‘You must have a good walk, (know how to strike a) good pose and (follow a) good diet.’
Can a small college competition change your life?
It did for model Anoushka Chauhan, who believes you need to take small steps each day in order to reach your big goals someday.
When the young girl from Dehradun, Uttarakhand, travelled far from her home and family to study fashion at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, she did not know she was destined to be a model.
She bagged her first modelling assignment after taking part in a college competition.
In 2021, she tried her luck in oMg Face Of The Year, a national level digital talent hunt in which celebrated photographer Daboo Ratnani was one of the judges.
There were 2,500 candidates from across India and Anoushka was glad she’d found a place among the Top 5 finalists.
‘Being the finalist was an incredible feeling and everything that one dreams of, especially when one does not have any mentoring or fashion background but is a hustler with no backing,’ the young model had said then on Instagram about her journey.
While speaking to Rediff.com‘s Mayur Sanap, the 23 year old relives the moments that helped her turn her childhood dream and passion into a full-time career.
Did you always want to be a fashion model?
I’ve always been a fashion enthusiast.
During my college days, I was selected for a fresh face competition.
A renowned fashion designer from Ahmedabad was one of the judges. After the competition, he asked me to model for his brand. The campaign went really well. The pictures were all over the hoardings and magazines in the city.
I thought I’d be a supermodel by the end of the year… but that, of course, is not the case (laughs).
That (photoshoot) was a good experience of how the fashion world works.
How did you turn your passion into a full-time career?
I was still studying during this period and, despite getting many offers in Mumbai and Delhi, I made education my first priority. But I continued working with local brands.
A year ago, I came to Mumbai and joined a lifestyle brand as a marketing executive, which gave me great exposure to the fashion world.
Then, another competition came up. I realised I was getting a lot of projects and finally decided to go for my passion. That’s how I took up fashion as a full-fledged career.
Of course it’s long journey ahead for me but walking along with some of the biggest supermodels make me feel that I’ve come a long way; there’s a sense of belonging.
Do you remember your first runway experience?
I have been a fashion fanatic since I was in the first standard!
I’ve been watching the Lakme, Paris and Milan fashion weeks since I was a kid.
When I first stepped on the ramp, I felt ‘This is my moment.’
What does fashion mean to you?
People believe that fashion is not everyone. But I believe that it is for everyone.
Outsiders have a perception that this industry is only for the glamorous and is completely corrupt. No, it is not.
The evolution of fashion has always been in sync with the evolution of human civilisation.
Similarly, fashion has always been a statement, especially for women.
How would you describe your relationship with your fellow models?
We models are very supportive of each other.
All the senior models I have come across have been very humble and encouraging towards me.
If there’s a project other models have got, we would always be appreciative about it.
There are all kinds of people everywhere, but I like to see the goodness in things.
In your opinion, what are some of the qualities you need in order to succeed as a model?
It’s a step-by-step journey.
You have to be extremely dedicated.
You must have a good walk, (know how to strike a) good pose and (follow a) good diet.
You need to have a good sense of where you’re working, whom you are interacting with (networking) and get noticed by the right people with right approach.
Of course, a constant honing of your skills is important as well.
A fashion diva you admire?
Poo from K3G (the Hindi film Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham) is hands down the most fashionable movie character.
I never associated myself with that mean girl vibe, but she is a diva.
Her (Poo’s) journey and mine are very similar, you know — from being this underdog to becoming the diva of college is something I can totally relate to!
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