Chang­ing the face of In­dian fash­ion

HT Cafe - - FRONT PAGE - ak­[email protected] Ak­shay Kaushal

Fair com­plex­ion, check. Chis­eled fa­cial fea­tures, check. Sculpted body, check. For years, In­dian mod­els have been per­ceived to be the ones who are con­ven­tion­ally gor­geous. But, the mod­el­ling in­dus­try in In­dia is see­ing a sud­den re­nais­sance and the change is for good. Lead­ing mod­el­ling agen­cies in In­dia such as An­ima, Inega, Nin­jas Model Man­age­ment, and Feat. Cast, are pro­mot­ing mod­els who are a far cr from be­ing con­ven­tion­ally beau­ti­ful. A girl with a fa­cial cleft, a guy with vi­tiligo, another fe­male model with a buzz cut— these mod­els are fast chang­ing the face of beauty in In­dia. Shan­tanu Gosavi from Ahmedabad, Gu­jarat, suf­fers from a skin con­di­tion called Vi­tiligo (Leu­co­derma). He has been mod­el­ling since 2016 and has shot with some of the fa­mous brands and pho­tog­ra­phers. He has made his skin con­di­tion his strength. Another model, Sak­shi Bisht, 18, from Dehradun, Ut­tarakhan, who has a lip cleft, has been mod­el­ling for lead­ing ecom­merce portals and fash­ion mag­a­zines.

“In­dian fash­ion has be­come glob­alised and the de­mand for un­con­ven­tional-look­ing mod­els has in­creased. Sak­shi has done some re­ally cool ed­i­to­ri­als and has also been work­ing reg­u­larly with a lead­ing e-com­merce por­tal. Her lip cleft only makes her unique,” says Ninja Singh, founder of mod­el­ling agency Nin­jas Model Man­age­ment.

Model Priya Singh is rep­re­sented by another mod­el­ling agency call Feat. Cast. She rocks a buzz cut and has done cam­paign shoots for top In­dian de­sign­ers and her de­mand has in­creased all the more af­ter she be­gan sport­ing this look. Her agent Smita Las­rado says, “I be­lieve we have ar­rived at a time where clients are re­al­is­ing that beauty doesn’t have one def­i­ni­tion. I’m re­ally happy to see this change within the busi­ness and its pos­i­tive ef­fect reach­ing out­side the busi­ness. We love that our fades rep­re­sent peo­ple from all over the coun­try. We don’t con­sider our mod­els un­con­ven­tional. We find them beau­ti­ful, in­ter­est­ing and cool. They work in TVCs, print ads and fash­ion shows reg­u­larly, which val­i­dates our be­lief that the busi­ness and the coun­try is ready to cel­e­brate the beauty of In­dia in all its glory.”

“I wasn’t ex­pect­ing the kind of re­sponse I re­ceived from the fash­ion in­dus­try. I thought that maybe I’d be re­stricted from cer­tain kinds of shoots. But ev­ery­one loved it, and wanted to shoot me, which kind of sur­prised me, and still con­tin­ues to, be­cause I’m still shoot­ing In­dian clothes, and looks. For me that rep­re­sents a big shift. And it makes me feel great to be a part of this shift . I en­joy all the new styles that I get to ex­per­i­ment with,” says Priya Singh.

I thought that maybe I’d be re­stricted from cer­tain kinds of shoots. But ev­ery­one loved it, and wanted to shoot me, which kind of sur­prised me, and still con­tin­ues to. PRIYA SINGH, MODEL

PHOTO: IN­STA­GRAM/ ATOMIC_NO.6

Model Priya Singh is a main­stream model with buzz cut

PHO­TOS: IN­STA­GRAM/ARKA_PATRA, IN­STA­GRAM/400_THINGS

Model Namita is not in­se­cure about do­ing shoots with braces on (above); Model Shan­tanu Gosavi with Vi­tiligo has done pho­to­shoots with lead­ing pho­tog­ra­phers and brands (top)

PHOTO: IN­STA­GRAM/NINJASMODELMANAGEMENT

Model Sak­shi Bisth, who has cleft lip, is shoot­ing for a lead­ing e com­merce shoot

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