Grazia Pakistan sits down with Champ Imi who has quickly become a known face on the local fashion scene as he answers all our questions.
Imi who was raised in Lahore after completing his early education in the city moved to the UK for higher studies. Since been living there while traveling around the globe for his modeling jobs.
Talking about what attracted him to modeling, Imi said that even though he started working when he was only 15-years-old after being scouted by Khawar Riaz. He was not really attracted to modeling at that time but was more interested in playing cricket.
“I had a friend who was a model and I thought I could definitely do better than him. He jibed adding that later he got his first-ever portfolio done by Riaz and the rest is history.
“Modeling happened randomly for me,” said Imi adding he now believes that modeling is the best thing that has ever happened to him.
Imi who works around the world and is recruited by agencies in Milan, Paris, Berlin, London among others, tries to maintain a healthy physique and stay in shape as much as he can and his fitness routine includes running and gym workouts.
“I would describe my personal style as a mix of high-fashion and smart streetwear. He said adding his usual wardrobe includes baggy outfits and nice accessories.
Being Brown Boy
Being a Pakistani ‘brown boy’ working on the international fashion scene, Imi shares his experience as being the hardest thing ever. He further tells us he only got the chance to work with top-notch brands like Calvin Klein, Tom Ford, and Balmain. After working for as many as seven to eight years.
‘I was always a target of racism and discrimination when I first started modeling in the international market. He said adding that once he was rejected for a fashion show in Paris once the designer found out. He was a Pakistani even after being selected for the show.
Imi further shares a similar attitude that continued till 2015 but since 2015 the situation has changed. He started working for a brand called ‘Models of Diversity’ and is also their brand ambassador. He thinks this particular platform helps maintain diversity in the international fashion scene and has helped a lot of people.
After being nominated for several awards, Imi is grateful to be working in the Pakistani fashion industry. He shared that during his first job here. He met the then supermodel Abbas Jafri. Abbas encouraged him to pursue modeling in Pakistan who then also got him the first-ever fashion week.
I also revealed that he will soon be seen as a Bollywood project and there are several big things coming up. However, he plans to shift his focus to acting than modeling and believes this is the best time for him to make this career leap.