Nadia Hussain has her finger in too many pies it seems. For someone who started with an undergraduate degree in dental medicine, she is now a model, actor and entrepreneur dabbling in shoe, lawn and prêt wear designing.
She has recently also announced that she will open the Nadia Hussain Salon and Clinic hopefully by December on E-street right next to Peng’s.
We wonder how she is juggling these responsibilities together having a family, and sat down to chat with her about how she plans to survive highly competitive markets.
“There’s a lot of competition,” she admits, adding that Nabila is also in the neighbourhood. “I will hire trained professionals because there isn’t much training that I can provide myself. But I am taking haircut and colour classes at Pivot Point because at the end of the day, my name will be associated with the salon,” she explains.
With her height and confidence on the ramp, Nadia is a delight to see at fashion shows. But at 34 and after three children, it can’t be easy to be on top in an industry where the models are young and lean. Nadia, however, feels her body is “right on track”, and says she follows a strict diet and workout routine.
“When women run into me and ask how I lost so much weight, I tell them it’s because I worked really hard to get here. There can be no other way apart from strict exercise and diets,” she says.
When asked if she’s going to give up modeling altogether, she makes a startling confession. “If I quit, it will be because of the new models and not anything else,” she says, adding that new entrants in the fashion industry are “ruining its image”.
“It’s sad because the girls that used to be in the industry when I started modeling came from good families, were educated and had personalities. And they weren’t doing it for the money.”
Today, she says, modeling has become an easy avenue to earn extra cash. “Most of all, they just lack personality and I don’t want to associate with any of them. You keep hearing stories of them getting drawn into suspicious activities.”
Nadia also says that while she got along with her old colleagues well, she now finds herself secluded from the crowd, especially at fashion shows.
“I actually [have to] force myself to bond with the new girls. I want to retire and this is very much the reason why,” she sighs, adding that she prefers to hang out with Iraj if she is backstage. “I just can’t take this anymore. I am moving into a lot of things and I hope they keep me pre-occupied and perhaps give me a good enough reason to just quit.”
Juggling work and motherhood
“Shoes I’m not doing anymore and lawn is more of a project-based thing. It’s just two seasons a year,” she explains, adding that finalising designs takes two months at most. She says she is not currently acting or giving time to exhibiting her pret wear.
“My plan was to stock my collection at my salon,” she says. “Recently on a show, they were short of one designer. So I offered my collection – that’s how people got to know about my pret wear.” She then went on to showcase her work at Islamabad Fashion Week.
Nadia also doesn’t claim to be Supermom who is always around to look after the house and kids. “My kids are old enough to eat by themselves and my mother-in-law is always around, too,” she explains.
“I’m out from 10am till around 5pm but I have a lot of family support and that’s why it works.” Nadia is grateful that her mom is involved with the kids and says that her mother-in-law and husband help out a lot, as well. “At least I know they are not alone or ever left completely with the maids.”
“If I’m out of town or busy with fashion shows, then my husband pitches in,” she admits. “I don’t think I have to be sitting there at the table when they are having lunch or dinner. A lot of women work from 9am to 5pm, so it’s not something which is completely uncommon.”