In an era when Bollywood actors and sidekicks rule over the hearts of the people and control the pockets of producers and event organisers,
the model clan is fighting tooth and nail to survive. Well toned bodies, glamour, oodles of sexiness, and photogenic faces don’t seem to be good enough qualities to turn into favourites of advertisers and brands.
However, in recent times the tide has shown signs of turning. Bollywood may still rule the roost, but the lesser mortals (sorry, models) are finding ways to hold their ground. The supermodel tribe, thought to be extinct post the retirement of Madhu Sapre, Mehr Jessia, Arjun Rampal and the likes, is rising again. There are rumblings in the industry and hushed whispers can be heard among fashion corridors announcing the imminent arrival of the long-legged and brawny Goddess’ and Gods. While earlier a career in modelling was seen as a quick ticket to Bollywood, today a career in modelling is the first choice and continued preference of many.
We have put together the names of the supermodels who are standing out in ads and walking tall on the ramps leaving all who lay eyes on them in a state of star-struck stupor. We have christened this group, 'The Supermodel Clique'.
Candice Pinto forayed into the world of modelling and glamour after winning the Gladrags Megamodel Hunt in 2000. She also bagged ‘best body’ award at the Top Model of the World contest in Malaysia. It was after winning this award that she knew the ramp was where she always wanted to be. Her favourite designers include Vikram Phadnis, Rohit Bal, and Rocky S. She has a Masters degree in Economics, and so it would be right to label her a ‘beauty with brains.’
The daughter of a police constable, Ujjwala Raut has risen from her humble beginnings to dizzying heights in the fashion world. She was first spotted at the age of 17 and was immediately singled out as the ‘next big thing’ by the fashion big-wigs. Anaita Shroff Adjania has called her ‘the perfect model’. Her laurels are not restricted to India alone. She is one of the few Asian faces to make it big in the Paris and New York fashion circles. She has walked the ramp for Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Victoria’s Secret, Tom Ford, and Chanel among many others. She has done campaigns for the cosmetics of Yves Saint-Laurent, a huge deal in a world that is bogged down with racism.
Age has not tired her nor has it weakened her ambition. She is back in the country and is decidedly focussed on raising her daughter and doing what she loves best, walking the ramp.
What Ujjwala started, Lakshmi has, with elan and brilliance, carried forward. After captivating the hearts of fashion evangelists and being the model of choice of one too many designers in India, Lakshmi set foot abroad to turn the heat up in Paris, Milan and New York. Her international career took flight in 2006 and since she has walked for Givenchy, Max Mara, Hermes, Bloomingdales to name a few. She has appeared in the advertising campaigns of numerous brands and has done countless fashion spreads for magazines like Vogue, Elle, Allure, Harper’s Bazaar. She won the “This year’s Model” crown awarded by Vogue for 2008. Dusky, tall, mesmerising and flawless, Lakshmi Menon embodies everything a Supermodel should be and then some more.
Carol Gracias is probably one of the few models to have held their ground in the fashion industry for over a decade. She first came into the limelight way back in 1998 after she won the Femina Elite Look of the Year award. Since then her timeless youth, olive skin, exuberant nature and serious professionalism have driven her career in this age obsessed industry. She has been the model of choice for various brand campaigns, the first being De Beers.
After all these years of captivating designers and of walking the ramp with an unmatched confidence, Carol is not yet ready to hang in those heels. And we totally second her decision!
A model that started walking the ramp in 1997 after winning the Look of the Year award, Nethra Raghuraman, with her sharp features, tall frame and dusky skin has gone onto becoming India’s foremost supermodel. She is one of the few models who after having acted in a couple of films and doing a number of TV roles has come back to walk for designers out of choice and not out of lack of work in the TV/film industry.
At 39, she is has got to be the oldest and most favourite model in this country. She started her modelling career in 1994 and has since never looked back. She is a regular in fashion shows and is the preferred Showstopper of many designers. Jesse can be given the credit for revamping the notion of beauty with her very modern androgynous look. She is also an exceptional dancer and continues to walk the ramp with undiminished confidence and poise.
This list is by no means concise. There are many models that have done exceptionally well and continue to do so. Many have defied age, and used experience to rule the industry and continue to charm all with their beauty, body, and glamour. The Supermodel Clique is strengthening and growing, and we believe it is here to stay.
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