personality Nicole William, wore a dress by Michael Costello.
The bride wore a custom-made, form-fitting lace dress with a scooped back by Ralph & Russo. Simple yet elegant, her hair was tied back with soft waves cascading delicately at front, befitting for the beach wedding.
The groom, who wore a black tuxedo by Tom Ford, had equally A-list groomsmen, including actor Evan Ross and music producer Dallas Austin. Keeping it in the entertainment business, even the ceremony was officiated by a celebrity – Joseph Simmons, aka Run, Rev. Run of hip hop group Run-DMC.
“My favorite memory from the day was walking down the aisle to my new husband. The natural beauty in the Bahamas created an incredible backdrop,” Shaik reminisces with a huge smile. “The celebration after the ceremony was a lot of fun. We had a Bahamian dance group lead us to the dance floor. It had all of our guests so excited.”
The couple got engaged on the same island in December 2015, after dating for almost a year. The island is also home to Andrews’ cousin, singer Lenny Kravitz, who wasn’t at the ceremony. Also not present was mutual friend Paris Hilton, who was instrumental in introducing Andrews and Shaik to each other during an event at Coachella. “We have an amazing photo of that special night,” says Shaik. “Though she was with us while Ruckus was playing, he and I naturally gravitated towards each other.”
The couple, who share a passion for music, had they first dance as Mr and Mrs to a mix of two songs: Alina Baraz’s “Electric” and Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time.” Music is still just a hobby for Shaik, who says she hasn’t picked up any skills from her husband on the turntables. “I’d like to learn,” she says. “In the meantime, he’s helping me improve my playlists.”
With no plans to swap the runway for the decks, the Melbourne-born beauty – whose mother is Lithuanian and Australian and father has Pakistani and Saudi Arabian heritage – is sticking to what she excels at: modeling. In doing so, she’s offering Muslim girls who aspire to be models a genuine figure to look up to.
“Growing up, it was rare to see a mixed, dark, or Asian model,” Shaik shares. “It was a battle for me to become what I wanted to be in the modeling industry. Clients didn’t want to book me because they didn’t think I could relate to the buyers and the readers. There were a lot of tears battling my way to book jobs.”
She persevered and carved herself an impressive career. From her first booking at eight years old for an Australian commercial to walking in the 2011 Victoria’s Secret fashion show – the first part-Saudi model to do so – she is now believed to be worth US $10 million.
“Booking my first Victoria’s Secret show was my career high,” says Shaik. “I wanted to be a part of that show since I was a little girl. I didn’t stop trying until they booked me. It was a dream come true.”
The 27-year-old has also been keeping busy with a collaboration with Beach Bunny swimwear. “The collection will be coming out this summer,” she beams. “I designed the looks, which was really interesting and helped me realize that it’s something I hope to do more of.” Shaik will also appear in Model Squad, an E! Entertainment reality docu-series following high-profile and in-demand models. A wedding, a fashion line, and a TV show – it’s been incredible year for Mrs DJ Ruckus.
Hair: Eduard Bravo, Kendall Dorsey at Factory Downtown
Makeup: Carolina Dali at the Wall Group
Nails: Kana Kishita at Atelier Management
Casting: JYM Benzing
Style Assistants: Maleeka Moss, Trevor McMullan
Location: Go Studios, New York City
Model: Shanina Shaik at IMG Models
Originally printed in the June 2018 issue of Vogue Arabia. Styled by Christopher Campbell.