- Who is Munaf Mansoor? Tell us about yourself; your background, lifestyle, education etc.
Munaf is a creative and restless soul with lot of passion, a person who is true to himself, loving and honest. I’m extremely black and white person and do not prefer grey areas in personality. I am a born artist full of creative ideas bubbling in me. Since I was the only child with no siblings my mom wanted me to take science or commerce but fortunately I landed in the field I loved by the grace of Allah. Although we live a glamorous lifestyle but simple at heart. I did my articles of Acca as my mom wanted me to do so but then I left it half way to persue my dreams..
- You have been in this field for a very long time. How did you enter it? Was it something you had always wanted to pursue or was a result of circumstances?
I consider myself blessed to have stepped in the field of glitz and glamour and some 25 years passed by. If I say my journey has been a ride on a roller coaster it won’t be wrong. My first Job was with an advertising agency in a creative department and later on took care of audio visual department as well, where I arranged models for the product as per requirement so basically it all started from there. Show business had always been my top priority as far as carrier is concerned; the germs were actually in my blood as I did few television commercials at a tender age.
- You were quite the entrepreneur at a time when this word was not even trending. What inspired you to start your own modeling agency?
Since I had a strong portfolio and quite some models were known to me or the talent I launched in the advertising agency had helped me to persue a carrier in the same field after leaving the agency. Also there was no such institution that trained talent and groomed them to become stars so I followed my instinct with lot of hard work and professionalism, it really worked. This was the time when talent like Ali Zafar, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Mehreen Raheal, Imran Abbas, Sarwat Gillani and many more were discovered who are now celebrities in their own way.
- We are curious to know how the concept initially began and progressed. Tell us your formula and any hurdles you faced?
When I started running a talent hunt agency, firstly there was no platform for the talent, Secondly there was no grooming school as such for them. People did not take modeling as a profession seriously so I had to convince and take the responsibility of them to allow the fresh talent to model. This was the era when girls like Sunita Marshall, Zeba Ali, Nadia Jamoola, Laila Pasha were discovered for the ramp walk. As far as television commercials were concerned it was extremely difficult to get the right face for the product but it was also managed.
- Talent agencies and recruiters have definitely evolved and multiplied over the years. Considering the fresh faces in the media right now, in your opinion, to what extent are they successful in recruiting the right talent?
In a way it is considered good because every boy and girl wants to become a model now a days for this they can go to any extent so there is a lot of quantity rather than quality. The only one who has what it takes moves forward the rest become victim of the shinny industry. A lot of television commercials which are been made now a days are celebrity based and to get in touch with them is not a difficult task anymore neither they are bound with any talent agency so the client takes the benefit and the deal is made directly between them, and of course couches are always been there in the industry be it Hollywood, bollywood or our own lollywood
- Has the standard/criteria of launching talented people changed or is it more or less the same?
Definitely its more wider than it was then, the technology and the requirement gave room to a lot of talent as Ushers, models for launches, hosts for events, dancers, actors and extras so the ball game is definitely changed and gave chance to a lot of talent which was otherwise been wasted.
- You also have a commendable line of clothing- REVAMP. What is the brand’s philosophy?
Revamp was born on 28th October 2011 with an idea of revamping the sense of dressing for women. My brand is all about Elegance and making a women look beautiful, feel comfortable and confident carrying the outfit. My assembles are always considered to be classic and sophisticated. My mythology is to play with modern cuts and the best of fusion between east and the west. I also emphasize on the fabric used for particular design.
- How did you decide to extend your career towards fashion?
Fashion was always in me and since I used run a modeling agency it required fashion shoots to promote my models so in a way photographers, makeup artist, designers were part of the platform and when I decided to broaden my spectrum I found fashion designing close to my heart.
- Pakistanis are definitely taking fashion seriously now. Would you say we have carved an identity for ourselves in fashion or there are heavy influences from the West and other cultures?
I agree to it One hundred percent. We have a very rich culture and the best of craftsmanship and the material we use is all original so definitely we don’t compromise in quality and our designers are putting a lot of effort in creating the attire with amazing cuts and colour combination. We definitely do take inspiration from the west but we make a better combo called fusion. We have made ourself visible in the international market as well. I agree to the fact that a designer has a lot of pressure as they have to come up with a collection every quarter of the year which is a difficult task but they have proved to be the best.
- How do you manage to juggle time between your fashion line, and curating events?
I guess time management is the key to success and I follow it religiously. One more quality which I am blessed with is being organized so I manage to balance both the medium, when my brand REVAMP requires time my focus is on it or vice versa. I would like to add here is one should do a proper homework of the assigned job that makes work and life much easier and the execution is worth it.
- What do you like to do in your free time?
My mind never sleeps; I constantly generate ideas to move forward on both the medium I work. I like to be on the go all the time and I am a restless soul if I have free time my family is my priority, I and my wife cook delicious recipes for our boys. I am also a gardener to heart and we own a pet so I do spend time with Benny, a female Shih Tzu, we also have a fish tank to take care of.
- It is a lot easy now to have fashion shows and concept/theme shows. Where do you think the Pakistani fashion industry stands as of now?
We have a bunch of talented creative and hard working people around so to generate cool ideas is not a difficult task so the fashion shows are high voltage. I would like to highlight our models who are no less than any international talent, the credit also goes to makeup artist, designers, choreographers, event management companies, set designers; they all have played their best role to raise the bar every time they come up with the fashion event.
- So what is next for you? Any latest projects that you would like to share?
Currently working on my new collection also I have plans to venture into acting, but it’s just that I am taking time to choose the right team to work with. I have offers which are in the pipe line.
- Any advice for those seeking to become a part of the entertainment industry?
If you have what it takes then follow your dreams but with lot of respect and professionalism also never compromise on self esteem. Put the best foot forward and create your identity.
- Your BFF? Definitely my wife, Sabeen
- Who was the last person you got a text from? My childhood friend and client Laila from Birmingham, USA
- Last book you read? Zero to One by Peter Thiel
- Your all time celebrity crush? Rekha
- You favorite TV series of all time? We are Hum Tv lovers.
- You biggest fear? Losing my loved ones.
- Biggest wish? To see my sons, Uzair and Ayman shining with success in their respective fields.
- You spend most of your money on? Accessories
- Favorite perfume? Issey Miyake
- Morning person or nocturnal? I’m an early bird.
- Favorite pizza topping? Pepperoni with loads of chilli flakes
- Your favorite city in Pakistan? Karachi and Lahore
- Ideal breakfast menu? Waffles with vanilla ice-cream and maple syrup.
One word for the following:
1) Maria Wasti
My Xerox in nature.
2) Ahmed Godil
3) Alyzeh Gabol
4) Nazneen Tariq
5) Sunita Marshall
6) Ali Zafar
7) Uzair Jaswal
8) Sajal Aly