In Conversation With Mushk Kaleem | The Rising Star of Pakistan

Mushk Kaleem, a model who just entered the market, is the rising star of Pakistan. She fits perfectly under the phrase called 'beauty with brains'

Mushk Kaleem, a model who just entered the market, is the rising star of Pakistan. She fits perfectly under the phrase called ‘beauty with brains’. Mushk Kaleem is not your average everyday Instagram model but is also part of the fashion industry. She has walked the ramp in Milan for an Italian designer. Talking to Mushk Kaleem felt like I was talking to someone who is really passionate about what she’s doing. She’s opinionated and very aware of her surroundings. We’re hoping to see Mushk Kaleem work on many other projects too in future.

Q. Did you always want to become a model or was this something that just happened?

It’s basically a combination of both things. Growing up, I was really tall and people have always come up to me and complimented my height and told me that I should go for modeling. So, because of that I was somewhat conditioned to believe that I can actually make it big in this industry. It all started when I met Tabish in 2015, which was four years ago so I was still studying at that time. He came up to me and offered me a modeling gig to which I refused because I wanted to complete my education first and find a corporate job. In 2017, I took Tabish’s offer and started modeling full time. It’s been a mixture of both and because I came across such influential people who gave me the boost that I needed so here I am almost two years later.

Q. How did you feel when you did your first ever fashion show or photoshoot?

When I did my first ever fashion show, I was very nervous because I was wearing these really high heels and I wasn’t even used to wearing heels. I’m very tall so I’ve never worn heels. My legs were trembling when I did my first shoot, I could feel my knees and ankles going weak while walking. I wasn’t even concentrating on the poles or on my walk; I was just concentrating on not falling. When I did my first photoshoot, which was a very big campaign for Sunsilk. They launched their designer bottles in collaboration with Khaadi. I did that campaign alongside Faheem Ansari, Sadaf Kanwal and Alyzeh Gabol. I felt very privileged that I got to do the first-ever campaign with such esteemed models, but it was a learning curve, I got to learn many things.

Q. What are your thoughts about the ‘zero-size’ debate in the fashion industry?

I personally feel that the international fashion industries are changing, they’re becoming more inclusive of color, race and body sizes but I feel like Pakistan really isn’t there yet. I don’t think we are ready to see broader or plus size models on the ramp. That is why during fashion weeks, you see models who are trying to get fit and cut down on their weight by eating less and eating healthy. I also feel like there are a lot of different designers who prefer taller & slimmer models because they think that taller and slimmer figures can carry their outfits better. But I don’t think that Pakistanis and the fashion fraternity here is ready to take up plus size models. I don’t think we’re there yet but let’s see, you never know what the future holds.

Q. How was your experience in Milan?

It, in every little meaning of it, was a dream come true. I mean the biggest fashion show that happens in the entire world where you have Armani, Versace, Boss and many other famous designers. You’ve got all these designers that you see in fashion shows on TV, they’re a part of Milan Fashion Week and so was I. It just wasn’t about Mushk Kaleem as an individual; it was about carrying my country’s identity with me.

It was about carrying Pakistan’s name to an international platform. I am so proud to say that going to Milan has just increased my sense of patriotism for Pakistan. I was asked to open the show which was a very big deal for me because you know there’s a designer who trusted me with her entire collection. I was given this opportunity and all in all, it was just a dream come true that’s all I can say.

Q. Name one person that is your idol and inspires you.

I think in this industry and generally in life, you can’t really pinpoint at one thing and see it as an epitome of inspiration. I get inspired by people, events and experiences. I really cannot just put my finger down on one person’s name that this is the person who inspires me or I idolize. But if you look at the fashion industry and if I would look at the broader spectrum and choose someone from the fashion industry internationally, I think models like Naomi Campbell as she’s my all-time favorite model and she really inspires me.

Q. If you were not a model, what profession would you have chosen instead?

If I wouldn’t have been doing modeling then I would have been a criminal defense lawyer.

Q. Your skin is flawless. What beauty tips do you swear by?

I drink a lot of water. I have shifted from chemical products to more organic beauty skincare. I have shifted from chemical products to more organic beauty skincare. I have a five-step skincare routine that I follow religiously before I go to bed and even when I wake up in the morning before heading out in the sun. You know just basic stuff nothing too fancy, nothing that’s too unattainable. I try to do things that I know I can keep up with. Following a skincare routine before going to bed and after waking up and drinking lots and lots of water.

Q. How do you handle negative comments considering the fact that you’ve got a lot of followers?

You know what they say, ‘Ignorance is bliss’ and that’s what I do. I just very conveniently block out all these negative comments because I really don’t need negativity in my life. I don’t think I have time and space for it. I just block it out and you’re always going to have haters and get criticism. It’s all about turning that hate and absorbing that in a constructive way. Just take negativity and transit it into positivity.

Q. What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to food and what sort of diet do you follow?

My guilty pleasure is anything desi. I am a desi girl through and through. I like my karahis, bbq, seekh kababs, handis and mutton chops. But before fashion weeks and generally also, if I feel like I have overeaten or if I’m not keeping a count of my calories then I try to cut down the next day. I try to become more productive, walk and also go to the gym. It’s all about having a good balance between the calories you’re taking in and taking out.

Q. Name one person that you absolutely loved working with.

This industry has been very nice to me. I have been very blessed. I have worked with the best of the best people and gotten very good feedback on my work. I love working with everybody but specifically, I love working with team Elan, Republic, Sania Maskatiya and Shehla Chatoor. These are the few people that I love working with.

Q. Any advice for your readers who admire you and want to pursue modeling as a career?

For people who really want to make it big in modeling, always remember that it’s not as easy as it looks.
I know social media portrays it as a very glam, easy-going and fast kind of a lifestyle. It comes with a cost but if you’re passionate about it, then I don’t think there’s anything that should stop you. Go ahead & do it, it teaches you so much. You explore yourself to lengths that you’ve never thought you’d reach. If you really want to become a model and if you’re really passionate then go for it. Pakistan needs the fashion industry is very welcoming.

About Us:

Runway Pakistan is a complete solution provider for all your marketing communications related requirements. The ultimate hub of infotainment – Runway composes of all the key offerings – Monthly Print Magazine, Digital Magazine, Media Production, Creative Agency, PR Agency and Marketing Consultancy that a brand needs to be seen, heard and known!

Like and follow our Facebook page:
Runway Pakistan

Read our previous interview:
Zubia Zainab | The Queen of Minimalism