After Fawad Khan, fashion model Shahzad Noor is the only Pakistani to have walked the runway for top-league Indian couturier Manish Malhotra. Though, he considers it “an honour,” this isn’t exactly his claim to fame. Over the past seven years since he began modelling (in 2012), this handsome Karachi lad has had the fortune to work with the best in the business — from designer HSY to hair and make-up artists Khawar Riaz and Nabila — and endorsed the most coveted fashion brands.
Recently, he got an invitation from Henry Poole & Co. — named after the tailor who had famously designed luxury suits for Mohammad Ali Jinnah back in the day — to visit the historical store in London. An avowed fan of Jinnah’s style of dressing, Noor was in his element at one of England’s oldest fashion houses. Later, he participated in the Norway Fashion Week, which was held in Oslo.
Easily the highest paid male model in the country today, Noor has also dabbled in acting on television. His drama serials such as ‘Tera Mera Rishta’, ‘Yeh Ishq’ and ‘Zakham’ may not have created a sensation but he appeared as a natural on screen, debunking the myth that fashion models don’t make good actors. In an exclusive chat with Gulf News tabloid!, Noor hints at a “special project for TV” that he is considering presently. Excerpts from the interview follow:
Q. Every male model in the fashion industry must’ve turned green with envy when you bagged the Manish Malhotra show last year. How did that happen?
A. Honestly, I didn’t make any effort to be in the show; it so happened that Nabila was styling the event’s models, and she hired me. That’s about it. But looking back, I feel proud that I was part of the show; it was a huge event, and Aishwarya Rai was a showstopper. I was the only male model from Pakistan. I wore two different outfits for Manish [Malhotra].
Q. Apparently, Hamza Ali Abbasi was there too?
A. He was one of the celebrity guests; he wasn’t supposed to walk the ramp.
Q. We don’t really see male ‘supermodels’ in Pakistan. Also, when it comes to men in the business, we have smaller space compared to women. Do you agree?
A. Yes, I do. It’s an industry [that is] dominated by women. The female models get the cream of brands, and they keep busy all year round — in lawn prints in summers, bridals in winters etc. They have greater market, and therefore get paid far higher remunerations compared to their male counterparts.
Q. You also featured in TV dramas, albeit briefly. Does acting not interest you?
A. TV drama is very time-consuming. It can require up to 12 hours of your time, which does not suit me, because I have to make time for workout, I’ve to look after myself. But I am in talks with the producers of this special project for TV; I can’t reveal anything about that right now.
Q. What about films?
A. I’ve been offered films, but I want to work only with the big directors. Why, because film is the director’s medium.