There’s something of a notorious trend with the wives and girlfriends of celebrities: headlines which proclaim their achievements inextricable to the shadows of their partners. Nazanin Mandi has been part of this swarm for several years now, as the conspicuous counterpart to famed Grammy-award-winning pop star Miguel, but it looks like she’ll be taking at least a few more steps towards household-name status very soon; the E! Network is kicking off their new reality show The Platinum Life this Fall, which will feature the multiracial Iranian model alongside several others, joining the road-ready pantheon of “reality shows about wives.”
Mandi is herself a multilingual actress, model, and budding screen celebrity, even appearing in an episode of Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset (under her frequently used mononym “Nazanin”). Her ethnic background includes Mexican, Native American, and Iranian lineage, and she has rarely been shy about topics related to the intersection of her public personality with race and gender.
From a spotlight campaign last year with women’s empowerment platform FEMDE:
“When I was 15, I was offered a record deal. I went in to sign it, and the president assumed I was Italian. When he find out I was Middle-Eastern, he said people wouldn’t take to my records—or me—because I am Middle-Eastern. That experience has sat with me ever since. I lost the deal because of my race…funny thing is, that record label no longer exists! [laughs]”
Those who seek her perspective out will find plentiful content online. Her Instagram page sports a follower count approaching one million at time of this writing, with plenty of photos with and without Miguel at her side. Additionally, Mandi makes herself available for interviews on a number of subjects, and has been sought out for dating, fashion, self-care, and entrepreneurial commentary and advice. On that last note, Mandi established a new swimwear line earlier this year with Chynna Dolls, a California-based, all-American-made brand with special attention to unique prints and design concepts, including the proprietary Signature Scrunch, a “scrunch butt” bikini which is described as a “bra for your butt.”
Aside from her upcoming role on The Platinum Life, Mandi has been working on a debut record for over three years, although a release date has proven elusive. While she has appeared in music videos before, her most prominent work as a vocal performer dates back to an American Idol run where she placed among the top 35. For a quick fix, though, this five-year old video of her covering “Summertime” from Porgy & Bess demonstrates her substantive talents. Mandi told Complex back in 2014 that she’s crafting a build-up to her full-length record—with a kickoff single and EP planned— but we’ll have wait to hear final word on the future of these releases, for now.
Maybe the new E! series will prove just the boost needed for the Iranian-American performer’s triumphant new music career. Whether Mandi’s upgraded celebrity will persist as anecdotal to Miguel’s headlines is yet to be seen (admittedly, this has more to do with poor journalistic habits than her own actions), although she has been consistently developing a brand and characterful presence all her own, especially in the past year.
The Platinum Life is set to premiere this Fall on E!.
Photos of Nazanin Mandi
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