Ajmal Khan is an unforeseen success in the Indian fashion saga. He’s a trailblazer in fashion; he fought against the odds to create a space that almost didn’t exist before him. In conversation with well-known model, style-blogger, and influencer Ajmal Khan.
Who is Ajmal Khan? How do you see yourself?
I am a mechanical engineer who has been a passionate model in high school. I see myself as a normal person just like everyone else and love to live an absolutely normal life, doing normal things. But I am a spirited dreamer and like to shoot for the moon. Being a well known, respected model/ blogger was one of my dreams and I’m proud to say that I have achieved it.
You’ve come a long way from the youngster who set off in pursuit of a dream by uploading his own photos on social media. What all have you had to go through on the road till here?
I have struggled a lot as everyone around me used to discourage me and put me down saying that I won’t have a future and that it’ll take me nowhere, but I refused to listen to any of them. Even people who didn’t know me judged me, and someone even created a haters page on Facebook. I had never expected that, that did hurt me for a while.
However, I had my heart set on my dream and I knew that I had to show unwavering courage on the road. The biggest irony is that the people who had looked down on me back then ask me “how did you do it?” now. What I have learnt from these experiences is that, there are going to be all kinds of people around you; those that will put you down and those who encourage you. But if you’re determined, committed and confident about yourself, trust me; you can do anything in this world.
From the guy who wasn’t confident enough to face the camera during his sister’s marriage, how has Ajmal Khan evolved?
I used to be a little shy and had zero confidence. But to be honest, I really liked seeing my face on photos. As I grew up my fashion sense evolved and that transformed my appearance as well. So I did more makeovers which made me confident about my looks. Besides, I used to pose for my friends often. Only you can change yourself. Your body language, your style, no one else can do anything about it.
Kerala isn’t a place known for a fashion culture or icons. How did you realize that your calling was in fashion?
Kerala is not known for that aspect, but the people, especially the youth in Kerala are very fashion savvy. However I had no idea that my calling was in fashion, I just did what made me happy and busy. I did what I was passionate about, and I don’t feel of it as a job.
You’re a trailblazer in a space that almost didn’t exist before you. You’ve inspired hundreds of youngsters from your state and beyond to be social media influencers and fashion models, many of them trying to emulate your success. What is your message to them?
I have always looked upon successful people, and there’s nothing that inspired me more than the words by Coco Chanel, “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” I would like to pass on the same to those who are trying to emulate me.
Yourstyle and rise have not always gone well with everyone, especially among the older generation. But looking back now, you’ve grown fulfilling your dreams and inspiring others regardless. What are your thoughts on that?
Not everyone might like your style, not everyone might like the person you are and if you keep focusing on the dark side then you will never see the bright side. I ruthlessly ignore the negative thoughts. Life’s short, enjoy it.
What’s your style mantra?
The very definition of style varies from person to person and I strongly believe that it is personal and natural. Every style should be fashionable and not something that has to be plagiarized completely.
You launched your own fashion line recently. What’re you trying to convey through them? What’s your message for your customers?
Whenever you pick up a dress for yourself, make sure that it’s fashionable yet comfortable for you. That’s when you will be confident about yourself.
You’ve modelled for scores of top brands. Why do brands choose you? What is the edge that you give to the brands you represent?
I’m connected to millions who share an interest in fashion. They love to see what I wear and I explain to them about the product from pin to piano. That’s an excellent way for brands to reach out to people who share the same perspective and vision as them when it comes to fashion.
Have your family always been supportive of your career?
Absolutely, I’m truly blessed to have my family! In my community, it’s a huge thing for a guy like me to be a model, but despite all that my family has always been supportive and had faith in me. I think that’s where my success began, I love them!
Jumana Khan, your life partner is also a style blogger. How has your journey together been? How good is that you have a soulmate that understands every bit of what you do?
I’m lucky to have a wife like her, to be honest. Two years ago when I was working to launch my own brand, she helped me out with the branding and a lot of other aspects of it. Now that we are together, she never lets me goof around and becomes my photographer whenever we are out. She supports me in everything I do, in everything that makes me happy. She has always been there for me as a support system and as a friend!
Do you dream of modelling on an international stage? Paris Fashion Week?
If god wills I’d love to be a part of the Paris Fashion Week, it’s everyone’s dream to walk through the runway of Milano!
Have you ever tried to emulate anyone growing up? Any mentors or role models?
David Beckham, he has always inspired me in every aspect of my life, especially fashion! It’s interesting that we were both born on May 2nd.
How’s the journey forward? What are your dreams for the future?
I’m looking forward to raising AK to international fame and reputation. It’s been a men’s apparel brand until now, but now that I have my wife with me we are planning to include all aspects of fashion under AK.