Rescu. is an online publication platform that aims to empower the modern woman. Founder and editor, Bahar Etminan, focuses on providing a platform that gives women advice surrounding beauty, fashion, lifestyle, wellbeing, career and finance from the best experts. Parlour X speaks with Bahar about her successful career, the highs & the lows & what is next for her & Rescu.
"I first started Rescu. in 2005 to connect women with what really works. I believe fabulous belongs to everyone and reinvention is a beautiful thing – we all just need a little help to make it happen. In this post pandemic moment, after all that we have collectively been through, I made a commitment to rethink style, substance and success in the context of the new world. Rescu. and our entire platform reflects this new mood and revised priorities. Now, more than ever, it’s time to have access to the tools and resources to be your own success story."
Briefly describe your early years & explain where it all began?
I was Born in Nancy, France to Persian parents, and moved to Australia aged 7 leaving Iran during a war and Islamic revolution. My super power has always been the ability to adapt and evolve. I learned to juggle whatever life sent my way from my formidable parents and believe that failure has been my secret sauce.
As immigrants, my parents really pushed the importance of education and clear goals. I had a Bachelor degree in Commerce and MBA under my belt by age 21 and my early career roles included general manager of Gucci Timepieces aged 24, followed by becoming the youngest ever brand general manager at Estee Lauder Group of Companies for Bobbi Brown and Origins brands in Australia. When I was 28, I moved to Paris to study French at the Sorbonne, and then returned to start my first business Brandmakers. a luxury fragrance, makeup and skincare distribution company.
In 2005, I launched Australia’s first distributor owned premium beauty e-tailer, rescu.com.au. Since this time, Rescu has evolved into a pure publishing business, putting expertise front and centre by pooling some of Australia’s best talents in lifestyle, fashion, finance, property, beauty, health and wellbeing - providing expert tips, commentary and advice.
I have worked for myself for the past 19 years and I can’t imagine working for anyone else now. I love the challenge and variety of being an entrepreneur and I absolutely love mentoring talented people. I am constantly inspired by my clients, contributors and team. Work and real life always blend into one and I like it that way.
I have worked for some great companies and entrepreneurs when I was younger. John McGrath gave me my first taste of what it’s like to be inspired and driven. He always said if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. My boss at Gucci was also incredibly supportive of my ambition and ability. My first day on the job was a meeting with Dominico De Sole, then Global CEO of Gucci on a trip to Hong Kong. I met Tom Ford twice at Basel Watch Fair. They were heady days.
The Lauder family and makeup artist Bobbi Brown were incredibly kind and inspirational too. These opportunities imprinted themselves in my psyche at a young age and I am always grateful.
You have often spoken about re-invention both personally & professionally. Please elaborate on the importance of this in your life?
I have been so many people and had so many distinct chapters of my life. A mother, a wife and ex wife, daughter, business woman, immigrant, boss, friend and lover. I think each chapter and every relationship has brought out a different aspect of my personality. I have experienced the highest highs and some crushing lows. I nearly went bankrupt during the Global Financial Crisis. I had a very dangerous pregnancy and was in hospital for 7 weeks before Lilly’s birth. I’ve had my heart broken and experienced shocking betrayal that was public and ugly.
I’ve also lived life on the very edge of fabulous. A friend once gave me a great reality check.. she said you don’t get to ride the slip stream when you spend most of your life in the front seat of a learjet. I agree.
What inspired you to write you own book; Rescu Me? In a few short sentences, please elaborate on what the book is about
I have a habit of writing full business plans or elaborate outlines of ideas in my head. I was inspired by the experts whom I’ve called upon in my life at times of need or when I have been on the cusp of reinventing myself. I thought it would be great to share these experts and a process where you can choose any major aspect of your life and upgrade it. Sometimes you simply need a glow up in one or two areas for things to really change. Rescu Me! A Make Over Guide for the Life More Fabulous is a handbook for personal transformation on the pillars that make life beautiful. I was speaking at a conference about the Future of Digital Publishing and was approached by an Editor of Harlequin Books, a division of HarperCollins at the end of my presentation. She asked me if I had a book in me. I met her the following week with my pre-prepared draft manuscript. The book was published 6 months later!
What are you passionate about?
I am obsessed with the idea of being Ageless. I feel this is a really important conversation to have amongst women. I’m 47 and I feel 28. I have energy, passion and I think I look the best I ever have in my life. I definitely feel the best and most confident in my skin. I really work at it. I take supplements, take exceptional care of myself with diet (I have been doing intermittent fasting and it changed my life), disciplined exercise regime (Barry’s Bootcamp, Pilates and Spin 3-4 times a week) and meditation. These changes have made my skin glow, my body tone up and my energy and focus is 100 x better than a year ago. I believe there is enough science and expert advice to significantly turn back the clock. I also feed my mind with books, podcasts and information to keep it young and curious. I listen to all sorts of music. I dance around the house and more recently I’ve become aware that the way you speak to yourself also impacts the ageing process. Look yourself in the mirror and say nice things.
What is your beauty routine?
I am fanatical about my skin and hair. I go to Joh Bailey salon 2 x a week for blow dries and have been going there for the past 25 years. I don’t wash my own hair and because I like to keep my thick hair long, it needs a team of experts to keep it in good condition. I had the worst hair in the world growing up. I was actually ashamed of it and now it’s one of my best features. My skin is also a high priority. Great skincare with high potency retinol and antioxidants, SPF 50 from sun up to sun down and regular treatments, LED lights, facials and all the injectables. Dr Joseph Hkeik is my guardian angel. He is subtle, understands not just anatomy but the art of structure and skin. I’ve started taking collagen supplements, DHEA, NMN and antioxidants too. It works. My skin looks better now than a decade ago.
Advice or words of wisdom from Bahar.
I believe every day is new year’s day. It is my personal mantra. I don’t wait for a date in the calendar, fireworks or any special occasion when I want to start something new or commit to transformation. I believe the moment you make that decision, it’s as good as the clock striking midnight. Start where you are.
What are your favourite Parlour X brands?
I have known Eva from the early days and I am awestruck by her incredible success and ability to bring so many beautiful brands together in her temple of style. I am pretty classic so I love Valentino, Bottega and YSL. For accessories I can’t go past Bottega and Chloe. It was so good to be styled by the team for this shoot- they really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I discovered new Australian designers and fell in love with a very sexy Paco Rabanne leopard print dress. The Lanvin pants and blouse was an unexpected wow moment. The green Bottega dress is an obvious choice for me. On my lust list now..
Please describe your style.
Classic and feminine, but a little bit sexy. I like fitted shapes and bright colours. I am petite so I want to wear the clothes and not for them to wear me. I don’t follow trends and I am happy to spend more now and enjoy something forever. Last year, my friend and mega talented Stylist Mikey Ayoubi gave me the gift of his eagle eye. I was going through a transformation moment and he played the role of fairy godfather. I have not stopped wearing every shade of white and high waisted pants since his expert intervention.
What is next for you & RESCU?
I’m about to launch a new brand in the Rescu media portfolio. A brand extension focused entirely on rejuvenation, aesthetics and cosmetic enhancement. Everything from biohacking to boob jobs and the magical things in between. It’s called Ageless by Rescu. An e-magazine, podcast series and youtube channel cometh.