Our fashion industry has less scope for male models as compare to female ones but Emaad Irfani came out as a definite candidate for the next hot male model. He has all the attributes that takes one to be a model – the attitude, the height and the looks. Introduced by Ather Shahzad, Emaad has successfully been doing ramp shows, shoots and billboards. He finally won the LSA trophy for Best Male Model of the Year, but that was fraught with controversy about jury manipulation and unfairness. But for Emaad, winning the coveted award was a definite step up. caught up with him to find out how it has made a difference.
How does it feel to win the Lux Style Award for Best Male Model?
I was a nominee last year too. Getting nominated was a great honour for me because getting nominated means that you have the potential to be a winner. But winning this time has been really satisfying. I feel grateful for being recognised and appreciated for all the hard work.
Were you expecting to win? You had strong competition.
It's not about expecting it or not. As I said earlier, if you are a nominee, it means that you have the potential to win. All the nominees had done substantial work throughout the year. I was in a great competition. The other two nominees had very strong portfolios.
Why do you think they didn't win?
I don't think I can be a judge of that. My work speaks for itself.
Don't you think that one's PR also plays a vital role in winning and being recognised?
If all of it was about PR, than why did I get nominated last year and win this year? All I can say is that its like crying bitter tears after not being able to digest someone else's success
Why do you think you won the LSA?
It was neck to neck, really and I can't say that I was an obvious choice. Maybe, the fact that I've always believed in quality instead of quantity had played its part in my win. I strongly believe that the quality of work is the most important aspect of any assignment.
To whom would do you attribute this success to?
It's been almost four years since I've been part of this fashion industry. I owe my success to all the people I've ever worked with. Each and every individual that I've ever worked with played an integral role in my progress and I'm grateful to all of them for supporting me throughout.
What was the work from last year that you consider phenomenal in your portfolio?
I think the shoots I did with established designers like Umar Sayeed, HSY, Khaadi etc. gave me the edge over other contestants. I also think that the international shows I had done added more allure to my portfolio.
A lot of people thought that Iman Ali was a contender for the Lux Style Award Best Female Model category. Comments.
It was a close to call as all the five names in the Best Female Model category had dome some great work. There could only be one winner and I think nobody can deny Vinnie's credibility as a model.
Who are the designers and labels that you mostly work with?
I have occasionally worked with Umer Sayyed who's mostly known for his women's wear but from time to time he does exclusive men's wear as well. Then there is HSY who's also been doing men's wear. I've enjoyed working with Khaadi. He brings a lot of life and colour into men's fashion and of course sub-culture. Designers like Mehdi have shown great potential. All the names I've mentioned – everyone has been working for years and have their individual style. However it's a model's job to look good in whatever he's wearing.
Do you see any signs of progression in the fashion industry?
With the formation of the Fashion Council, things look bright and optimistic. And hats off to Lux for giving fashion a platform. It's a great step to institutionalise these awards. I think LSA will playing a important role in making people conscious about style and fashion in Pakistan.
Do you see male modeling gaining momentum?
I think that it is taking some momentum now. If you enter a territory that is female oriented, being underrated is understandable, but as long as one does a substantial amount of quality work, I guess it's okay.
How has been the public response to your win?
It's been great but at the end of the day, awards are like gifts. One should just move on and continue with life.
Don't you agree that there are camps within the fashion industry? Some designers only work with certain make up artists or photographers.
Yes, maybe. But then again, everyone has a right to make their own decisions. If someone prefers to work with any one person, I guess that's fine. No harm done.
What expectations do you have with our fashion industry?
Nothing happens over night. I think our industry is still growing. I'm positive that things will change and get better but it's going to take some time. And as far as politics is concerned, it happens all over the world within every industry and every walk of life.
Do you think that joint ventures should happen between India and Pakistan?
Yes, why not? What I'm not in favor of is our models or artists selling themselves short across the border.