You can easily spot her in a crowd. This stylish diva has got it all, charm, beauty, intelligence, fame. What more could one ask for? That is Nadia Hussain for you, the model cum actress. She is surely one in a million.
Unlike other models who find it hard to take out time from their busy schedule, when approached by the team of T2Extra, The Express Tribune, Nadia Hussain readily agreed. She entered dressed in a turquoise coloured flowing cotton shirt and we started the interview right away.
She went back to her professional details and qualifications, almost ten years back into memory lane. “It was in the year 2000. I had just completed my A levels and it was when I first appeared, in a modelling shoot as a 20 year old for a Winter Collection of Lakhani Silk Mills. It was their winter campaign. That was the first step, the beginning of my career as a model,” says Hussain.
Earlier on, she says, “Shamaeel Ansari always told my mother that I should be allowed to model.” Being a family friend, Hussain’s mother considered her suggestion and when Ansari held her solo fashion show, which was a grand event in itself, Hussain finally got the chance of a lifetime and participated in the event. She smilingly recalls, “It was here, I ended up meeting Iraj, Vinny, Jia and Tanya Shafi, amongst some others.” But what makes it all the more memorable for her is the fact, “I didn’t have heels at that time, it was quite a memorable moment.”
She paid a visit to Tariq Amin’s Salon and there, stylist Mubashir Khan spotted her and told her she should be a model. Khan introduced her to Imran Kureshi, the choreographer at an in-house event and the next thing; she was approached by Frieha Altaf, a model cum choreographer. That is how she began her modelling career, officially.
“Initially my mother was very hesitant and used to accompany me to every event. However, over a passage of time, she started trusting me. I was lucky in a way; it didn’t require too much effort and my mother gave in eventually.”
Having a degree in Dentistry, if she hadn’t been a model, than she says, she would be have been pursuing her profession as a dentist.
When asked who her true inspirations are, Hussain says, “I look up to my phuppo Tabinda Chinoy and my khala Tina Sani.”
Being a famous model, her private life has been affected and she says, “Yes, in a way it has. People constantly want to know more and more. There is a bit of intrusion, I believe.” However, she has learnt how to deal with this and only gives as much information as she wants to.
Because of her acting career, she has been able to travel to a lot to places such as Australia and Turkey. She plans to continue this even though her roles are very stereotyped. I would want to try something different as well.
Coming back to her modelling career, she believes her biggest competitor in the fashion industry and she astutely asserts, “Is nobody. Not Vinny, not Iraj. Everybody is doing something different. I believe I compete with myself.”
Marriage is a huge responsibility for her. She has been happily married to Atif Khan, who is an investment banker and stock broker. She has two kids, son Shadal who is five and a half years old and daughter Shanzay who is four years of age. Speaking of her husband, Hussain proudly says, “He has always been very supportive of my work,” because of which I have picked up acting assignments.
Love or money?
If you could change one facial feature, what would it be?
My eyes. I’d make them a little bigger.
Being so tall, was it difficult to find a potential husband in Pakistan?
No, not at all. I had guy friends who were mostly tall. Some were short as well though. However, when I met my husband, it was a coincidence to find him — so tall.
Do you think models depict an unrealistic picture of women in reference to weight and beauty?
Weight is an issue. A model has to maintain her weight, but beauty is not unrealistic.
What is your favourite fattening food and how do you resist it?
Anything from Nihari to Paya is fattening. I treat myself once in a week and indulge in fattening food.
What message would you like to give to the women of Pakistan?
Don’t stop dreaming. Set certain parameters for yourself, you can’t be selfish.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2010.
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