I wrote this blog post in early June!! Nearly two months later I am super excited to be able to share it with my readers!!! My blog post is featured in an International Magazine in India called Prominade India! I loved writing this article and I hope by the end, it inspires you as it has with me 🙂
After writing my Blog post that was featured in Scot Bloggers – The Scottish Asian Wedding Exhibition I was asked by Nadim to collaborate and write up questions for a feature in an International magazine.
With a growing amount of multinational followers and being one of the most recognised runway fashion choreographer in Scotland, loyal fans like me got the opportunity to ask Nadim Saleem a list of question giving me an insight into the man behind the success.
Nadim Saleem born and bred in Glasgow is an established Fashion and Events organiser, and the founder of Scotland’s largest Asian Fashion Event – Scotland World of Asian Fashion shows. With 10 years of experience in the events and fashion industry, Nadim Saleem has delivered 5 star events for high profiled actor Shak Rukh Khan to an outstanding list of fashion shows all over the United Kingdom. Nadim Saleem was nominated for a BEFFTA Award for best Fashion Choreographer 2013 and best Choreographer for a prestigious International Award 2014. The Fashion guru has a wide range of experience and is recognised for his skills in Bollywood dancing, modelling, fashion choreography and projecting top ethnicity fashion shows.
Recognised for his dedication and creativity Nadim Saleem has also choreographed Hallmark events such as The Edinburgh Mela Festival; the city of Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, recognised around the world as a model for annual festivals with attracting 4.3 million visitors in which generating 100 million to the Edinburgh Economy. One of the 12 annual festivals that take place is the Edinburgh Mela. The Edinburgh Mela is Scotland’s biggest and best celebration of world music and dance which promotes culture diversity in the arts.
The humble creative director strongly believes in giving people an opportunity and platform in the Fashion/Events industry to showcase their talent and creativity. This has included models, designers, boutiques, makeup artist, hair stylist, henna artist, musicians, dancers and entertainers and many others within the same field of work.
As a way to connect to his fans and audience, Nadim Saleem has given his loyal followers an opportunity to ask him questions.
I would like to know how you became a choreographer?
When I first came into the scene I was a model for local fashion shows. There was not a choreographer at the time to teach the models how to walk or create something exciting to watch. I had given my support and before I knew it, I was choreographing my 1st fashion event which was a wedding show. I had managed to plan and finalise the choreography 4 hours before the show was about to start!
What is your worst and best fashion show?
There is not really a worst or best fashion show as I always give it my best shot to every fashion show I deliver. No matter where the venue for the event is i.e. charity event in a council hall or in a 5 star hotel. I mostly enjoy delivering fashion show events I have been on board from the start, as I take on more inspiration which enables my creativity levels to flow in order form me to execute a grand performance.
What was your favourite show you have delivered?
Every show I give my 100% but I enjoyed delivering my own production Scotland World of Asian Fashion as I get to deliver everything on my own and create the whole theme and atmosphere of the show. It is a challenge for me but I deliver Scotland World of Asian Fashion all on my own as this event is my baby and by far I will say the best Asian Fashion Show in Scotland
How much has the Asian events Industry changed from when you first came in the scene as a model?
When I first came into the Asian events industry it was in the year 2000, as a model for Fashion shows. During this time fashion shows were all about having fun and the fashion house you were representing. Now the industry expects professionals and qualified designers along with hair and makeup artists. The industry has become a lot more competitive; with many more events taking place in UK it is more of a challenge now on who delivers a consistent overall perfect event. The Asian fashion wear has changed a lot in a few years as there is more garment quality from the Fashion Houses. This designers and fashion houses come from all around the world which is now more accessible for UK consumers. The designers have more of a say on the selection of models as they expect the best models to represent their line of clothing.
Another change in the industry is the interest from the general public.
The audience like to attend a high quality event which provides an outstanding service. This is taking in consideration of all factors from the perfect venue, wine & dinned atmosphere to good artist entertainment and flawless customer service. In the past attendees expectations was not in high demand and the event run through was much simpler and laid back.
What do you see in the future for the events and fashion industry in Scotland?
If I am being honest, at present the Fashion Industry and events in Scotland is still slow. It is building up as the new young generation are taking an interest and coming forward. In the next 10 years in Scotland I do see a lot more Fashion Houses but qualified fashion designers who will be coming out and many more people taking an interest to events. At present majority Fashion Houses in Scotland are Buy and Sell and are not qualified designers.
Nadim has won 2 awards, will you keep on doing fashion shows in Scotland?
Scotland is my home and I love it here. Being Awarded 2 award does not change me as a person but only makes me stronger and motivates me to deliver better. I will always support Scotland and will continue to do fashion shows in Scotland.
Why did you stop modelling and dancing? Would you consider starting it again?
I have been asked on a number of occasions to perform. I had given up dancing due to my health but now that I am recovering, I do intend to get back into dancing more than modelling. So you could soon be seeing me back on the stage performing!
Is it true that Nadim will be doing his own fashion show in Pakistan?
It is in talks and I am planning on doing my own fashion show in Pakistan only because of the fans love and support I have been getting from Pakistan. The other reason would be for my loved ones who cannot visit UK to see my fashion show so I love to showcase a show in Pakistan for them.
How do u handle the all the stress as a choreographer because I have heard you don’t allow others to get too involved.
It is very true I like to organise my own choreography and shows. There are many reasons why, for example I like to have the upper hand on what I deliver and I know how to have a contingency plan during a live show. I enjoy the challenge of organising an event as I know how to handle the stress.
Have you worked with celebrities?
I have met many celebrities but main objective is delivering my job as a Choreographer. I have not worked with celebrities within the fashion show. I have choreographed a Fashion Show at the Lockdown Shah Rukh Khan Show in Manchester 2012. I also had Tasha Tah a singer and song writer preform as the Show Stopper for my production Scotland World of Asian Fashion.
What motivates you to keep delivering?
What motivates me is a simple question- being neglected as a model in the past and my history of struggling is the reason behind where I am today. I was never given the platform easy and I had to work for it and I also had to learn the hard way as I was unaware of many things as a Choreographer My journey as a Fashion Choreographer might seem glamorous but it came with a lot of hard work and dedication. To make my name as a Choreographer I would travel through the night on the coach to England, deliver the fashion show and travel back during the same day at night. At one point the weather was -5 in London and I was standing at the station for 6 hours waiting for my coach home.
Who inspires you?
I have always been inspired by Michael Jackson & Rekah since childhood. Here are a few names I always look up to and who have always supported me through my journey as a Chorographer: Rox-anna Celebrity MUA, Sonia Lard ID5 Production, Rameet Kaur Artist, Majid Nasir Event Director, Rahiem PS Events,
What is your goal within your career in 5 years?
In the next 5 year I would like to have my own modelling agent and training academy. I hope to have my own production in every main city in UK. My aim in the near future is to also have my own pageant but on an international level. But more than all to be delivering fashion shows worldwide!
How do you evaluate when you know your work has been a success or a learning opportunity?
The general public feedback and winning 2 current awards in 2014 as a Fashion Choreographer always elevates me to deliver stronger and better every time. Before any show as a Choreographer, it is my name on it and I have no choice to deliver the best because it has my name on it.
I have attended quite a few of Nadim’s modelling casting and never been selected. I have asked Nadim why but I guess he is always busy that can’t reply. What does he look for in a model to take part in his fashion show so I can improve on it?
Many models do attend my casting and I have seen many models that keep on returning and keep trying. This is good and to see them still trying. Every fashion show is different and it is nothing personnel. It could be because I am looking for something in particular in a model or it could be a Fashion House requirement for models. My advice to all models would be, not to give up and keep trying as every casting will help and you also an opportunity to meet other models and make contacts for other casting and fashion shows.
I have been told Nadim has trained many models in the past. I would like to know why has he stopped now because all the models he has trained work as a model on a regular basis.
I did train many models in the past but now things are much more different. Fashion Houses like to see experienced models and I now only give myself max 3 hours to choreograph a full fashion show. The reality is models that have experience can be choreographed in 3 hours. There is the occasion where I do still train models for fashion events, this is when I know I can give them some time to work on their catwalk and help build their confidence alongside.
Would you ever do a fashion show only showing henna designs as it would be an honour to take part?
I have in the past delivered a Henna Fashion Show and I feel sorry for the models that are covered in Henna and have to sit around all day and can’t move or touch anything. Delivering Henna is good, but it is very time consuming and not all models like to be covered in Henna.
Being popular do you consider yourself famous now?
Many of my fans and followers do think I’m famous, but there is a thin line between being famous and popular. I don’t see myself as famous, popular yes! But to be honest being popular has its pros and cons. A lot of people that do attend my events contact me with positive feedback once they have seen my fashion show. I even had a person say they didn’t have the courage to approach me. I am a very easy person to approach and I love my fan base that come and see my work.
I saw one of Nadim Saleem TV live interview were you mentioned being homeless when you first became a choreographer and done your very first show. You did not elaborate much about this as the topic changed. I find this very inspiring and I would like to know the journey and the reasons of being homeless and living in a homeless centre.
I became homeless in 2010 due to my health reasons and everything I owned was gone over night. I was in and out hospital 36 times in 1 year. I was suffering from Rabdomyloysis which is a very rare condition of muscle breaking down. From that day I became homeless & onward I had never taken money seriously in my life and decided to do what I have always wanted to do and that was the showbiz industry. I delivered my 1st Fashion Show as a Choreographer when I was living in a homeless centre and I still recall the time, where I did not stay back after the fashion show with the models and the whole team to celebrate, I returned to my family who were alone in the homeless centre. The journey was not easy but I had to stay strong and inside me I had a lot of anger and I had put all my anger into energy into my work and delivered as a fashion Choreographer.
As a Female, I am interested to know what your partner’s opinion of your career. Does your wife not mind you working with all these models, especially seeing them change clothes? How does she handle this?
I work very professionally in front of stage and behind stage. I have trained many models and I have dressed and undressed many models back stage. I respect all my models I work with and their dignity and self-respect. It is my profession, just like a Doctor respects their patients. The best way to answer that how my wife feels me working with models is by saying, there will be many Nadim Saleem Models, But there will only be one Mrs Nadim.
What is the hardest lesson you’ve learnt?
The hardest learning experience is THE SHOW MUST GO ON. Many things can happen during a run up for a show and there are times I do not want to face the public and be in the atmosphere of entertainment industry but have to be professional and deliver. In the past I have had family death’s and being extremely poor health but still had to pull myself together and deliver.
Would you ever consider becoming a fashion designer?
I would not consider to become a fashion designer has this is not in my line of work. I enjoy being a fashion choreographer and as far as a Fashion Designer is concerned, I enjoy working alongside designers and producing a great show by delivering there designs
Edinburgh Mela is one of the 12 annual festivals in Edinburgh Festivals. I know you choreographer the 2012 and 2013 Fashion show. Can you tell me more?
I was approached by the Director of Edinburgh Mela to deliver the Fashion Show as the organisers had seen my previous work as a Choreographer. I started as a Model for Glasgow Mela in 2000 and I modelled and choreographed the Glasgow, Edinburgh, Preston & Newcastle Mela Festival. After modelling I had continued till 2004 and went on doing more professional modelling in London. I am a Former Candidate of Mr Asia UK 2004 and was also Bollywood Star Semi Finalist for channel 4 Reality T.V show in Dance and Acting, I was the only candidate selected from Scotland!
It is visible proof the Edinburgh Mela has changed over the years (From Meadowbank hall to Leith Links) How much has the Mela changed from when you were modelling to now?
The Mela has grown much bigger and now there is more artist involved and cultural entertainment from abroad which gives the true flavour of culture. Edinburgh Mela has always been a great success more than Glasgow Mela. Many more people travel to Edinburgh Mela due to its reputation and continue success of delivering every year.
Professional Advice and Questions
I noticed by reading your answers to the questions, how much of a hardworking and down to earth a person you are. I believe this is why you are well respected and such a humble individual. One thing that is clear we have in common is our work ethic. Our commitment passion and drive within the fashion and events industry. As mentioned in the Scottish Asian Wedding Exhibition (where I bravely first approached you) featured in Scot bloggers, is that I want to encourage the audience in Scotland to visit multicultural events and fashion shows.
It is clear in the space of 5/10 years there has been a growth of the demand in the Scottish Asian market for Events and Fashion shows. Why do you think that is?
The Asian Fashion Market has become a lot more competitive as there is more Scottish Asian Fashion Houses, These brands and designers what to market and Showcase the businesses. Fashion shows are tend to be the best way to reach to a large amount of clients by attending shows or the aftermath of the pictures on social networking.
Now in Scotland we have Fashion designers where we used to just have fashion retail stores, and Fashion Designers are more qualified and know the advantage and benefit of a Fashion Show and participating in events. Before there was a shortage of Make Up Artists within Asian events and shows, however now many people have taken up MUA professional training courses.
Also to add another reason of the growth of the industry is the new young generation are taking great interest in Event Management and are becoming more diverse and creative.
As a newly graduate in BA Events Management what advice would you give me? What advice would you give to the next generation of event coordinators and fashion specialists?
I feel people in Scotland tend to stick in Scotland, Get out and make your mark and experience other events, it will come but all in good time and dedication.
I can honestly tell you some crazy things about events as what goes on back stage, even in International Shows in London, it is mayhem and you would never expect it.
If you’re looking to deliver events and be part of events, look out for people who are passionate, SWOAF I deliver all on my own as in produce it, choreograph it, direct it, poster, marketing, fashion houses, ticket sales, the whole lot. By this I just want to show nothing is impossible it comes with dedication and passion. People will always try to put you down just walk forward and remember 3 is a crowed and 2 is a couple, in time you will understand as you can’t please everyone.
What personal advise would you give me
Sultana the advice I will give you is one advice someone gave me before I started. Throw any ego out the window. Don’t be shy to ask. If your working, save up on the side because when an opportunity comes along it might not be paid, but it can bring you great recognition. Don’t be afraid to travel, the world is your oyster and get out and experience other events and if you wish, you can do so at any events I am doing.
I feel people in Scotland tend to stick in Scotland, Get out and make your mark and experience other events, it will come but all in good time and dedication.
If your looking to deliver events and be part of events, look out for people who are passionate, SWOAF I deliver and produced all on my own as well as choreograph, directed, poster design, marketing, fashion houses, ticket sales.. the whole lot! By this I just want to show nothing is impossible as it comes with dedication and passion. People will always try to put you down, just walk forward and remember 3 is a crowed and 2 is a couple, In time you will understand as you cant please everyone.
I am always here if you require any support or advice.
Sultana Malik – Events Blogger
Nilufar Islam – Textile designer
I would like to especially thank you for giving me and trusting me on this amazing opportunity! As mentioned earlier there has been a rapid growth of demand in Asian events in Scotland, as 7/8 years ago the Mela festival was the only type of multicultural events that was heard of. I believe the sustainability and growth of the industry in Scotland has lot to do with personalities that will sculpt the vision, I believe you have a lot of input on the way events and fashion shows are presented in Scotland. You deserve much recognition for your hard work. For example- your name has always popped up on my timeline, from the first year studying in Events management and the first event I ever helped organise (Fashion Meets Talent 2011 by Nafisah Jamal). I am a strong believer of timing and faith and I believe I was supposed to meet you at this time in my career.
The first project I will be helping Nadim with – Eid Fashion Bazaar 2014
Dream to Inspire ❤ ❤