I am not a brand; I’m the one who makes brands: Frieha Altaf

Former model and entrepreneur looks back on everything she has achieved, despite being a single mother in Pakistan

Harris Javaid April 01, 2017
PHOTO: Harris Javaid

KARACHI: A revolutionary in the fashion and entertainment industry, Frieha Altaf isn’t just a name, she’s a fashion and entertainment powerhouse.

With three decades of work behind her, she is touted as a highly revered brand in the fashion industry. From modeling to fashion and acting to event management, Freiha has changed and set trends for times to come.

Photo: FILE Photo: FILE

However, she dismisses the ‘brand’ title. "I don't really think of myself as a brand. I am the person who makes the brands,” she told The Express Tribune. “Talents is always out there. It is actually our responsibility to discover the next super model, the next best comedian in the country. We can take anybody and make them a star. We are called the king-makers and they are always bigger than kings,"

Frieha continued, "Most people define success as money, as fame, as power. To me that’s not success. To me, success is becoming the person you want to be and being happy."

Good looks don't translate to good luck: Frieha Altaf

Fearless, diligent, always ambitious and known for her groundbreaking ideas, Frieha has been a part of the industry since 1989. "What I am, somebody has quoted as an impresario. So, I am an impresario."

She recalls running to Karachi’s Zainab Market for long coats for her first cultural show ever. "I have not just introduced award shows here, I have introduced lots of things. For example, Pakistan’s first modeling agency, first television magazine show and a lot of other things,” she said.


Frieha is also the pioneer of the Lux Style Awards, which have become the biggest awards ceremony in Pakistan. “I think what I introduced was one of the biggest award shows. But anyone can pull off an award show. You win when you keep it alive by restoring it every year."

A successful and independent woman, Frieha is proud of being Pakistani and a single parent. About running an event management company in Pakistan she said, "You are dependent on good weather, security, clients, vendors, artists and you prepare out things for months and months and at the end, you have few hours to deliver. So there are a lot of challenges when it comes to event management,” she confessed.


According to Frieha, the key to her success is always staying composed, even when things are falling apart. "I am a scuba diver. I jump off the boat at night in the dark with just a light on my head. You can't see anything and when you feel like you are drowning, the first thing they tell you is not to panic,” she said. “So every time you feel that there is a moment of crisis, the most important thing is not to panic."

Asked about her future plans, she said she doesn’t have many.  For Frieha, actions speak louder than words. "There is a sort of treasure box of ideas sitting there which needs to be opened up and released but you can't do everything. You need to be focused on few of the ideas and execute properly."

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