FHM: How did you start your modeling career?
FA: My siblings were into modeling while I was an artist; a painter and a sculptor. I had an exhibition in an art gallery, which was visited by Saira Irshad one of Pakistan’s leading Magazine. She saw me there, reviewed my work and suggested me to start a career into modeling. Thereforth, I did my first shoot for the Magazine with Attiya and Samina Ibrahim.
FHM: You were a very established model. Tell us about your journey and the defining point of your life?
FA: The era in which I became an actress and shared screen with Haseena Moin, I used to be called up at 2 in the morning for the shot. Things became very difficult to handle, since, I am a hyper person.
Defining points come in different parts of your life and so I have come by such event a lot; out of which a lot of personal tragedies made me grow more and made me who I am today. I have always been professional; working all my life but one of the most memorable events to mention here would be the start of my own company. Then, moving back from Canada and finding Catwalk at the same position. However, now that my kids are gone, this shall be yet another defining point in my life, where I’ll have to start keeping myself busy in other activities.
FHM: Was Catwalk Event Management and Production named the same from day one?
FA: Yes it was! The name came out to me accidentally. I still remember, I had done a few events and Samina Ibrahim wanted to interview me for a Magazine just because of my work. I did my first show with Maheen Khan; hence we decided to keep Catwalk as the official name of the company. It started off as a Fashion Event company, which later turned into a 360 degree Event Management Company. When I started Catwalk, there weren’t many event managers so I got the chance to do the first show of all the designers so far.
Despite of the harsh experiences that we came along in the past, I have always worked with credible people. Talking names, Unilever has always been supportive and pushed me in doing great work.
FHM: How do you categorize your clients?
FA: I have had so much experience with so many brands. For me the only important thing is to understand the objective, so that I could deliver the work.
FHM: You have been in the fashion industry for a long time. How can you compare today’s industry with time, keeping in mind the other clothing related industries?
FA: I am going to be honest here; it is in a very bad stage. Fashion has become too commercial and is being abused now. Everything is not fashion, and textile companies are bringing down its quality, as well. According to me, the Magnum show was an authentic example to make people understand from where fashion, research, inspiration and collection should come from. It shows the young vs. the old, and this is where parallels stand different.
What the fashion industry was thirty five years ago is not what it is today, and this is not a good sign. You go through this phase in every genre, whether it is fashion, music, films or drama. Fashion is too saturated and there are too many designers now.
Textile is an industry in Pakistan but, fashion is not an industry yet. It is worth a lot more because of huge brands; it is growing but still there is a lot more to achieve in Fashion. When the fashion industry started, we had to face a lot of challenges. We need to make people understand about the fashion ode. A lot of people don’t know the history of art; they need to be educated slowly and gradually. Good has to come in and bad has to go.
FHM: You have been a trendsetter for a lot of shows, how do you feel about it?
FA: It feels great to be a trendsetter; I started Lux Style Ki Duniya, Magnum, and Miss Veet Super Model. I created the first ever modeling agency in Pakistan, which is quite an achievement in itself.
FHM: Which has been the memorable event in your career?
FA: It’s hard to say, there are many things that are ground-breaking, but I think the most fun and memorable event was Mobilink’s 20th Anniversary. It was huge and was shot in an outdoor location with about 300 performers against a 700 ft huge wall.
FHM: As you are a single parent, how do you manage your personal and professional life?
FA: Women are trained to do multi-tasking, and if you are a mother, you feel more responsible. I have always stayed close to my children, and my friends have helped me a lot, as well. I would never stay at a meeting till 1pm, as I would have to leave to pick my kids from school. I remember I was doing a Basant show for COKE, which was a three day event, and around 5000 people were expected to show up; during the show my kid had a sports day and I flew to attend it and brought them back with me. So all in all, it is necessary not only for women but also for men to keep a balance between their personal and professional life.
FHM: What is your take in Parisheh being a model? Did you help her in this aspect?
FA: I didn’t do anything, but Deepak Perwani did; he is quite amazing at it. She has done some work for a few brands. It is an achievement for her to open a show at the age of 16. She is very confident, as she also sings at the choir; which is not an easy thing to do as you have to stand and sing in front of a lot of people.
FHM: What do you think about Women Empowerment?
FA: Well, women are running the show. Women are running everything. Women like Benazir Bhutto, Shazia Syed, MussaratMisbah and many more are the best example of women empowerment.
Saqib Malik once said to me, ‘Your kids will always keep you in the loop when young.’ Well, It was indeed true, I didn’t know how to use Snapchat or any other app, until they taught me how to.
FHM: What would you be, if not this?
FA: Certainly an artist, painter or sculptor; maybe.
FHM: Any message to the girls who want to become the future ‘Freiha Altaf’?
FA: I feel really bad for the girls because I am running a modeling agency. I would like to help everyone out but, meanwhile, make it worth a while for my company to do it.
FHM: Do you have plans of working in films?
FA: I have done a cameo in ‘Lahore Se Aagey’ and also playing a role in Javed Shaikh’s upcoming movie. So, I am going to go back to acting because when you are creating, you want to do other things as well, since it is important to keep yourself alive to grow.