First we want to know, how you were “discovered” and how your modeling career all started?
I was never discovered actually. In 2009, I was struggling and doing a part time job at a call center. I had a really good friend Mr. Usman Zia and he had recently turned into photographer at that time. He urged me to do a portfolio for him as he wanted to become a fashion photographer. The portfolio turned out really well and he sent those out to different designers. We became a team. We supported each other. In the time span of 6 months, he found Tariq amen (the awesome hair and makeup artist of Pakistan) and he introduced me to him. From there my journey began.
What have been your favorite shoot/campaign/work to date?
There are so many of them. It’s hard to name just one. But there are a few that I’d like to mention. I did a campaign for Republic by Omar Farooq in fall of 2012. It was done by Abdullah Harris. That campaign was a game changer for me. I’ll always remember that campaign as one of my best moments.
How would you describe your personal style, where do you pull your inspiration from?
Right from the beginning, I was always interested in fashion. Fashion was in my genes. I love colors, patterns and different cuts. I always wanted to become a fashion designer.
"I love people who dress well"
I used to do a lot of research on internet on how fashion is prevailing. What’s new? What’s trending? My style is inspired from classic British gentleman.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I am a very good counselor. I do council people through their hardships and problems. I don’t have any professional degree in it but it’s something within me.
What makes you a great counselor?
I’m a great listener. I can listen to people for hours and hours without saying a single word. I always try to come to a logical solution. At the same time, I never tell the other person that he/she is wrong. I just try my level best to help them, see the right path. I indulge them in real life situations so they can understand the problems better and see where they went wrong.
Do you get to travel a lot for your work? If so what’s your favorite city that you have visited?
There are only two fashion hubs of Pakistan. In Pakistan, Lahore is my favorite city to work in. Though I haven’t worked in Karachi much. But I love working in Lahore.
I haven’t traveled much abroad but I like each and every country I’ve been to. Their culture, fashion, lifestyle, and food everything is exciting. I really liked china when I went for a business trip over there. I had no idea that it was such a developed place. Their infra structure is the best in the world. If I talk about the Sri Lanka where I went to do Colombo fashion week, that place is full of natural beauty and they respect Pakistanis a lot. Kenya is one of my favorite countries. People are so educated over there. Their literacy rate is 87.4% which is amazing.
Is there any jealousy or egoism in the modeling industry? Was this true for you?
Yes there’s a lot of jealousy in the industry which is really saddening. At first, I thought this was only present among the female models but it’s very much found in male models. Though they won’t say it on your face but they show you through their work and actions. They always try to take your place. They are very conscious about their designers and if they are the showstopper or not. Who’s wearing which outfit etc etc?
Have you managed to tough it out and make good friends?
I haven’t made any friends in the fashion industry. They all are my acquaintance and colleagues. I respect them and their work but they aren’t my friends. Because when I talk about a friend, it’s something more special, more meaningful. As a person, I don’t have many friends either. I have a friend who is a model as well but I knew him long before he was a model.
“I don’t have any friends in fashion industry”
Do you ever get shy in front of the camera?
Not anymore. I was very shy as a teenager and I still am. I had to develop a lot of techniques to overcome that and I worked really hard on it too. As for work, when I started modeling I developed such methods to feel less shy in front of a camera.
Is modeling an easy job or more strenuous than people realize? (How so)
It’s a very tough job. It’s one of the toughest jobs on earth. It seems as if it’s very glamorous but it’s not. Modeling is physically and mentally stressful. You have to maintain yourself 24/7. We have to maintain ourselves constantly. And with this Pakistani atmosphere, it just gets a bit harder. If you start to get a leaner, they all ask the same question “KHANA NAI MILTA GHAR MEIN?”
It’s a lot of competition that’s going on in your own head. You are your own completion. Were products. Were selling ourselves in the industry. So we have to be 100 times more vigilant about our own looks. It looks all glamorous but in order to make it glamorous, it requires a lot of hard work of the model and his team. The photographers, managers, team members, designers all work together as a unit to make it a product and they hope that people will appreciate it.
Five things you can’t live without?
MY PHONE. That’s it.
What is your favorite food?
I like every cuisine but I love me some grilled food.
What about your family?
Obviously, my family is always there for me. We are always emotionally connected to our family. But I am a firm believer of “ Jo is dunya mein aaya ha , usne jana bhi ha” . It’s a natural process. Everyone says that we can’t live without this person or that person. But we all find a way to live without them. Life goes on. It just doesn’t stop.
Was modeling something you always wanted to do, or did it just happen?
It just happened to me. I never planned it. I was doing my masters at that time. I got offers from Khawar Riaz before that too but I thought that modeling isn’t for guys and that there is the element of homosexuality in the industry. You have to do certain things in industry in order to survive. Something’s are just rumors and something’s are true. I won’t shy away from that. It’s difficult. When I joined this field, the I took this very seriously. I made this my passion
What’s your biggest achievement?
When I started, I was the only freelance model in the industry. I didn’t have any godfathers. I was a ray of hope for the people who wanted to work as a freelance model. And through that I was able to make a connection with the masses. People know me. They love me. They respect me. And this is what makes me successful and happy.
If not modeling then what else?
If I wasn’t a model, I would’ve been an engineer working for formula 1.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a model?
If you turn out to be a good model, you get a lot of recognition, fame and love of people
As there’s no money in modeling. The worst thing about being a model is the hardships that you have to go through. The elements of favoritism, monopolies, gays/bisexual make this job even harder.
A model must in his senses all the time because his each and every movement is being watched. Any stupid thing that isn’t good for the society can backfire. We must do something positive for the society.
I believe we all are baffled by how amazingly well this guy manages those looks and that insightful brain . Here is to wishing the hottie of the town loads of success in whatever he aims to achieve and may he always keeps delighting our ramps and covers.