The International Fashion Academy of Pakistan or better known as IFAP is a venture that was conceived and founded by one of Pakistan’s most popular supermodels, Mehreen Syed. We have known Mehreen to be part of some of the most prominent shoots and events happening in Pakistan. She is also the brand ambassador of one of world’s leading beauty brands, L’Oreal Pakistan.
Her venture, The International Fashion Academy of Pakistan is a one of its kind institution providing aspiring people with courses on hair, makeup, skin alongside grooming, modelling and photography courses. Any person hoping to be a part of the fashion and beauty industry will find that this academy could be a step in the right direction.
SiddySays got a chance to speak to Mehreen Syed and found out all you need to know about the International Fashion Academy of Pakistan. Here is what she told us:
Tell us a bit about IFAP. What is it all about?
IFAP stands for International Fashion Academy of Pakistan. It provides comprehensive teaching and resource programs for makeup, styling, modelling, photography and grooming courses. It’s a private training institute which is recognized by TEVTA and affiliated with Punjab Board of Technical Education. It is a platform that allows the next generation of style professionals to study fashion and pursue it as a viable career through a series of in-depth courses like cultural refinement & etiquettes, runway coaching, speech enhancement, photo shoot direction, styling along with health & wellness.
We understand that at the moment, IFAP is the only one of its kind academy in Pakistan. How did this idea come to be?
I believe that Pakistan possesses exceptional talent but unfortunately the young talent was not appreciated or promoted in a proper way and they did not have any proper platform to turn to. This was due to a lack of suitable platforms which they could utilize for their progress. I realized that there has to be a fashion academy which provides these upcoming models and makeup artists a chance to learn and groom themselves along with polishing their skills. So I conceived this idea and in 2011 IFAP was founded.
What are some of the training sessions and/or programs that the academy provides?
The academy provides courses on hair, make up and skin. Along with this we deliver grooming, modelling and photography courses.
What are your charges for different programs like?
We have a range of professional programs which are highly affordable yet provide top notch courses that are at par with international programs. The charges for courses vary accordingly and we have different packages starting from as low as just Rs.30, 000.
What is your criteria for enrollment?
Our courses are quite intensive and thus require a lot passion from the students. We need passionate students who have the urge to learn and pursue their careers in this field. So anybody who is enthusiastic enough is welcome to join us.
What is the official point of contact for anyone interested in enrolling?
You can contact us through our official website which is www.ifap.com.pk
We are also available on the following Social Media accounts.
Our official contact numbers are available on all these accounts.
What is the official application process like?
The procedure is simple. You just have to get yourself registered by visiting the office. The applicants are required to bring two passport size pictures, a copy of their national identity card and deposit the registration fees by filling the registration form. We have tried to keep it as simple as possible to encourage more applicants who wish to enhance their skills in the fashion industry.
How many spots are available in each class for prospective candidates?
Ten on average, but it may vary depending upon the course.
On average, how long are the courses?
On average they are for a month but it depends on different courses like our upcoming summer course is of three months duration.
Where is IFAP located?
It’s in Gulberg on M.M. Alam Road, on the second floor of Al Hafiz Tower, Lahore.
Do you undertake summer courses?
Yes we do. In fact we have a couple of new courses coming up for this summer.
What is the objective of the available courses?
To train the students in beauty techniques so that they can pursue their careers in this versatile field that offers a wide range of opportunities.
From what we know, IFAP is all about women empowerment and servicing the fashion and beauty industry by taking an entrepreneurial route. Thoughts?
We aim to strive by providing the best possible training to the students so that they can develop practical skills, theoretical knowledge and professional attitude necessary for success in this field. We do have a commitment to empowering women, as well as men, to be entrepreneurial in this field by using the skills that they have learned while at IFAP. We believe it is important to have such an entrepreneurial spirit to thrive in this industry.
Are you currently taking on any international projects/collaborations?
Not at the moment, but we do have some projects in the pipeline. Currently, we are affiliated with Pakistan Punjab Board TEVTA. At the end of every session exams will be conducted by Punjab Board and they will provide a certificate to the graduates which will be recognized worldwide.
What are some of your bigger projects?
We are looking forward to expand IFAP by starting our NGO with the name ICARE where we aim to help marginalized women to give them training on makeup and styling courses so that they can earn for themselves. However, we also plan to give them grooming classes where we will be focusing on their basic manners and hygiene. Again, this emphasizes the women empowerment and entrepreneurial aspect of IFAP.
What are the challenges that IFAP faces on a day-to-day basis?
The biggest challenge for us is maintaining our image because no other institute offers what IFAP offers to its students and at the lowest price. IFAP aims at a segment which normally would not be able to afford such courses. Our instructors are foreign qualified and our facility is state of the art. Thus we have to generate enough funds to maintain the IFAP image while delivering world class quality training and education.
We understand that the INC fashion show, held recently, is the Academy’s first solo show. Tell us about your experience.
It was a great experience as all our current and graduated students participated in the show. They performed exceptionally well at makeup and on the ramp as well. It was an amazing experience organizing a fashion show for the first time. It was quite hectic but I enjoyed the whole experience over all. There were some panic moments too but all went well in the end. This was the first chance provided to our makeup artists for showing their skills on a larger platform, and luckily we got an overwhelming response. Thus, we look forward to continue with such ventures in future as well.
Are there any plans for expansion in the future?
Yes we have a lot coming our way. We are trying to expand IFAP because we have students coming from all over Pakistan and even abroad. We look forward to compensate them in terms of providing hostel facilities along with conveyance. We are also including few other courses under ICARE, as mentioned earlier, that aid in women empowerment.