Gear up for a ramp stint

Tyra Banks in America’s Next Top Model

Tyra Banks in America’s Next Top Model

Even as speculation mounts over whether Deepika Padukone or Aishwarya Rai will host India’s Top Model (a desi spin-off of supermodel Tyra Bank’s American show), the fashion industry is asking questions of its own: Will it yield a long-awaited Indian supermodel? And why have we been supermodel bereft for so long?

Anil Chopra — who made the Lakme Fashion Week a reality — recently said that all the promising faces on the ramp were wooed away by Bollywood, a view designer Archana Kochhar and model-turned-choreographer Anu Ahuja share. “Every girl who has the potential to be a supermodel moves to Bollywood,” rues Archana. “Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty both had the potential to be supermodels but both moved to films,” says Anu, who believes that if ITM is handled well, then it might just yield a supermodel.
With Madhu Sapre perhaps among the last few female supermodels (Ujjwala Raut prefers ramps abroad and veterans like Candice Pinto, Deepti Gujral, Rachel Bayros haven’t impacted public consciousness outside the fashion industry) and John Abraham among the men, a few designers have expressed dissatisfaction with the dilution of talent. Rohit Bal was quoted as saying that he was “appalled” by the new Miss India title winners. Archana is more gracious, naming “Shriya Kishore and Alesia Raut” as models she loves.
Model Freddy Daruwala says that a changing industry has been tough on aspiring supermodels: “Earlier you had a small group of models who worked the ramp, and did print and TV ads. Now you have so many models. It is much harder now (to have crossover success).”
Tarun Katiyal of Big CBS Love (which will air India’s Top Model) says the show will be a “game changer” and yield “India’s answer to the supermodel concept of the West”.

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