“Models To­day are Treated Purely as Hang­ers for Clothes” – Arjun Rampal


If you see this cover, there is some­thing about it. Not be­cause I am on it. If you saw a sim­i­lar cover with Milind, Mehr (Je­sia) or Madhu (Sapre) or any of the su­per­mod­els at that time and you see their work, there is an in­di­vid­u­al­ity to ev­ery­thing. It was very per­son­al­ity driven. Each one had their own qual­i­ties and was con­sid­ered unique on some­thing. And now ev­ery­thing has got­ten so uni­form be­cause the whole focus is on clothes, it’s about fashion, the cut. Ev­ery­body has to be the same size, have the same hair­cut... so you can­not blame people. That was a pe­riod, a phase where you needed people from the in­dus­try who were more than just clothes horses. They were per­son­al­i­ties whom people looked up to and ad­mired and were sim­i­lar to movie stars to­day. They en­dorsed a brand that cor­re­lated with them and that ad be­came theirs and they stood up for that brand. I was lucky to be a part of that phase. Maybe if I was a model now, I would be hav­ing the same hair­cut and do­ing the same thing as that’s the op­por­tu­nity models are given to­day. They are treated purely as hang­ers for clothes. At that time, it was a lot of drama, ‘oh wow, it’s go­ing to be a fashion show’. It was also new. So the fashion in­dus­try needed people who could en­dorse and say we are models, not just in In­dia but world­wide. And that’s how models and su­per­mod­els were born. Su­per­mod­els were looked upon as bet­ter than ev­ery­one else, with bet­ter bod­ies al­though there was no difference. But some people just got lucky. And it was a cool tag to have for brand value. Af­ter that pe­riod, even fashion changed a lot. Those days, it used to take three days to put a show to­gether but sud­denly shows were be­ing put to­gether within a day. You just needed the models. There were no re­hearsals, no chore­og­ra­phy... now people just walk in and out be­cause the focus is the col­lec­tion. So it has evolved to that. I have done a lot of ads as a model and ac­tor. But what has been ex­tremely im­por­tant for me, even when I was a model, is that I have as­so­ci­ated my­self with brands that I use. That’s just been a rule that I made for my­self. For me, ads are now pocket money. So if I do it, it will be for the fun of it. Firstly, to get a pretty cool ad out there and sec­ondly, be­cause I use that prod­uct. So if some­body tells me to do a pan parag or a face whiten­ing cream, I won’t do it. I like my colour.

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