Upcoming models: The sizzling six

It’s out with the old and in with the new!

Zurain Imam July 15, 2012

Anam Ahmad

Age: 17

Education: Froebels International School

Hometown: Islamabad

Height: 5’10”

Personal Best Facial Feature: Lips

Personal Best Body Feature: Hands and Feet

Agency: Cats Modelling Agency

I first met Anam when I helped coordinate the Second Edition of Islamabad Fashion Week. She had already been discovered by a local Isloo photographer and sent to audition for Tariq Amin who was conducting a Model Search for the First Edition of Islamabad Fashion Week in which she took part in January 2011. Anam’s first modelling job was a photo-shoot for bags and coats. “The location of the shoot was a multi-millionaire’s home,” Anam reminisces. “The experience was great and it all just came to me naturally with no instructions needed.” Later Anam modelled for Ammar Belal, BNS Couture and Umar Sayeed and has appeared in magazines such as Libas, SHE, GT, Brides & You and Sunday Plus.

Photographers She’s Worked With: Tapu Javeri, Fayyaz Ahmed, Mohammad Osman Zia among others.

Lawn Campaigns:  Anam says she has been offered several lawn campaigns including Al-Karam and Gul Ahmed but never got a chance to avail them.

TV Commercials:  “I haven’t appeared in any yet, but I plan on availing offers within this year Inshallah.”

Fashion Shows/Fashion Weeks: The First and Second Edition of Islamabad Fashion Week in 2011 and 2012.

Acting or Fashion: “I think I will stick to fashion. Modelling has a certain glamour which acting doesn’t.”

TV Plays or Serials: Anam says she is not interested in acting.

Favourite Make-up Artist:  Anam cites Khawar Riaz, because she says that out of all the make-up artists she’s gotten her make-up done by, he has best understood her face. “He did make-up according to my facial features, which suited me.” Anam adds that she is really not the sort of person to visit salons even for frequent trimming. “Recently, Reema’s official hairstylist chopped off a great amount of my hair.”

Favourite Model(s): Anam picks Cybil and adds that she feels that Cybil is extremely under-rated; comes out the best in print shoots; is naturally beautiful; well spoken and has a certain elegance and poise on the ramp.

Fitness Regime: None at all.

Favourite Pakistani or International Idol:

“In the fashion industry I look up to Freiha Altaf,” Anam says. “Throughout my brief career I have never seen anyone as professional as her. She’s very hard-working and wants to bring a change in Pakistan and I applaud her for that.”

Current Projects: Anam was recently selected as a contestant for the recent Veet Miss Supermodel reality TV show which she has a very good chance of winning. “I have many projects piled up. Hopefully, I will be able to avail the offers in Karachi and Lahore. I am looking forward to the upcoming Veet Fashion Show, campaigns and commercials.”

Five to 10 Year Game Plan: “If I get the support from my family to go on further with this modelling career, then I see myself successful and having made a successful name for myself.”

Response to being picked as an upcoming potential supermodel: “More than humbled.”

Strengths: Height, youth, pretty face, good head-to-body proportions and confidence. “I am confident and am able to carry any look I’m put into.”

Weaknesses: “I’ve been told to lose the pout and be a little more natural. That’s advice I’m following.”

Most-Like Model Precedent: Aliya Zaidi

Verdict/Advice: If Anam wants to take modelling more seriously, which she should as she has all the makings of a great supermodel, she might consider moving to Lahore or Karachi after she completes her studies and before she begins college.

Israa Shafi

Age: 24

Education: Pursuing a BBA degree in Marketing.

Hometown: Dubai/Karachi

Height: 5’ 9”

Personal Best Facial Feature: Cheekbones

Personal Best Body Feature- Israa says: “Honestly, I’m very comfortable with myself and that’s the whole point of modelling: being comfortable with how and who you are.”

Agency: Citrus Talent Management.

When she finally moved to Pakistan she thought to give modeling a shot and her first official shoot was by Humayun Memon of Amean J.’s 18% GREY for Maheen Khan’s Gulabo label for which she appeared on the cover of SHE magazine in March 2011. She has also been featured in GT and Women’s Own magazines. “I can easily say that a handful of people had a stake in encouraging me to model,” Israa says.  The Gulabo shoot brought forth other opportunities including Israa’s second shoot for Nishat Lawn shot by Amean.J. “I must say the 18% Grey team guides one really well.” Israa has also modeled for Limited Editions by Ayesha Tahir Masood and for Kehkashan Majeed.

Photographers She’s Worked With: Amean.J, Fayyaz Ahmed, Kashif Rashid, Hamayun Memon, Adeel Baadshah, Ali Khurshid, Zeeshan Haider, Mahwash Rehman and Shahbaaz & Arshad.

Lawn Campaigns: Nishat Lawn Collection 2011 Catalogue

TV Commercials: Everyday Tea Whitener shot in Dubai and Zong shot in Karachi.

Fashion Shows / Fashion Weeks: Her first runway experience was at Pantene Bridal Couture Week 2012 which she wants to be a part of again in July 2012. “You won’t see me on every ramp as I have to see who’s organizing it as I follow my own codes of decency and standards in my career as a model.”

Acting or Fashion:  “I don’t want to restrict myself to just modeling as I’m creatively inquisitive. I have done things on the side such as hosting a morning show but now my focus is just on modeling and acting.”

TV Plays/Serials: Israa got her first break in Angeline Malik’s ‘Kitni Girhein Baaki Hein’ for HUM TV. Her current TV project is the comedic TV serial, ‘Frequency FM109’ by Najaf Bilgrami and Adarsh Ayaz for  Express Entertainment.

Favourite Make Up Artists: Beenish Parvez, Nadya Hussain Tajammul at Bina Khan, Anam Farooq at Tariq Amin and Ayaz. “They are not just great make-up artists but also very pleasant people to be around and to work with.”

Fitness Regime: Israa says she can’t function without working out and works out with her eldest sister Dr. Kholod Shafi, a professional aerobics instructor and Israa’s personal trainer.” I’m completely against starving oneself.”

Favourite Model(s): Israa says she admires Iraj Manzoor, Amna Ilyas and Marvi Sarfaraz for their work and attitude.

Favourite Pakistani or International Idol: Israa says she appreciates what many Pakistani artists and designers have achieved but feels that there is no one in particular to really look up to. “But there is an upcoming fashion designer, Sana Ehtasham who is also contributing to society.”

Current Projects: Israa recently completed shooting a video and photo pictorial for a brand called Musnad in Makli as well as completing shooting for Frequency FM 109.

Five to 10 Year Game Plan: Israa says her dream is to be a socially responsible and diverse Pakistani artist. “I see myself constantly gaining knowledge and not restricting my potential to just one thing.”

Response to be selected as an upcoming potential supermodel: “I was thrilled! I look forward to interviews which will help to further explore an artist’s psyche as we shouldn’t be seen as mere objects of beauty and style.”

Strengths: Strong runway presence and admirable walk and carriage. Israa’s strengths are that she is observant and is willing to learn and experiment.”Time and practice only makes one better at everything. I believe one’s confidence is nurtured as one goes forward as does one’s body language in front of the camera.”

Weaknesses: “I don’t treat anything as a weakness. The point is to be aware of what needs to be improved.”

Most Like Model Precedent: Zhalay

Verdict/Advice: Israa needs to come across as even more self-aware, and delve into doing a variety of work; both Eastern and Western and remain focused and steady. She should also work on her expressions as they come across as one-dimensional.

Eshal Fayyaz

Age: 19

Education: A’ Levels

Hometown: Karachi

 Height: 5’ 9’’

Personal Best Facial Feature: Eyes

Personal Best Body Feature: Waist

Agency: None. “I freelance.”

I first met Eshal when she came as a last minute stand-in as a model for Karachi Fashion Week in October 2011. She was tall and attractive but could not catwalk to save her life. But she was a quick learner and self-assured. She opted out of KFW because she did not want to sign a long-term contract as she felt confident that she could get enough modeling jobs on her own and so she did embarking on a promising career that same October 2011 doing her first runway during the Montage Fashion Show in 2011, after being discovered by Syed Tamimi at Trade Development Authority Of Pakistan (TDAP) whom she considers her mentor and whom she cites as introducing her into the fashion industry.  She claims to have “worked with all the famous designers” and has appeared on the covers of low-brow magazines like Page 3, Pakistan Observer, Jewel Time and MAG, the latter three times.

Photographers She’s Worked With: Fayyaz Ahmed, Rizwan-ul- Haq, Munna Mushtaq, Shahbaz Shezi,  Mani and Atiq Siddiqui.

Lawn Campaigns: Basheer Lawn and a recent Gul Ahmed Lawn catalogue.

TV Commercials: Jazz and Bata.

Fashion Shows /Fashion Weeks: Pakistan Fashion Week, Showcase , Bridal Couture Week, and an upcoming show to be held at the Hyderabad PC.

Acting or Fashion:“I have been offered to do many plays, but I just want to focus on fashion and modeling.”

TV Plays or Serials: None.

Favourite Make- up Artist: Eshal says she can’t name just one — “I like them all as each offers a different experience.” —  and adds  that she  does not stick to one hairstylist.

Favourite Model(s): Iraj Manzoor and Nadia Hussain

Fitness Regime: Eshal says she just runs. “That is the best way to keep oneself fit.”

Favourite Pakistani or International Idol: None

Current Projects: A TVC for Pond’s and Asim Joffa Diamond Collection Jewellery billboards.

Five to 10 Year Game Plan: “I am just flourishing day by day.  I think I have worked well in both photo shoots and fashion shows and strive to continue to work hard.”

Response to being picked as an upcoming potential supermodel: “I am really thankful and feel lucky to have been chosen.”

Strengths: Height, exotic looks and versatility. “I can easily render different looks which I love to do.”

Weaknesses: Eshal has been known to be unpunctual on many occasions and kept fashion crews waiting. “But I have improved a lot and will try to always being punctual.”

Most-Like Model Precedent: Very slight intimations of Aliya “Bibi”

Verdict/Advice: Although somewhat versatile; in photographs and on the runway Eshal needs to learn to smile with both her mouth and her somewhat expressionless eyes and should select more sophisticated work. And work on that punctuality issue some more.

Arij Fatima

Age: 20

Education: AMI program (American Montessori Internationale)

Hometown: Greensboro North Carolina/Karachi

Height:  5’7”

Personal Best Facial Feature: Eyes

Personal Best Body Feature: Waist

Agency: Citrus Talent Management and Cats Modeling Agency.

Arij began modelling in 2011 and says she can’t name one person in particular but insists there were many individuals who helped her in the beginning of her career.  “But my special vote goes to Frieha Altaf at Catwalk and Fahad Hussain at Citrus Talent, Arij says. “They got the best out of me.” I met her when she had just come from the US and I found her to be an extremely ambitious and determined yet pleasant and witty young woman who wanted to make it in the entertainment industry.

Her first assignment was a Zong Commercial. “I was very camera-shy and in addition to that my Urdu accent wasn’t desi enough for the concept so I really had the jitters!”

Photographers Worked With: Arij has worked with Rizwan-ul-Haq, Fayyaz Ahmed, Ayaz Anis, Kohi Marri, and Humayun from Amean J’s studio.

Lawn Campaigns: Arij has only been modeling during one Lawn season but already bagged being the brand ambassador for Misaal Lawn. She also modeled for Deepak Perwani’s Lawn alongside Ayyan and Mona Liza.

TV Commercials: Arij seems to have a penchant for TVCs, knowing that’s where the money is. She has done ads, albeit un-glamorous ones but well-paying for Dalda, Zong, Cerelac, National Foods, Jam-e- Shireen, Orient Fridge, Eden Robe and Service. This may be a hindrance to her becoming a versatile fashion supermodel.

Fashion Shows/Fashion Weeks: Arij has only participated in one Fashion Week that being PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in 2011 “I am not a ramp person,” she says.

Acting or Fashion: “Acting is definitely my first priority,” Arij says.

TV Plays/Serials: In a short period of time Arij has acted in myriad plays including Hazaron Saal alongside Zeba Bakhtiar, Sajid Hassan and Mohib Mirza; Sabz Qadam with Sumbul Iqbal and Hassan Ahmed; Sabz Pari Laal Kabooter with Faisal Qureshi, Mohib Mirza, Nimra Bucha, Zhalay and Sarmad Khoosat; Kis Dinn Mera Viya Hoga with Faisal Qureshi, Aijaz Aslam and Sana Askari, Shaddan with Waseem Abbas and Aimen Tariq; Marjai Tou Be Kia with Farhan Ali Agha and Eshita, and a Ramadan play with Behroze Sabzawari, Mehreen Raheal and Ahsan Khan.

Favourite Pakistani Make-up artist: “Akef Ilyas! I love his makeovers! He totally changes the person.”

Favourite Model(s): “My local favourite is Ayyan. I think she is beautiful.”

Fitness Regime: Sit-ups and Dancing.

Favourite Pakistani or International Idol: “I don’t really admire anyone from Pakistan. My idol is and has for a long time always been Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf in the CW’s teen drama television series ‘Gossip Girl’)

Current Projects: “I am looking forward to more upcoming drama serials.”

Five to 10 Year Game Plan:  “I see myself adored and admired.”

Response to being selected as a potential upcoming supermodel : “I’m really happy because it seems like I’m beginning to get the attention I deserve. Just kidding!”

Strengths: Arij has a unique face due to her mixed origins (Pakistani and Persian). Make-up changes her drastically hence she is versatile and carries both Eastern and Western looks well.

Weaknesses: Although, she auditioned for Karachi Fashion Week in October 2011 and had a confident and elegant walk during rehearsals, she opted out for personal reasons. “I am still not comfortable on the ramp and I’m still pondering on how to get over the jitters.”

Most Like Model Precedent: Atiya Khan

Verdict/Advice: Arij does not have that fired-up passion for creative fashion modeling, opting instead for commercial work and acting. She should definitely get over her runway jitters and work on more creative fashion pictorials.

Saima Azhar

Age: : 24

Education: MSc. Physiology

Hometown: Karachi

Height: 5’6”

Personal Best Facial Feature: Lips

Personal Best Body Feature: Curves and Skin

Agency: Cats Modeling Agency.

I first saw Saima Azhar in a facebook photograph attending an event and I commented that at the time she resembled a Veena Malik type vamp. She later told me she was tickled and amused. Saima was initially discovered when she was crowned Miss Photogenic at the Veet Miss Supermodel Contest in 2011 and began modeling soon after, first in a bridal shoot for Sabs Salon. I met Saima when she came to audition for Karachi Fashion Week and although Creative Director Tariq Amin liked her, Choreographer Imran Kureishi deemed her too short and rejected her. To me she sounded supremely confident and extremely ambitious, aiming literally for the stars, much like Humaima Malik at the beginning of her career. Since that bumpy beginning Saima has modelled in shows and shoots for designers such as Iman Ahmed of Body Focus; Sofiya Naveed Lari of SNL; Vasim Asghar; Obaid Sheikh; Fahad & Deepak; Sara Gandapur and Amir Baig and appeared on the covers SHE, Women’s Own, MAG.  ILS/Sunday Times and an upcoming cover of Xpozé Monthly.

Photographers Worked With: Rizwan- ul- Haq, Rizwan Baig, Abid Saleem, Umair Bin Nisar and Yaseer Sadiq.

Lawn campaigns: Lakhany Silk Mills solo catalogue shoot; Nishat Linen; Bashir Ahmed Catalogue; Bonanza Lawn Campaign and Mausummery Lawn.

TV Commercials: None

Fashion Shows/Fashion Weeks: PFDC Bridal Week; BCW in 2011 and 2012; Alluring Fashion Week. “I have also participated in many other fashion shows and launches.”

Acting or Fashion: Saima says she is interested in acting in the near future

 TV Plays or Serials: None so far.

Favorite Make-up Artist: Saima diplomatically says that she finds them all good as each has their own unique style and fall into different categories. She last had her hair cut by Toni & Guy for a hair presentation but is now trying to grow her hair.

Favorite Model(s): None locally. “I look up to Gisele Bundchen.”

Fitness Regime: Saima jogs and goes to a gym to exercise and de-stress. “More than that I love to play games and I love swimming

Favourite Pakistani or International Idol:

“I admire anyone who works on the premise of being original.”

Current Projects: ILS cover for Sara Gandapur; SUNDAY Daily Times cover for Fahad & Deepak; Women’s Own cover for Mausummery (in negotiation) and Xpozé cover featuring Sheep, FNK Asia and Daman.

Five to 10 Year Game Plan:“A Star.”

Response to being picked as an upcoming potential supermodel:  “Happy.”

Strengths: Versatile, pretty, photogenic features; creative, confident and professional.  “I look different every time. I transform completely after make-up and in front of thecamera.”

Weaknesses: Diminutive height for runway. “My weakness used to be that I was really chubby weighing around 62 kg when I received the award a year ago.I’m now down to 45kg.”

Most-Like Model Precedent: Aaminah Haq

Verdict/Advice: The weight loss is admirable but she should maintain this size and not lose any more as her small face may shrink into oblivion in real life and away from the cameras. In addition, Saima needs to work on her camaraderie with other models and not appear so desperately aggressive to get ahead. And just be herself.

Sana Safaraz

Age: 20

Education: Bachelor in Media Sciences. Major in Advertising.

Hometown: Abu Dhabi/Karachi

Height: 5’7”

Personal Best Facial Feature: Lips

Personal Best Body Feature: Waist

Agency: Cats Modeling Agency (Catwalk.)

I first spotted Sana when she was about 14 when she accompanied her sister Khubsoorat to the offices of Indus TV Network. I would watch her strutting up and down the halls like a catwalk model and I told her that she would one day make a great model.  Lo and behold!  “I was too young and was studying when I first began modelling.  I used to work on and off occasionally but never took modelling that seriously,” Sana says. “I started working professionally on regular basis from December 2011 after completing my degree.” Sana’s earliest modeling jobs were as a teen runway model for Leisure Club and Nadya Mistry’s Lolita campaign, but she gives credit to fashion designer Shayainne Malik for discovering her when she was still quite young while looking for models for one of her shows. “I did shows with Shayainne and from then on people started approaching and recognizing me.” Since then Sana has modeled for leading fashion designers and labels and has appeared on the covers of SHE, Women’s Own, Sunday Plus, Sunday Times, Brands and Xpozé  Monthly.

Photographers She’s Worked With: Mirza Khursheed Baig; Khawar Riaz; Zeeshan Ghouri; Shamyl Khuhro;  Munna Mushtaq; Fayyaz Ahmed; Rizwan-ul-Haq; Ayaz Anis; Taimur Laghari and Shahbaz;

Lawn Campaigns: Sana has modelled eight times for Gul Ahmed, who are known to pick only the prettiest girls in their campaigns, as well as for Keyseria, Warda Lawn, Ittehad Textiles, Sabiha’s Lawn; Monsoon Lawn and twice for Bonanza Lawn.

TV Commercials: Nokia, Zong (twice),Brite Total and Bake Parlour

Fashion Shows /Fashion Weeks: Fashion Pakistan Week 2; Fashion Pakistan Week 3; PFDC Karachi (3 times); Bridal Couture Week (3 times); Bridal Couture Week (Lahore); Show Case Fashion Week; Lux Style Awards fashion show; Gul Ahmed Awards Show; HSY Lawn launch and UAE National Day Show  “I’ve participated in more than 10 fashion weeks!”

Acting or Fashion: Sana says she wants to focus on fashion, but doesn’t mind acting if she gets a good opportunity.

TV Plays or Serials: Sana’s first serial was directed by Faheem Burney for Geo where she played the role of Ayesha Omer’s daughter. She has also acted in Beyzuban by Javed Fazil for PTV and Zindagi Gulzar Hai by Sultana Siddiqui for HUM TV

Favourite Make- up Artist:  “I would say Akku Appa (Nighat Misbah of Depilex). She understands my face quite well. Apart from that she is very humble and kind. It’s easy and comfortable to work with her! For my hair I keep trying different hair stylists so don’t have a favourite in particular.”

Favourite Model(s): “I admire Cybil because she has class; she’s educated and is sensible. Internationally, I like Cindy Crawford.”

Fitness Regime: Regular gym and daily stretching exercises.

Favourite Pakistani or International Idol: “There are many people I admire, but I look up to Rizwan-ul-Haq. He is there whenever  I need him.”

Current Projects:  Gul Ahmed will be flying Sana to India for a show and she has a slew of upcoming covers for different magazines.

Five to 10 Year Game Plan: “A Supermodel, Inshallah

Response to being picked as an upcoming potential supermodel: “It feels absolutely great and I am absolutely honoured!”

Strengths: Versatile, flexible, a quick learner and  hard working  claiming to remain in the sun for hours without mood swings or lame demands shooting 20 outfits in a day. A beatifically elegant “face” and carriage on the runway.

Weaknesses: Poor PR skills and sometimes unprofessional behaviour.  “I don’t socialise much but more than that I don’t suck up to fashion industry-wallahs. I think I will learn PR skills with time.”

Most-Like Model Precedent: Sonia Mehnaz

Verdict/Advice: ‘Alleged’ minor cosmetic surgery (lip enhancement) makes her look more Barbie than Lolita, especially in photographs. She also needs to work harder on being professional and polite and understanding the idea of “rank” in the fashion hierarchy.

Frieha Altaf

Saima Azhar:

“She’s one of my top picks because she had a height and weight disadvantage and out of sheer determination lost 30 lbs! Everyone she has worked with has praised her professionalism. She’s also a model who listens! In a period of one year she has five covers to her credit already! (Photographer) Rizwan-ul-Haq, Nabila(Stylist) and Andleeb (Editor, Xpozé Monthly) love her.


“Saima has to work on getting rid of her fake American accent; it has to go! She needs to groom herself and dress correctly in order to project and render her the right image.”

Sana Khan:

“Sana won the (Veet Miss Supermodel) competition last year. She is tall and gorgeous but she has a weak personality and is not aggressive enough.


“She needs to attend the right events. She needs to be noticed! She is doing work but can do much more.”

Sana Sarfaraz: 

“She has the pretty face and great ramp walk and carriage but she has a bad attitude! She lost the cover of Xpozé because she decided to do a paid shoot even after she had committed to the Editor and myself, upsetting us both.


“There is something untrustworthy about her which can drown her if she is not careful.”

Mehreen Syed

“Who is going to be the next supermodel?

Sana Sarfaraz and Zeba Ali are two very pretty and very talented girls from Karachi who carry a lot of potential. Sadaf Kanwal also from Karachi carries the zest required. From Lahore, there is Sadia Faisal and Zara Peerzada who are very hard-working and dedicated towards this field.

Other than these we have these upcoming names like Sidra, Faiza Chowdhry, Sonia Naxir and Anam and who are IFAP’s students from Lahore and packed with both talent and looks. I think these girls have the potential, the required spark to be on the top because I have personally worked with them. Not only are they good-looking but they are diligent towards making a name in this industry through hard work.


“My prediction regarding these girls will be correct only if they remain true to their profession and always work hard as they are doing now.”

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, July 15th, 2012.

Facebook Conversations


Shayan | 7 years ago | Reply | Recommend

"To me she sounded supremely confident and extremely ambitious, aiming literally for the stars..." Really?... Literally for the stars? I expected better English.

bharat | 7 years ago | Reply | Recommend

Shows the modern face of Pakistan

Also a fresh change from the daily killings, riots, violence

Tribune should highlight the many good things about Pakistan .

Just the other day saw the Pakistan Tourism website, was amazed at what potential Pakistan has for tourism

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