LIFE OFF THE RUNWAY WITH VETERAN MODEL NADIA HUSSAIN
With our industry always growing and evolving each year, we welcome new talents. But we owe it all to our veterans who helped pave the way in the industry. One of Pakistan’s top models of yesteryear was none other than Nadia Hussain and we were lucky enough to exclusively chat with her. She invited us over to her chic house in Karachi where she posed for our camera and filled us in on her life after modelling, b e a u t y v e n t u r e , a c t i n g a n d motherhood. Read on…
Hi Nadia! We’re so happy to have you here. You’re known as one of Pakistan’s first supermodels. What are your thoughts on today’s fashion industry?
I think we’re at a major crossroads in the fashion industry post-covid. We’ve seen a huge dip in finances towards fashion shows. There’s hardly been any catwalk recently and I pray that the fashion week scene doesn’t die down. I used to love fashion weeks because of the excitement, thrill, fun, red carpet and the overall chaos of being a part of fashion week. Let’s see
‘I’m not a stressed out OCD mother or business owner and I will happily hand over jobs to assigned people so it makes my life easy’
what the future holds. Also now, there’s no concept of ‘supermodel’; it’s all about who’s who and whose got the pull on social media and doing most of the fashion collaborations today. It’s not about being model ‘type’. It’s only about fame and presence, which I think, has its pros and cons. The pros are that a lot of people are diving into fashion and getting lots of work, which is great. The con is that the supermodel era is definitely gone!
Is there anything you wish you could’ve known before joining the industry?
Well thankfully, many things have changed since I joined 23 years ago! At my time it was a pain to get payments on time and running after people was a real hassle. Also, there were lots of people who tried to con you into doing crappy shows by promising lots of things, but at the end of it, it was all lies. Today thankfully due to social media, you can create a hue and cry and at least get the ball rolling as far as payments go. At my time, my policy mostly was payment first.
Do you have any distinct memory or moment you cherish till today from your early days in the modelling field?
All the times that I have travelled abroad for shows or shoots have been the best time of my life. There was always such camaraderie; all of us used to have so much fun together, it was great. Thankfully since there was no social media, what was done in Rome stayed in Rome.
‘I’d love to do a very glam but powerful role, like that of a police officer, military, lawyer or a Tomb Raider' kind of fighter woman’
How do you balance motherhood and your professional life?
It’s all about priorities. When I know I have to give time to a certain thing at that moment, there’s nothing else that comes in the way. Also, I’m not a stressed out OCD mother or business owner and I will happily hand over jobs to assigned people so it makes my life easy. And yes, nothing is perfect and I’ve learnt to accept it.
Your secret to staying fit? What do you do to stay in shape?
Trust me it’s a life long struggle…and I’m still struggling. It’s a constant rollercoaster. You need to watch what you eat most importantly and also exercise to make sure those flabby body parts get toned up.
How did you make the transition from supermodel to makeup artist? Was it something you were always passionate about or was it coincidence?
I knew I wouldn’t be modelling for the rest of my life. It was during the last part of my career, after being in the industry for approxiamtely 18 years, that I would think I need to get serious about my dentistry business. I decided to start only on an aesthetics clinic after getting diplomas from Singapore, but at that time I was pregnant with my third child. Once I had the baby I couldn’t manage the clinic so I started working part-time at Sabs Salon to do only aesthetics. In the mean time I was looking around for another location to start my aesthetics business again. The location I found is the present salon I have in Clifton on E street. The place was so big that I decided I should start a salon and clinic together and hence the whole amalgamation came about. Alhamdulillah now I have three branches of my salon and also started my makeup brand ‘Bling By Nadia Hussain’.
Model, dentist, makeup artist, entrepreneur, actor…which one do you enjoy the most and how do you balance your time amongst them?
I truly feel when I’m playing different roles of my life, I’m fully enjoying and engrossed in it at that moment. So, I really don’t feel that I enjoy one thing more than the other. When I’m home and being a mom, I’m just as much a typical mother as any other! When I’m at the salon, I’m a strict administrator. When I’m involved in my makeup products, I’m a passionate brand owner and when I’m acting, I am very much dependent on whatever my director wants me to do.
One makeup tip for summer time? What’s your go-to makeup look?
Keep it minimal! My go-to is my ‘Go Makeup Palette’, but on other days I love the feel of my ‘Aqua Glam Dual Foundation Pancake’, which is just perfect for the hot summer weather. It gives the perfect finish, is lightweight and yet gives just the right amount of coverage for the perfect summer glam look. And to top it off, my favourite handy item is my ‘Blinglam Face’ a 4 in 1 makeup kit that includes contour, shimmer, matte blush and highlighter.
‘I don’t get many different kind of roles to play and I’m honestly quite tired of that now; to constantly be the villain is not fun at all times’
What advice would you like to give brides-to-be, in terms of choosing the perfect makeup look?
Even for brides now, minimal is the way to go. Skin is definitely in. And the look is soft glam, with just the right amount of glow on the eyes and face to brighten you up, yet not be overpowering.
We haven’t seen much of our original supermodels tap into the acting industry. So, how did you enter the entertainment field?
I’ve been acting since the second year of my career but to be honest, I got married, had kids and never had that much time to continue acting full-time so, I really missed out on a lot of good opportunities. But hey, after four kids and two businesses, I’m happy with the roles I’m doing now.
What are your aspirations for the silver screen? If you get an offer, what kind of role would you like to do for cinema?
I’d love to do a very glam but powerful role, like that of a police officer, military, lawyer or a tomb raider kind of fighter woman.
Do you relate to any of your characters you’ve played so far in some way? Is there any role you regret taking on?
I don’t want to relate to any of my characters because I like to bring out something different in each one of them. But sadly for me, I don’t get many different kind of roles to play and I’m honestly quite tired of that now; to constantly be the villain is not fun at all times.
Pros and cons of working in the Pakistani entertainment industry?
Payments, payments, payments! And also that there’s total lack of experimentation for characters. I feel there’s too much typecasting, which I don’t agree with at all. When a good girl plays a bad girl, or vice versa, I truly feel it’ll keep the audience engaged longer.
Lastly, Nadia Hussain in three words?
Role model, dynamic and enterprising.
INTERVIEW: SAFA ADNAN
PHOTOGRAPHY: ZUHAIR SHAH
HAIR & MAKEUP: NADIA HUSSAIN SALON