Explosivefashion Logo


— Jasmeen Dugal

Credited for quality work, stringent discipline and professionalism since two decades, Shakir Shaikh is an acclaimed show director in Fashion with a vision of transforming the Indian modelling industry. Today he is living the cherished dream as founder mentor of NAMG — National Academy Of Modelling And Grooming. This is the first time in the history of Fashion that a dream team of experts and icons will take modelling to the next level, grooming and training handpicked talent and managing their career. In conversation with the game-changer.


"In the past, models were around for a longer duration of time. Today the lifespan of a model is really, really short. They enter the industry and by the time they make their presence felt, they are gone. There is no sustainability and they do not make substantial money like yesteryear models. I strongly feel that if the era of the supermodel is to return, the newer generation of models should not look at it as a short term career. They should look at it as a serious professional career and evolve themselves with the need of the hour.


The conceptualisation of NAMG didn't happen overnight. I have been working on it for a couple of years. My vision is to take the Indian modelling industry to another level with the utmost professionalism. It is not about training, grooming and leaving models to fend for themselves in the market. It is about being a pillar of support; in the yesteryears all the designers, directors and models were one big family. But today everybody just does the project they are working on.. and they are gone! The NAMG family is one where experts and icons like Sucheta Sharma, Harrison James, Diandra Soares,Karishma Modi, Gwen and I have come together, bound by our deep passion to take the Indian modelling industry to the next level. It is a passion to give back to the industry and not a passion to make money overnight and disappear!!! So- in a nutshell- NAMG is about people who wish to give back to the next generation of models all the invaluable lessons that they have learnt since the past decade. If we dont take the chord in our hands today… we will look back wistfully a couple of years later when we would be leaving the industry… wishing we could have done something. Finally, after two years of planning everything down to the minutest detail, the dream team is ready and I just know in my heart that we are here to stay!!


My criteria for selecting the dream team was simple — each mentor has an experience of two decades! Diandra Soares is a supermodel, she has been mentor to supermodels, groomed pageant contestants, and we come from the same school of Fashion. We have worked on projects where I have seen her passion to give back to the modelling industry, which goes beyond just teaching models the basics of modeling. Because we do not need clones — that is a major agenda! Diandra can bring out models' individual personality and make their dreams a reality. Besides being supermodel and mentor, she is a great stylist, fabulous makeup artist… and has so much to offer. Karishma Modi is Femina Look Of The Year '99 and went on to represent the country. After that pageant nothing major happened in Fashion. Today she's married and has kids but she still has poise, grace and confidence. And she would be teaching ladies the art of grooming  to present the best version of themselves. Gwen Athaide understands the business of Fashion of business very well and she has been instrumental in leading the dream team. Everyone in the dream team has a wealth of experience and individual strengths.


And that is required!!!! Today, most of the young models are lost. They do not take modeling seriously because their aim is Bollywood. I've seen a lot of good talent lost because when they were doing well in modelling, they got a television offer, and shifted base. When the project was over and they wanted to return to modelling, there was no demand for them. So one should be dedicated to your career and make a mark there! As a dream team, we have alliances with the best designers and experts, who are happy to help. In the end, the unified vision is to present well groomed, well trained models who know everything about the job. Of course, we are going to be very strict in controlling the quality of models we take on board. A model needs to come prepared for that one chance you are given so he or she needs to have basic knowledge of ramp walking, of styling themselves and knowledge of the craft. They must go through an aptitude test and then we'll decide what their strengths are. So, it's not a course where you can walk in, pay money and get trained!!! We are particular about the talent we train and groom, and beyond that we have a team who will look after casting for six months to ensure they are on the right track.


The biggest challenge we are facing however is that the new entrants in modelling have dropped rates to bag work. Of late, this has been happening a lot that models are available for peanuts. And that has really hampered the industry. We all are here to make money — it is the business of modelling. Dont harm yourself and the industry!!! Sure, it is a challenge to turn things around but nothing is impossible if you have passion, willingness to hard work and, trust me,  ultimately talent will speak for itself. "

Shakir Shaikh
Share us on :
Join us on:  
Post a Comment

MORE BLOGS BY Jasmeen Dugal

2018-07-27 02:45:11 NAMG MENTOR HARRISON JAMES
2018-07-24 06:05:06 NAMG MENTOR ESHAA AMIIN