“My God, I was going to the loo with Frieha Altaf!” Fariha Rashed wrote in her interview blog – ‘Unveiling of Frieha Altaf’ when she first met the former super model, CEO Cats Modelling Agency, Catalyst and Catwalk Productions. She is the Creative Director of the Lux Style Awards.
Fariha’s excitement was absolutely understood because it is not every day you have some diva inviting you to ‘loo’ with them – “for women going to the washroom together is a sign of ultimate bonding,” Fariha explained. Whacky was it sound, there has not been a single soul who is not thrilled to meet Fariha Altaf. Even the most hard-headed all muscle men have known to have goose bumps when interviewing her or just saying hello at an event. Frieha is the ultimate diva!
Frieha Altaf started out when modelling was considered a social taboo – during the era of dictatorship – when you could not help having your posters pasted all over ‘paan shops.’ But Frieha was not there to earn money or mere popularity. She had an education, and although modelling came to her by chance, her biggest contribution was to mould the image of the fashion industry. Frieha wanted to a painter. It was luck that brought Saira Shah, Editor of Newsline to her at an art exhibition. She bluntly asked, “Do you want to be a model?” That was the beginning of new journey for Frieha and the fashion industry was to experience a revolution at 360 degree. “People had passion and vision back then,” Frieha says whenever differences between then and now is mentioned. Even as a novice, Frieha was picky and quality conscious. She did the first cover of the magazine Fashion Collection. She did Gul Ahmed and Sunsilk besides few other rare brands, which at that time was a big dream. Frieha also did a few plays on PTV – by Haseena Moen to name it.
Farieha terms today are society as living in ‘clone culture.’ Everyone buys everything off the rack and end up looking like each other. Her fashion statement is unique and never the same. If she is in casual outfit or subtle colours at an event, you’d find her in complete bold look at another. She wouldn’t bore herself by limiting her choice to one designer. There is a whole lot of labels – local and international – overflowing her closet.
Frieha has been though the most difficult times in fashion industry than any model today. Fashion shows weren’t very popular during Zia’s regime. Along with designer Maheen Khan, she organised a proper professional fashion show that would help her pursue her career and education abroad. It was a stepping stone for Frieha – from concept to event management and chorography. One couldn’t call it a fashion show. They called it a Cultural Show. Many opportunities opened for her from that fashion show on – Unilever was one of the biggest sponsors. Doing corporate events gave birth to Catwalk productions.
Frieha is self – made and thats what makes her stronger — tougher and that’s exactly what she expects from the models and celebrity she makes today. She has gone from modelling to television plays and even doing theatres. Yet, she never sacrificed quality. She worked hard and earned the ultimate status she owns today. One of the most memorable events by Frieha was the first concert of Vital Signs.
Juggling between family life, having kids, earning fashion diploma from Canada and returning to Pakistan and pursuing career – with the passion to add quality to whatever she did and do — Frieha seems to have done it perfectly. “There are no regrets,” Frieha believes, “because that makes you bitter and hateful – I love my life and it is very special.” The only secret ingredient to her success is VISION, Passion, Dedication, Hard work and Gratitude. This is what makes her the ultimate diva.