‘The grime behind the glitz’ – Pakistan’s fashion and modelling industry’s progress has been halted by the stereotypical imaging of the professional sphere and the societal dynamics which conventionalize it. Through the pigeonhole, the hurdles faced by the young individuals entering the industry themselves are no less either.
Driven by passion, Hazara’s pride Arbaqan Hyder Changezi is redefining the realm. With his fresh face and impeccable looks, Changezi has garnered a lot of attention since his first walk on the runway last year, while he is all set to graduate from Pakistan’s most prestigious fashion school. He walked the ramp for Almas, a high-street brand from Lahore, and described his first public appearance as ”Game Face” – and does he not look like a gaming hero ready to conquer, already?
In his exclusive talk with Siasat.pk, Arbaqan shares his journey to the ramp and how he sees himself a few years from now.
Q) Why did you choose to pursue a career as a model?
”I have always been obsessed with beauty and the world of glamour. I am someone who always looked for beauty in everything and it is something I always aspired to do. I always try to make people feel beautiful and it all came naturally. Modelling was only a side career I opted for. I am basically a fashion marketing student and work as a freelance stylist as well. But modelling, as a career, has given me a lot of leverage and I owe it”.
Q) What is your greatest strength, as a model? What sets you apart from others?
”I think it’s too early to have an opinion about it or tell the people about what I identify as my own strength. But one thing I feel like my biggest strong point is my originality and my personality. With that, I don’t want people to only see and identify me with my ‘face’. I am very vocal about the issues that are close to my heart as well and have an opinion about how things should be. Apart from this, with perspective to the country we live in, my Asian features and my identity being a Hazara Changezi sets me apart. I have a different niche that I cater to”
Q) In a country where art is under-appreciated, what do you think is the biggest hurdle for new faces entering the industry?
”I think Pakistan is a very culturally diverse country. Some form of art is close to their heart, be it poetry, music, painting etc. The biggest hurdle that particularly fashion industry faces is that people are constantly using it and it has an influence on their lives but are also bad-mouthing it. However, I see hope in our younger generation who are much more appreciative about it”.
”New faces are currently facing the problem of recognition because in the modern days the social media has taken over. Your fame depends on the number of followers you have. So it has not been dependent on merit anymore, it is because of your social media following. There are unethical ways of gaining followers, which I do not believe in. Due to this, a lot of people failed to get the recognition they deserve”.
Q) Do you want to pursue it as a full-time career option?
”Determining a career depends on how well it works out for you. I will continue to do it part-time as I have a degree in fashion marketing and I will not just resort to modelling solely in future. I will engage myself in other things as well. Modelling alone is not sufficient for a male model with a face like mine since we don’t get a lot of commercial projects as the brands say they are specifically looking for Pakistani faces”.
Q) Which big stages do you want to represent Pakistan on?
”If it comes to representing Pakistan, it is a developing country. And I believe Pakistan deserves all the recognition. So I aspire to represent the country at any platform and in any capacity to get our perspective displayed in front of the world”.
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