SUDANESE MODEL MARYAM YOUSIF ON FINDING HER TRUE CALLING IN PAKISTAN
We met with Maryam in Lahore for a fun shoot and got to know more about her life behind the camera. She tells us about her routine as a model, what its like living in Pakistan and more. Read on…
Tell us a bit about yourself and your ethnicity?
I am Maryam Yousif from Sudan based in Lahore for more than four years, I have always had a dream to touch the stars and to leave my mark, wherever I go, through my appearance and confidence and to influence young ladies who have lost themselves - I am still working to achieve that.
When did you start modelling? Was it always the dream?
(Laughs) Actually modeling has found me I wasn’t planning on being a model, but I received many comments that I should start modeling. I was never serious about it and never thought about it twice. In 2019 I had my first editorial shoot with great photographer Hamza Baande; it happened when his team approached me and I thought to myself ‘Maryam here is the chance.’
‘What made me decide to move to Pakistan is my father who is in love with this country! He graduated from Pakistan too, and I followed his steps’
When did you come to Pakistan? What made you decide to move here?
I moved to Lahore in 2017 when I got my admission in Punjab University. Here is a secret: what made me decide to move to Pakistan is my father who is in love with this country! He graduated from Pakistan too, and I followed his steps.
How did you get recognized as a model here?
It is never an easy journey as people think it is; it requires time, effort and focus to build your name. To be recognized by brands and photographers you have to be as professional as you can, I have been recognized one year after my first editorial by the amazing brand Lulusar when I was part of their campaign ‘Lulusar For All’ and I was so happy and grateful to be a part of it.
What are your thoughts on the Pakistani fashion industry?
I don’t have much of an opinion, and what I do have can be pretty much summarized into this: hats off to all the hard workers in the industry who work very hard with all the creativity and the effort they put together to produce such amazing work.
‘Hats off to all the hard workers in the industry who work very hard with all the creativity and the effort they put together to produce such amazing work’
According to you, what could Pakistan adopt from other countries when it comes to modelling?
Diversity! Especially in fashion weeks and shows. This is what can make a major turn in the industry, and I believe there is much more that needs to be done to achieve real diversity in the Pakistani fashion industry.
Three favorite things about this country?
(Laughs) Biryani, paratha and doodh paati. Obviously everything but food will always win. Food is one of the best things in Pakistan, I love the mixture of spices and this is what I am deeply in love with. Secondly people, Pakistani people are so welcoming and friendly and very helpful, you never feel like a stranger around them or left out and this is what I admire about Pakistan.
Your favorite Urdu word/ sentence?
Are you in Pakistan for just work or do you have plans on settling down?
Pakistan will always be one of the best destinations in my life, but I am looking forward to discover new cultures too.
‘Food is one of the best things in Pakistan, I love the mixture of spices and this is what I am deeply in love with’
What does your daily routine as a model look like?
To maintain a specific routine as a model it will never be an easy task due to daily classes, fittings, photoshoots and workouts. But usually I wake up around 5-6am on a workday a little later on days off. As a model you will always suffer from skin problems because during the day many hands touch your face, I try my best to stay committed to my skin care routine at the end of the day and I never sleep with makeup on. If it comes to my diet routine people think models starve themselves, but literally I eat everything; I just try to maintain my diet as much as I can through the food pyramid which includes for breakfast: oatmeal, yogurt with fruit, eggs etc.
INTERVIEW: SAFA ADNAN
PHOTOGRAPHY: TAHIR CHAUDHRY
MAKEUP ARTIST: AYAN AMIR