Celebrated Russian novelist Mikhael Sholokhov once concluded that “the true pioneers are those artists who make manifest in their works the new content, the determining characteristics of life in our time.”

Had Sholokov met Frieha Altaf, he would have counted Frieha among those artists. A true pioneer, Frieha is the Chrisopher Columbus of almost everything related to the business of fashion in Pakistan. After toying with a profession in modelling back in the eighties, Frieha entered the unchartered territory of fashion choreography and event management during the martial law days of Zia-ul-Haq. She has never looked back since then. Today, Frieha is an icon in the world of Pakistani fashion.

On Mother’s Day, Frieha gets candid with Pakistan Life Illustrated and shares what motherhood is to her…

Q: What is the first thing that comes to mind on the word mother?

FA: My mother – a caregiver, selfless, loving and simple person.

Q: How do you like being a mom?

FA: I always loved children. They are innocent, naughty, funny and cute. I always wanted to be a mother and there is nothing better than being a good parent who lives, works and worries for others beyond oneself.

Q: How are you different from your mom?

FA: I’m more educated. I have more exposure. My mother was a home-maker. I work and travel more. I’m more open with my kids and their ideas. I was not allowed to question. My kids question everything. I let them decide where to live… who to marry… what profession to follow.

Q: Is being a mother a fulfilling experience?

FA: Because it is fulfilling, that is why you do it. When they are young, they give you unadulterated joy. And when they are older, they become your friends. Each age is different.

Q: Do you enjoy being a mom or can it be a burden at times?

FA: It’s never been a burden. It has its challenges from time to time. Trust and love lead to good communication… that’s key.

Q: What kind of a mom are you?

FA: I’m a friend to my kids. I’m very affectionate. I’m very connected. I’m a giver and I believe in constant contact since both are now in university. I worked very hard to put them through the best schools; to give them the opportunity to travel so they were confident and outstanding in their personalities. Multitasking comes naturally to me. Communication is the key in this most important relationship. They should never be scared to tell you things.

Q: Define your kids. What do you like and dislike about them?

FA: My son Turhan is a people’s person. He’s sharp witted, funny, creative and good-looking. He’s on the Dean’s list for business. He is persistent and restless so he gets what he wants. He works towards it. He is also a music producer and DJ. His latest song has already got 100,000 streams on Spotify.

My daughter Parisheh is beautiful and sensitive. She laughs easily and writes beautifully. She has superb fashion-sense and loves hair and make-up. She is currently studying Media Science and Communications.

The only thing I don’t like is if they don’t call me.

‘Your children are the children of the world’ said Khalil Gibran.

So let them be themselves!


Q: If done all over again what would you do differently?

FA: Nothing!

Q: Message for moms all around the world.

FA: You are amazing and you are so blessed!