Nadia Hussain - Going Above and Beyond

Nadia Hussain is one of the most sought-after models that we have in the fashion industry. With a career spanning to more than two decades, the diva has indeed come a long way in her unprecedented journey and has managed to carve an accomplished path for herself. Be it to have ruled the modelling world for years with her unmatched persona, to be a successful entrepreneur, and then to enter into the competitive discipline of acting, she exudes inspiration for the young generation big time especially for the young girls. While we witness her transition from being a supermodel and conquering the glitzy and glamorous world of modelling to being a business woman and setting up a prospering business amidst such competition, it is surely the one to look up to. A woman of many flairs, Hussain surely knows how to tick mark all the boxes of accomplishments. From owning her own makeup brand to have multiple salons to her name, from being an aesthetician to becoming an actor, she has done it all. Read on to know more about her who is known to be the perfect example of an empowered woman, as she in an exclusive conversation with MAG, sheds light on the bits and pieces from her life:

Icebreaker! Tell us something about yourself that your fans still wouldn’t know.

In 22 years, I think I'm quite an open book, but I would like to tell my fans that I own a makeup brand called Bling by Nadia Hussain and I own three branches of my salon. And also that I love to act, I like to play different characters on-screen even villainous ones but in reality I am not that person, I just portray the characters that are given to me.

What influenced you to pursue a career as a model?

I had no intentions of pursuing a career as a model, but once I had started modelling, I continued to get many good offers, which was the reason that I actually never stopped and continued my dentistry along with modelling. I continued modelling even when I got married after completing dentistry. I kept on getting amazing offers which really motivated me to continue working.

Ruling the modelling world for years, what challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?

At the beginning, I actually had no challenges to overcome because luckily, I came at the right time when some of the senior models were exiting the industry. So, there was room for me and a lot of other new models to enter in that field and make their name. But later on, my biggest challenge was to maintain myself and lose all the weight that I gained after having my children.

When entering a new modelling gig or an acting project, describe how you build relationships with the creative team or your fellow models and actors.

I’m a very easy going person. I'm very easy to make friends with and I really like talking. So, that is the reason that I actually get along with everybody on the set, be it the junior actors, be it the senior actors, be it the makeup artists and even the spot boys. I'm respectful and friendly with everybody.

What made you step into the world of acting?

So, I was doing a project for a programme called Lux Style ki Dunia in which I was the main person being interviewed and I was also modelling in that. The director of that project was doing another play and he was really insistent that he wanted me to be a part of that play, for which I didn't have time at that time. He waited for almost four months for me to finish my exams. And then, he started the project with me, that is how I got into acting.

What do you feel is more important for an actor, talent or training?

In our industry, you need little bits of everything. You need talent, you need training and most of all, I think you need luck because there are a lot of actors who are doing lots of good projects, but they never really get noticed. A lot of time actors go unnoticed and so yes, I think most importantly, you need luck.

How do you react when you receive a negative review about any of your performances?

I’m very chill about any negative review for any of my characters, but honestly, a lot of times I want to tell the person reviewing that it's actually not me to finalise the character or the way I delivered a dialogue because it is all in the hands of the director. If the director doesn't want things to be a certain way, it will not be that way. It has a lot to do with the director and things really aren’t in my hands when it comes to acting.

What is your greatest weakness and how do you work to overcome it?

I would like to believe that whatever might be my psychological weakness, I try and overcome that through different ways and work to channelise that into something positive. But yes, a physical weakness of mine would definitely be chocolate cakes.

As they say one should be happy with their natural features, being a specialised aesthetician, what’s your take on the growing demand of aesthetic procedures? Don’t you think it increases insecurity among people to look a certain way?

I do believe that humans have been made a bit vain in nature and they are concerned about their vanity, their looks, their aesthetics, their appeal. That is the reason women use makeup to look more appealing and even men on the other hand want the same. Looking good affects your work, it affects your personality and it affects you psychologically. So, of course that is where aesthetic comes in because that is just the enhancement of your beauty. As both women and men have the same concerns when it comes to their physical appeal. And it really is all about the money, if you can spend money on aesthetic treatments then sure, go ahead in order to look your best. But yes, I do feel that it needs to be done within a certain limit, for it to look natural and not going overboard. The only problem with these aesthetic treatments is that you can end up going a little overboard.

What do you find most challenging about being an entrepreneur now that you also have a make-up line to your credit?

The most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur in Pakistan is dealing with the staff especially with the kind of business I run because it needs a skill based staff. So, mostly they are not very educated, but they are skilled. That is where the issue comes in, and also that they are mostly women. As they also have to deal with their domestic issues and personal life problems. Also, in Pakistan the entire business setup is extremely challenging because there is no water, there is lack of electricity. We have to rely on generators. There are tax related issues. So basically, we’ve to deal with so many things simultaneously.

Heading your own beauty salon, a makeup-line, modelling and acting, how do you manage to juggle between being a full-time professional and a home-maker?

Definitely all these things cannot be done without support, so I'm very grateful and thankful to have such a supportive husband. I have the support of my mother and my mother-in-law as well. My kids are very understanding because they know that they have a working mother and they have always seen their mother like that. They don't know anything different. So, it really cannot happen without support and also, one has to end up relying on the staff a bit too much. People should try to multitask and micro-manage to make things easier.

Tell us something about your upcoming projects?

So, as far as my upcoming dramas are concerned, I'm doing one drama for MD Productions and that should be on-air any time after Ramazan. Other than that, I am also working on the expansion of one of my salons. Probably, also open up a section for men in it. And I am also working really hard on my makeup brand in order to make it more conveniently available in the retail stores.

Looking at your long inspiring journey, what career advice would you want to give to the youngsters who are just starting out?

I truly believe that the modelling industry has totally changed after the advent of social media and I feel that models don't have that kind of presence that they used to have before because initially, it was the print media that used to make or break personalities. But now because of social media, everybody is the king of their own domain. I feel modelling has now become a lot more competitive. Businesses even have become a lot more competitive, so anybody who's starting out young, I would really say that you really need to work on your social media. You really need to work on your presence on all the major social media platforms to be able to make your presence felt. So it's not Just about who you are as a model, but it's about who you are as a person on social media.

Coordination & PR: Danish Maqsood
Makeup & hair: Nadia Hussain Salon
Designer: Pehnawa by Rida
Photography: Anas Azeemi
Styling: Eisha Nadeem
Jewellery: Bukhari Accessories