It sure is going to be an eventful year for these four women who will be making their debut on the runway at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2018 scheduled to take place in Mumbai between January 31 and February 4. They fought hard to get this far by successfully getting through three gruelling competitive rounds judged by a panel of industry experts including Bollywood actress Esha Gupta, fashion designer Nikhil Mehra (of Shantanu and Nikhil), fashion choreographer and show director Lubna Adams, the head of fashion at IMG Reliance Jaspreet Chandok, and the head of innovation at Lakmé Purnima Lamba. This is nothing less than a life-changing opportunity for these aspiring models as the fashion week has been a platform that is credited with introducing faces like Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif and Yana Gupta, among others.
Let’s get to know the lovely ladies:
When she was 16, Amrita Ganesh went to shop at a designer studio by Anees Deen’ in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. It was the designer who instantly recognised her potential and gave her good feedback about her looks, height, complexion and bone structure. “He gave me a chance to walk the ramp for his fashion shows after training me to walk the ramp and grooming me. I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to become a professional model,”says Ganesh, who is trained to be a cabin crew member from an aviation academy in Bahrain. She is currently pursuing Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration by correspondence so that she can focus on her modelling career.
She understands that it takes a lot of self discipline, confidence and hard work to be a professional model, and believes that if you give it your best, the almighty will take care of putting you in the right place at the right time to make things work. “My short-term goal is to do justice to my selection for LFW. Going forward, I will work towards becoming an international supermodel and represent India abroad. I’m dusky and proud of it. My personal style is, ‘hold your head high’ and be confident. I want to prove that being dusky is not an obstacle to success,” she ends.
Ever since Muskaan Bisaria was a kid, she knew that she wanted to be a model. But it was only recently that she managed to gain the confidence to chase her dreams. “I didn’t get selected at my first audition, but the rejection motivated me further to work on myself,” she says.
Being one of those who takes failure positively and strikes back with more power, she kept on working on herself. “I haven’t been trained anywhere. There is a lot of work that goes into being a professional model, like being disciplined with your habits and routine to stay in shape, and always being energetic,” says Bisaria, a Delhi girl.
She recently graduated from school and took a gap year to pursue modelling. But that’s not all she’s doing with her time. Besides modelling, she likes to explore and learn new creative ways of expression such as writing, dancing, acting and art.
She claims that she has a vivacious personality with a unique mix of quirkiness and elegance. “LFW is a huge platform where I believe I will get good exposure. I am looking forward to learning from the best and transforming myself in every way towards becoming an international model in the near future,” says Bisaria, who also wants to keep pursuing her education and hone her skills as a graphic designer.
She started modelling when she was 15, in Dubai. “I really liked dressing up and putting together different looks at a very young age. Most of my inspirations came from magazines. The sense of style and facial projections of the models amazed me. I also wanted to earn some money for myself so that I could hangout with friends, go for a movie. I didn’t have the heart to ask my parents for extra pocket money for my personal use,” says Parul Shah, whose father is Indian and mother is Filipino. Born and raised in the UAE, she went to Philippines to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at the University of Cordilleras, and ended up participating, and winning a few beauty pageants there. She also participated, and won, the reality show titled The Amazing Race Asia.
“I started my professional training at the age of 23 by joining a bootcamp where they train aspiring beauty queens and models. The training was brutal with long hours spent walking around in high heels. It took a lot of determination and dedication. I also had to always be in shape, which seems easy from the outside but the reality is very different. That really opened my eyes about how much work it takes to be in the industry, which is always changing so rapidly that you have to give your 100 per cent to keep up or you’ll get left behind. It isn’t easy because you’re being judged all the time,” says Shah, who believes that confidence is the key to survive in this industry.
Having arrived in Mumbai only three months ago, she thinks that being a part of LFW is an amazing opportunity to create a network in the fashion industry. “My heritage is Indian but I’ve never had a chance to work closely with Indian designers and wear Indian outfits on the ramp, I’m really excited about it. I would love to spend more time in India and develop my career here. I am also incredibly proud to see that India is so forward-thinking and welcoming of models who have a dusky skin tone like me,” she says.
Shah’s motto is: “Think tall, walk tall.” Though she has walked the ramp for various fashion events countless times, she shares that she still gets the jitters when it’s her turn at a show. “I listen to the music playing during the show, feel it and the second I set foot on the ramp, all the nervousness goes away. I lean towards asymmetrical and minimal designs, and most of my wardrobe is black and white,” says Parul, who believes that dreams do come true, but only when you turn them into goals and pursue them with all that you’ve got.
Hailing from Dibrugarh in Assam, Aradhana Buragohain always wanted to become a model. “As a kid, I used to watch Fashion TV a lot. But as I come from a small town in Assam, there wasn’t anyone to guide me towards my dream,” she says.
After finishing her graduation in her hometown, she pursued a Master’s degree in English Literature from Tezpur University. Though she had taken up a job as a sub-editor at an English daily in Shillong, she was always on the lookout for an opportunity to pursue a career in modelling. “Since I figured out what I wanted to do — become a model — I came to Guwahati and auditioned for Lakme Fashion Week first in 2016,” she says, adding that it was only at her third attempt at the auditions that she was finally selected to make her debut on the ramp at this event. “It is a milestone for me. There’s a lot to learn, a long way to go. Even though I stand at 5 feet 8 inches, which is quite short, I have realised that there is nothing which is impossible if you set your heart on it and work towards it,” she says.
Buragohain shares that she not only has to learn everything about this industry, but also unlearn everything she learnt when she entered a pageant. “I never wore heels in my life before entering a pageant that I came to Mumbai for. But participating in a pageant and modelling for a fashion week are very different things, so to unlearn the pageant things and replace it with what I learn on set was difficult. My agency helped me learn a lot about this industry and how things work here,” she says.
Buragohain believes that it takes a lot of stamina and patience to become a model, and in spite of all the glamour, it is as difficult as any other job.
She talks about how much effort all the designers put into creating their collection and how it is the job of the models to make sure that the outfits are showcased on the runway with grace and elegance. “My personal style is quite boho, comfort is what gives me confidence. I am a very lively and optimistic soul, not exactly an extrovert but an ‘ambivert’ (a person who has a balance of extrovert and introvert features in their personality),” she signs off.