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Meet Indian Models Who Are Making Us Proud On International Runway

When the topic of fashion models comes, runways, haute couture always come to our mind. But actually, models are the one that determines the definition of beauty and aesthetics of clothing. They are the reason that lay the beauty standards in the fashion industry. Bringing class, oomph, chic, on-screen through their face. Considering models just as hangers would be an understatement because the industry is glamourized on the backbone of such amazing models across the globe. Every now and then we see a new face comes on billboards with freshness and glamour. Our nation is definitely not behind in offering the best faces to the high fashion runways. So here some of the leading Indian models have on the international fashion industry-

MUSTAFA DAWOOD

While growing up in Hyderabad his mother used to take him to modelling institute to get his posture and expression right. Karma did his due diligence and paid him for his long perseverance. With the looks from the old Bollywood movies, Mustafa was just a struggling model from Hyderabad. Until Max Fashion Elite Model Look came his way, where he participated and eventually won at age of 20. With the winning title in his bag, the elite signed him and sent him to Milan where he walked for Angel Chen and Antonio Marras. He has worked in major fashion cities like London, Paris, and Milan walking for Prada, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, Neil Barret, Givenchy, and Valentino. Mustafa applied to many modelling agencies but got rejected before the elite model contest and the reason behind her participation was just to get some exposure to kickstart his career as a fashion model. In an industry where most of the time male models are treated as props in photoshoots, Mustafa has been featured in many good projects and making his nation proud. Mustafa competed in Max Elite Model World where he ended up losing but, in the meantime, while staying in Milan, he did editorial shoots for Gucci in Dust Magazine and Kiev Dazed for Digitals. After featuring in Vogue Homme Paris, he shot editorials for Harrods- London’s biggest departmental store. With the lean muscle body and tanned skin tone, this Trimulgherry boy will not stop until he joins the league of supermodels.

BHUMIKA ARORA

She has been named as the next supermodel by Vogue Italia. Bhumika was born and brought up in Karnal, Haryana and comes from a family with conservative parents. Since she was a child she dreamed of becoming a model but couldn’t move ahead with her dreams due to her parent’s fear. As per Indian beauty standards, Bhumika doesn’t fit well into the ideal Indian woman mold. It’s no secret that India has an obsession with fair skin. The girl of dark skin tone with 6ft height is not considered as a good look for any Indian household, where the average height of Indian women is 5’5. A Celebrity Stylist and Makeup Artist Devika .T.Chaudhry says- “This topic needs to be discussed on so many wide platforms, we as Indians are obsessed with fair skin, however, the more you travel abroad the more you realize they find our skin tone exotic. Even now in India the designer handloom is going for darker skin models in terms of relativity and appealing to a mass audience.”

She went to Delhi to pursue an MBA but God had some other plans, her friend sent her photos to a local weekly magazine, out of surprise they featured it. She did modelling for the next 3 years before moving international, so she applied to Paris based modelling agencies. Eventually, Elite liked her pictures and said – “Come to Paris” She made her debut in New York Fashion Week with Alexander Wang Fall Fashion Show in 2015 and 3 days later she did Vera Wang. During that season she did a total of 25 shows. Up until now, she has walked for Fendi, Roberto Cavalli, Hermes, Chanel, Balmain, Anna Sui, Prabal Gurang, and many more notable designers. She was one of fewer models who were selected for Chanel’s Cruise 2016/2017 show in Cuba which was staged at the iconic Paseo Del Prado in Havana. Also, appearing in the short film ‘Dazed and Confused’ alongside footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing once said – “Bhumika is one of the strongest ambassadors of her country, not only gorgeous but also charismatic. It is really important and vital to have her”

PRATIK SHETTY

Pratik, a 20-year-old boy from Mumbai wanted to try his luck in modelling, so out of curiosity, he participated in the Elite Model Contest by seeing an ad on social media. He ended up in 8th position. Soon after the competition, he started getting some small shoot and modelling gigs in and around Mumbai. Later he got his big break when he shot for Alexander McQueen look book SS20. Last year, he walked for MSGM at Paris Fashion WeekSS20. Additionally, Pratik walked for 15 shows in Paris, with closing for Lanvin. His dark complexion which was once a reason for insecurity soon became a driving force behind his work across Europe while in India there were very few projects that came across his way. Today the high fashion industry is inclining towards diversity, the reason behind it is the pressure to cast more models of different colours whereas when it comes to Indian modelling industry is still dominated by eastern European features with fairer skin tones. India has a lot of diverse beautiful faces with exotic skin tones. But it has a long way to go.

POOJA MOR

Awarded the “Young Achiever of The Year” at Vogue Women of The Year. The journey from being a pageant girl to high fashion is quite divine. Hailing from Bareilly, pooja used to participate in beauty pageants here and there. She participated in the ‘Clean n Clear Fresh Face’ contest in her college in Ahmadabad. After her studies, she moved to Delhi to do some modelling gigs while telling her parent that she is going on a vacation. Fellow model from Elite Model Management posted her photos on Instagram and from there she went viral. She made her runway debut at Louis Vuitton’s Cruise 2016 runway show in Palm Springs 2015. As a model she has worked in New York, Milan, Paris, and London walking for major fashion brands such as Stella McCartney, Roberto Cavalli, Louis Vuitton, Dolce&Gabbana, and Givenchy. During the Givenchy, Fashion Show pooja stumbled and tripped making instant headlines all over the internet. Incidents like these are considered can end your career but not in Pooja’s case. She has appeared on the covers of Vogue Italia, Vogue India with Vicky Kaushal, Vogue Arabia, etc. She too has faced her fair share of controversy, when she did a photoshoot “The Wrong Turn” inspired by the Delhi Rape Case-a a topic which still is a highly sensitive topic in India, showing a woman in a bus with 4 men harassing her. Apart from modelling, she is quite active in her philanthropic work. She is a strong advocate for Forced Organ Harvesting in China -a practice done by the communist regime on prisoners and Tibetans to harvest human organs.

TARUN NIJJAR

Tarun is the real OG for brown models at international runways. He has paved a way for upcoming brown male models in the high fashion modelling industry. Male models are most of the time are paid a lot less than their female counterparts and sometimes are also less appreciated. Tarun said-“I don’t feel any lack of appreciation. I guess it’s a role reversal in comparison to pretty much every other industry in the world.” In 2014 he became the first brown model to be cast in Burberry fashion show autumn/winter.  Coming from an Indian British family, Tarun was born and brought up in London. Tarun said- I was scouted by an agency at the age of 16 while I was at a music festival in London”. Since then, he has worked with Tom Ford, Burberry, Marks, and Spencer, Harper’s Bazaar India, Elle India, Jo Malone London, and many more major fashion brands. On being asked how he got the Burberry show, Tarun says- “I had a casting call for Burberry at 19 and got the show. Personally, I didn’t experience any challenges. Being a model is a matter of luck.” This face comes with a lot of brains. He is changing the perception of models of being just a hanger. He has done a Bachelor’s in English Literature along with a Master’s in International Politics. Currently, wants to pursue Global Security/ Intelligence.

Radhika Nair

Radhika became the first Indian model to be cast in Balenciaga Fashion Show SS17 in Paris. She was scouted in 2012 by an agent in Mumbai. Balenciaga casting director Henry Mackintosh Thomas saw her pictures and wanted to meet her. Within a few minutes of the meeting, she was signed exclusively for Balenciaga Fashion Show. This was her first experience on the international runway. After that, she has appeared in many campaigns such ad Chloe, Versus Versace, H&M X Erdem, and Net-a-Porter. Apart from this, she has walked for Anna Sui, Emilio Pucci, Lacoste, Miu Miu, and Marc Jacobs while appearing on the covers of Vogue(Russia, Germany), Harpers Bazaar UK, CR Fashion Book, Numero China, and Elle India. Radhika was born in Kerala to Malayali parents. Her Malayali heritage is the inspiration behind her singing skills; she is a trained singer in Indian classic music (Rajas). Besides modelling, she is an avid photographer. Her work has been published in W Magazine and Vogue. One of the reasons behind her success is that she really is breaking the barriers of the fashion industry. Not like every other model in Milan, she has her own individuality that makes her stand out from the rest of the models. Her feature defies her heritage. She has her own style, dark complexion with short curly hair.

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