I remember becoming aware of Mesha Toor a few years ago and reaching out for a one-on-one interview. Somehow, it fell through and was never rescheduled. Mea Culpa! Reading these 8Q’s once again, I am reminded I need to focus on making that happen.
There are very few times I run across someone in the fashion community that seems to have everyone’s respect. Toor is one of those rare exceptions. She is multi-talented, always shows up looking amazing, is a positive presence at events, gives 100 percent to everything she gets involved in, and completely supports those in her circle. She is a class act who I have great respect for.
The timing for sharing this 8Q is perfect as Toor is the Fashion Show Coordinator for Sunny’s Bridal’s Vancouver Fashion Week runway presentation on Saturday, March 19th, at 9 p.m. – a show you will not want to miss. I am hoping Toor will again step onto the runway. She brings a confident elegance that can only come from hard work and extensive experience.
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8Q Spotlight Mesha Toor
What is your current career(s) – paid and unpaid?
Currently I work for Sunny’s Bridal Gallery as their Fashion Show Coordinator and Social Media Manager.
I am also a professional Actor/Model and pursue that on the side along with running my modelling school Model Mechanisms® With Mesha Toor.
Acting/Modelling/Fashion/Entertaining has always been a passion of mine, whether paid or unpaid. It is just something deep-rooted within me. It’s what keeps me alive, what keeps me going.
Can you share an interesting thing (or two) about your journey to reach this moment?
I have earned the recognition as a professional actor/model and coach among my community and industry peers over the past eight years, but I actually never planned to be a model. It was never my dream starting off. My focus was acting and fashion design. Modelling just kind of happened. I loved the idea of ‘performing’, and being in front of a camera and somehow modelling also gave me the space to channel that. I used modelling as a platform to help me with my acting and to build connections.
When I was starting out as a model, I had no technique, no confidence, and I was unaware of my body, even myself. But I was also tired of discrimination and this obscene idea of what a model should be like. I never seemed to ‘fit-in’ with what society defined as a model or their definition of beauty. So I decided to create my own category. I became my own muse and used social media as my platform to showcase my work and talents.
Before I knew it, I was constantly being asked to teach modelling and techniques on how to pose. Eventually my school Model Mechanisms® was born.
What three things would you like people to know about you to give them a sense of who you really are?
- What you see is what you get. I don’t ever feel the need to hide, change who or what I am. I am very straightforward and at times can be too honest. But it’s what makes me, me.
- Some people do find me intimidating, probably because of my bold personality, but I’m actually very down to earth, fun-loving and genuine once you get to know me. My students call me their mentor, because they know when they need raw, valid advice they can trust in me.
- I am all about simplicity and authenticity. I live a very moderate, low-key lifestyle and I try to avoid make-up as much as possible. I love being around people who can be themselves. No layers, no BS, just them. My motto is simple, classy and elegant.
Highest moment so far?
To date, my highest moments for 2015 were opening the show for Sunny’s Bridal at Vancouver Fashion Week, and my first short film I directed, which was an official selection for IFFSA 2015.
It was an honour to walk for such a prestigious South Asian Bridal establishment, but at the same time a pivotal moment because I was thinking of leaving modelling six months before that. I was not sure if this was for me anymore. When I had the opportunity to walk, I remember thinking back to all those moments I was told I couldn’t be a model; that I wasn’t good enough, doors being slammed in my face, etc. Now here I was opening the show for Sunny’s Bridal. Funny how the Universe works.
Vancouver’s Next Top Model – The Desi Edition, was my first short film, that I wrote, directed, produced, and starred in. This was definitely a big learning experience for me. It was my first attempt behind the camera, and as demanding and overwhelming as it was, I loved it. I love the idea of telling stories and giving direction. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the art of film making, but this is an area I would like to explore further in the future.
What are you working on right now? In the next 6 months?
I am currently working on Sunny’s Bridal’s 2nd fashion show presenting this season for Vancouver Fashion Week FW 2016. In the next six months I have a few projects in the works that I cannot disclose, but I hope to share with everyone when the time is right! Maybe you’ll see me on the big screen soon…
Who and/or what inspires you?
Strong women inspire me. People with passion, dedication and integrity inspire me. My biggest inspiration is Jennifer Lopez. She is a woman who has built her entire empire from the ground up. At 47, she is stronger, bigger, better, and even more beautiful than ever! She follows her heart and I really admire that about her.
How do you personally define success?
I think everyone has a different idea of what success means to him or her. For me, my biggest thing is being respected, and appreciated for the work I have done thus far. That is success to me. When people come up to me and tell me they find me inspirational, that is success to me.
When I see my former Model Mechanisms® students growing immensely in their craft that is success to me. Just knowing I have made some kind of contribution in challenging the system and making a breakthrough within the Fashion and South Asian community, that is success to me.
If you have a goal, regardless of the end result, even if it fails but you have physically put in the work, time, effort and commitment to make it happen that is success.
What to do you to relax and regroup?
Health is something that is on the top of my list. I practice Yoga daily. I maintain a regular workout routine, go for runs and follow a clean, vegetarian diet. When I exercise, it is like my escape.
I find after long hours of work, I need time to myself. I go for massages or long walks in nature. I love spending time alone, listening to music or watching a movie. I also make sure to meditate at least 15-20 minutes before I start my day and when I go to bed. Every now and then I also close down my social media and my phone. And by closing down, I deactivate everything. It is the best way to recharge and refresh. We get so caught-up with what is happening in the world and sometimes you just need to step away and focus on you.
I am lucky to be surrounded by a strong group of women. The best part is neither one of us is alike, yet each brings in something which I know I need in my life. When I need to regroup these women are my rocks and vice versa. We have conversations about everything and anything. Listening to each of their perspectives on certain topics inspires me with my work. Sometimes I think we need our own show! Wouldn’t that be something?
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