Mehreen Syed – Pioneering Pakistan First Modelling School!
By Marian Sharaf Joseph
It’s over a decade that Pakistan Fashion Industry has taken itself on a higher dimension. We have designers presenting their haute couture in Paris Fashion Week, and moreover, we have our own Karachi Fashion Week and Lahore Fashion Week – not to forget Lux Style Awards – sponsored by the mega brands of the giant Lever Brothers that seems to own the fashion industry today. To improve business, we have Freiha Altaf’s Catwalk Production – Catalyst, Khawar Riaz’s Ocular and Ather Shahzad’s makeup/ photography agencies that make and train models besides promoting brands via campaigns. But no one claims theirs to be a modelling school till model Mehreen Syed came along and opened one in her town, Lahore.
Mehreen Syed’s first fashion modelling school called International Fashion Academy of Pakistan made headlines in India too. For some unknown reason, most publications, including The Times of India have not mentioned the name of the academy, which may affect its credibility a bit. Yet, considering this dynamic cause that Mehreen has pursued, the academy will give upcoming models a neutral platform where, hopefully, they would not need to compete amongst fashion lobbies.
Mehreen may have been introduced by the master duo Ather Shahzad, she has a way of winning hearts, thus topping the good books of designers and photographers alike. No arrogance, no attitude when it comes to meeting anyone; including reporters who may be meeting her for the first time. Of course she knows how to carry herself, with ‘No Nonsense’ written across her forehead. Despite this, she knows that every single person meeting her is as important as herself which makes her easy to talk to. Today as CEO of IFPA, a decade long career, Mehreen Syed has groomed herself into an intellectual professional fashion personality. She is using her fashion proficiency to add quality to the fashion industry with a vow to take it to the next dimension in the international market.
Mehreen’s profile is starred with innumerable accomplishments. She has been awarded for ‘Face of the Year’ in 2007 with the “International Model of the Year” awarded to her earlier in 2005. Mehreen, known to be an ‘undisputed supermodel’ was voted for ‘50 Sexiest Women in Asia’ by a leading Dubai-based fashion magazine. Passionate about her new endeavour Mehreen says , “When I started my modelling career very few girls would opt to choose this profession. Also there was no proper grooming school. But today, the fashion industry in Pakistan is so big and there is huge demand for models so more and more young people are keen to get into modelling.” This is no elusive dream. Mehreen is known to be an ambitious person, who dedicates herself soulfully to her work.
Mehreen created waves when with the announcement of IFPA but this is not all. She collaborated with designer Bushra Aftab, an inspiring jewellery designer. Together, they launched a range of exquisite diamond jewellery this summer. As expressed by her, this enterprise is an outcome of her creativity and helps her to ‘unleash her inner artist.’ Created under the label Bushra Aftab, the exquisite diamond pieces are a rare fusion of indigenous designs and modern styling making it wearable on every occasion.
Mehreen Syed has made to the cover of every fashion magazine. To top it all, her versatility to embrace the naive look of the east and exhibit in sophisticated western style has gained her international fame. She has earned significant presence on the pages of international magazines such as Time, European Vogue, Marie Claire and Asiana. With over 50 international shows to her credit, Mehreen’s sound personality with an aura of professionalism has won her the title of ‘catwalk queen’ within Pakistan’s fashion fraternity, while leaving her mark on the fashion hubs the world over.