There are some faces which come to represent the times we live in. Sunita Marshall is the face of Pakistan's modelling industry in the new millennium. She is amongst the handful of girls who have transformed our not-so-exciting fashion scene into a wonderful arena of glitz and glamour - simply by being there. In few years she has reached a level of stardom that others struggled for years to achieve.
Young Sunita was introduced to the modelling world by her aunt Angie Marshall, a renowned beautician, who saw an enterprising model/actress in her. She started her modelling career at 18 with Mag, a weekly fashion magazine, where Saima offered her a bridal shoot.
But people actually started recongnising her after Abrar's hit song 'Preeto'. She did her first catwalk show for Rizwan Beyg in 2000 and since then she has done countless shows - home and abroad. Her favourite photographer who gave her an initial break remains Arshad Tareen, who she says 'is the best' although she also rates Ather Shahzad, Deevees, Abid Saleem and Shamyl Khoro as photographers who have understood her appeal and consequently shot great photographs of her.
"Well, as a stylist I like Saima's work, she's very innovative. In designers, I think Rizwan Beyg, Deepak Perwani and Nomi Ansari are marvellous designers. In choreography, Hassan Shehryar, Frieha Altaf and Imran Kureshi, all are very good and very individualistic in their approach."
According to Sunita the modelling scene is becoming better day by day and now there is a bevy of channels and fashion magazines that give good coverage. It's no longer a hobby and it has become a serious profession. "Things have really changed over the past few years.
Then a lot depends on how you conduct yourself. I take modelling as my career, like a nine to five job. It's not an outlet to expose myself or to develop contacts or look for acceptance into a certain group. I come, do my work and leave, that's the end. People are very judgmental about models, I mean so what if she wears revealing clothes, it doesn't mean she's a bad human.
But since modelling is short lived, one can always channelise one's talents and can opt for acting." Herself, a talented actress, Sunita began her acting career in a mystery suspense series for a private channel where she played a jinn.
She is currently appearing in a hit serial, Thori Door Saath Chalo. "You just have to be patient and it takes some time to be known in this field". At present she is quite satisfied with her modelling and acting career but later on she would like to go into production.
The commerce graduate from Karachi's St Patrick's College, Sunita strongly feels that there should be a training institute for models where they can learn the tricks of the trade and can groom themselves. She is in favour of modelling agencies so that models can work more professionally.
"Whatever we learn is on the job, there is no agency that could groom models about the techniques and approaches." For aspiring models, she warns them to prepare themselves for hard work. "Modelling is not just about pretty looks, it's about your attitude, your personality and your over all intelligence level."
Basically a quiet person, Sunita likes to spend her leisure time with close friends and family. "I don't like to attend parties or hang out a lot. I am a very homely person, when I am not working I would rather stay home and relax.
Mostly I prefer jeans and t-shirt, I am very comfortable in it." She enjoys her celebrity status and it really raises her esteem when people recognise her. She denies the notion that models are rich but says that they are financially comfortable. "I don't go around shopping spree or flaunt it in front of people. I support my family and save some for rainy days."
Tall and slim Sunita does not make any extra effort to keep herself fit. She attributes this to her family genes. At the moment she is singularly happy and sees herself settling down in a few years' time.