The mid to late nineties, saw India witness the era of the supermodels. Marked by a wave of talented and beautiful models who revolutionised the fashion industry, clearly it was dominated by the likes of Mehr Jesia, Madhu Sapre, Sheetal Mallar, Milind Soman ,Noyonika Chatterjee, to name a few. They became the face of numerous fashion campaigns, magazine covers, and fashion shows. These models were top of mind, created a distinct identity for themselves , not only in India but on the global map. They walked the ramp for some of the biggest designers in the world, including Versace, Calvin Klein, and Yves Saint Laurent and more.
And then, in the early 2000s, we saw a dramatic shift with Bollywood celebrities, like, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and more, taking centre stage, endorsing brands, walking the ramp and having a part in every fashion designer’s showing. It became another platform for Bollywood to be present , robbing it off its uniqueness.
Then followed a time in the fashion industry, where you had a hard time identifying, who’s, who. Suddenly, there was a clutter of names in this space, with no novelty factor, any more! There was a huge churn in fact. You literally woke up seeing new faces, everyday. And perhaps, this was not such a great phase after all.
Fast forward to the present day, the world of fashion has moved to a completely different level, and for the better. Today, it has a strong representation of diversity, inclusivity, body positivity and includes non-normative showstoppers. Somehow, it also reflects good thinking and purpose, be it issues of mental health or gender equality. Bringing awareness to these topics through fashion, is indeed a revelation.
Good news is that the Indian glamor fraternity is making its presence felt across the globe. Top of mind, models like Nidhi Sunil, Avanti Nagrath, Lakshmi Rana, are well represented, nationally and internationally. And in every new season, there are more like them walking the fashion week in London, Paris, Milan, etc.
Another interesting trend is of the social influencers making their way up to the ramp, given their engagement with the audiences. Influencers like Komal Pandey, Masoom Minwala, Aashna Shroff, Sakshi Sidhwani… have been a part of some of the most prestigious designer shows for international brands . Their work is commendable and it has paved the way for a new generation of models who aspire to be a part of the industry. As a result, their presence on red carpets and social media is creating a buzz.
This has brought a much needed change in the Indian fashion industry. We are now in the era of new age Indian supermodel, braking barriers and redefining what modelling means to us. They surely bring a fresh perspective and are helping the industry move towards a more inclusive and diverse future.Their impact on the fashion industry is significant, and their legacy continues to inspire future generations of models and fashion enthusiasts.
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