Asif Azim who doesn`t know him? One look at him and you know that he portrays the image of the quintessential man. An ideal jawline and Greek god-like physique, Asif Azim is rightfully among the top 100 models in the world. The only Bangladeshi in the list, he has represented our country on a global platform. He’s been in the fashion scene for over a decade and has worked all around the world, modelling for industry heavyweights like Calvin Klein, FCUK, Tommy Hilfiger, Zara, Boss, Puma, Reebok and Levis, to name a few. Asif has been on the cover for other reputable magazines as well.
Currently residing in India’s major fashion city Mumbai, Asif is among the top tier of models there. Working with household names such as Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and other fashion bigwigs, he’s a household name at Fashion Week.
Asif was recently spotted walking the ramp as the brand ambassador for Sailor, a new fashion brand.
What comes naturally to you, modelling or acting?
I believe that in order to become a good model, you need to be a good actor. The two mediums may be different but they require similar skills like body-language, emotions and so on. It is also harder to portray a story through one photograph than an entire movie. No matter what you are going through in your personal life, the job requires you to get up and smile at the cameras. And that needs a great deal of acting skill – skill that you constantly need to build on.
All that being said, men have three things they need to work for: their job, food and …“fun.” If you are focused and enjoy what you’re doing, you are bound to do good!
There’s a common misconception that certain parts of our modelling industry is “shady” and unprofessional. This has become so widespread that it has given birth to a stigma – what is your take on this?
No, it’s really up to you. I have worked with many reputable brands and never faced anything of that sort. I don’t believe that our industry is shady, at least not more so than any other. If you really think about it, there will be “unprofessionalism,” for the lack of a better word, in places that have room for it. People love to take shortcuts to success and do what is required to climb the ladder as fast as possible. This never does anyone any good. They may succeed till a certain point, but they can never really reach the heights of success. At most they may live a comfortable life, but that will be all there is to it.
As for perceptions, they change with time. Previously, people believed that “good” jobs could only be found when you found work in the foreign service or became a doctor or an engineer. However, times are changing. The fashion industry has grown with quality brands like Sailor in the market. More jobs have been created over time. Right now, it’s all up to your upbringing. If that is right, one can go very far in the industry. I hope parents don’t discourage their children because of these misconceptions and they can shine in the fields they want.
Everyone seems to know about your plans for Bollywood…
A smile breaks out across Asif’s face.
Let’s not talk about that now. All I’ll say is that I am working my way there. If there is any news, you will know soon enough. Right now, I want to focus on Bangladesh and want to make my countrymen proud. I am constantly trying to work as hard as possible to do just that. I believe in hard work and I know it pays off – I just hope I have the support of my fans along the way.
Your recent participation at Bigg Boss brought you to the limelight, sometimes for controversies that still have not been spoken about. No one really knows
Asif Azim’s side of the story.
It’s a reality game show and people play over there. There are two perspectives to it: one positive and another negative. You have to choose between them. Even if you lost the toss doesn’t mean you’ve lost the game. It’s just the beginning. Everything about the journey has been a positive experience for me.
I knew I was representing Bangladesh, and I tried to showcase what I learnt from my upbringing here, by being myself. It was still very difficult though. Living in that house was a very different experience, the bright lights above your head, rationed food and sleep would be enough to make just about anyone feel disturbed. Sometimes people went crazy, unable to take it all.
I would like to say that I am not disappointed, rather, I’m thankful for the experience. People who didn’t know me at first, especially in the rural areas, now know about Asif Azim and the love is overwhelming. People love me and that is all that I wanted.
Asif Azim, the womaniser?
Another million-dollar smile breaks out.
Yes, I do bear that scandalous tag, but even though I was brought up here, truth be told, I never dated anyone here.
You have always wanted to work for the betterment of our modelling industry. Any future plans?
As a matter of fact, yes. I intend to make a modelling school for which I’ll need everyone’s support, especially the government. Not in terms of financing the project, but I’ll need help in general from the government. Institutes are very important to train people in all areas and for modelling, proper grooming is essential. I want to do something phenomenal, something for the good of the country. Something that the next generation will remember me for. Fashion week, Mr/Ms Bangladesh contests could be a platform for models to attend global contests like Mr/Ms World and Mr/Ms Universe.
I want to create a similar platform, an opening for aspiring models. I want to encourage more talent to join the industry, change their perspective, or else we can never go beyond our national Boundaries. We can never take Bangladesh’s name to the global arena.
Where do you want to see the fashion industry?
I have a dream about Bangladesh and it is partially coming true with Sailor. They are a part of the dream and I believe they have the potential to prosper internationally. Our brand, around the world. That is my dream.
Anything for our readers?
Try to read about me, know me as a person and you’ll like me. Looks will fade away but as an honest human being, I think what is important for me is to reach a place in life that everyone can be proud of. I’d like to give readers similar advice: everything you do, do with honesty and put your 100% into every venture because you might not get that opportunity again. Anything you do, treat it like it’s your last and one and only job, and you will do your best.
Wise words from Asif Azim?
Create yourself as a brand and work on your leadership qualities. Build your reputation so that other brands want to collaborate with you. Reach heights that will make others proud.
I do anything and everything. Spending time with kids makes me happy. I love visiting the seaside in the middle of the night. This is a stress-reliever for me since my profession is very action packed and stressful.
Right now it’s Sailor – I have complete faith in them. Apart from that Diesel has always been a favourite.
Lalon geeti and folk music in general.
Any meal prepared by my mother. When you are away from something you dearly miss, you tend to appreciate and develop more love for it.
“I believe Bangladesh isn’t far behind but actually ahead of many. Given our youth’s hardworking stance on life and how they strive for success through hard work, we will be there.”