TEdit chats with the rising Pakistani model Hassan Ahmed who is making a name for himself in the international modelling scene. Hasan was featured in Nike x Travis Scott’s campaign. Hassan spills the beans on how he became a part of Nike X Astroworld (Travis Scott’s brand) campaign and how he is representing Pakistan internationally.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Hassan. I am 20 years old. I grew up in Islamabad and Houston. I am currently pursuing studies while modelling in the USA.
When was the first time you realised you wanted to pursue modelling as a career?
Modelling started as a hobby, then I quickly realised that there were not many South Asians in the international modelling scene. So it sort of became a passion. Now I root for diversity in the international industry. When I started I was not that great, but soon I learned my angles and every shoot started becoming a fun game. Now I get excited to deliver consistent results.
How were you first discovered?
My family and I were on a vacation in New York. We were watching the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center and someone approached me. She was an agent and wanted me to do a test shoot. I was 15 years old. Since then, one thing led to another and now I have an established Instagram following in the Texas region.
What are some of the biggest challenges you faced as an international model?
Being a brown model is hard. Initially, people did not know what to do with me. However, with the changing landscape of fashion, with Halima Aiden, Pooja Mor, and Bhumika Arora, we are going somewhere inclusive.
If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
Quaid-e-Azam, Nelson Mandela and Michelle Obama- I am mesmerised by kindness and equality so I would love to talk with inspirational people who advocated kindness.
How was your experience working for Nike X Travis Scott?
It was unbelievable. Nike approached me through an agent and I was sponsored to attend the iconic Astroworld Fest as an influencer. Soon the brand representative role turned into a modelling shoot for Travis Scott’s Nike line. My brother woke up on a Sunday shouting in excitement how Travis Scott posted a photo of me. I had seen and met him before, but he only posts photos of himself or Stormi. So it was shocking in a good way!
If not a model, what would you have rather been?
Probably a consultant or an Instagram influencer- I am also seeking to explore acting opportunities right now so let’s see! The sky is the limit!!
Who are your top three favourite models?
Naomi Cambell, Adut Akech Bior, Neels, Corey Baptiste and Aimal Khan are doing great work!
What is the most exciting project you’ve worked on so far?
Nike X Travis Scott was super fun. Recently, I shot for one of the largest healthy food restaurant chains in the USA’s (Snap Kitchen’s) commercial. I am excited to see the product!
How would you describe your work journey in one line?
How do you unwind after work?
I would definitely give a call to my best friends and talk about their day to disconnect. I can easily disconnect from work. I have always been like that.
What’s the best and worst thing about your job?
Worst thing: The pressure of maintaining perfectionism.
Best thing: The pressure of maintaining perfection sometimes is also a great thing. When the South Asian community applauds my work, it’s a great feeling. I run into South Asian Americans who tell me how proud they are of me. I love that! 1/4th of the world is South Asian and it’s high time we get our well-deserved representation in the fashion world. The desi community needs to be fiercely demanding of representation in the fashion world. We are huge consumers of fashion yet there is not one desi (international) mainstream super model. It’s sad. I love when the desi community reaches out via social media or in person for support. They see themselves in me, and its empowering.
You are the first Pakistani model to achieve the highest likes on your campaign with Nike X Travis Scott please tell us more about it?
Some individual from a Pakistani magazine actually gave me that statistic. I am the highest liked Pakistani on Instagram. Travis Scott’s post got over a million likes. The like count is followed by Atif’s post (around 800K) and so on. I am a big fan of Atif. I was so surprised. It’s crazy to have more likes on your photo posted by Travis than any other Pakistani celebrity. To verify this claim, you can look at any celebrity’s Instagram in Pakistan. It’s unbelievable.
What’s next for Hassan Ahmad?
I am leaning very much towards acting both internationally and domestically. Pakistani dramas are seen worldwide and have a cult following so I would love to start there. I am fluent in Urdu so there’s that! Otherwise, I would like to venture in Netflix. I am an artist. I am open to film, modelling, and acting. Pakistan desperately needs an international standing in the modelling industry. I would love to be a part of the movement.