Though the Indian fashion industry is set to be worth $102 billion by 2022, presently it is witnessing the resurgence of trends like eco-friendly fashion and the arrival of a plethora of international brands. Yesterday's concept of "Supermodel" seems to be turning unsustainable and gradually fading away.
The reason why most of the acclaimed fashion designers trust senior models like Sonalika Sahay, Lakshmi Rana or Noyonika Chatterjee to showcase their finest creations on the runway, proves that the Indian fashion industry is finding it tough to find girls with an impressive personality that reflects well on-the runway. This is a something that the West takes pride in with names like Kendell Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima enjoying the peak of their careers as supermodels tag at a young age.
For Lakshmi Rana, one of the primary reasons why the supermodel concept is fading in the Indian fashion Industry is because models are not showing their personality on-ramp.
"When we started off, there was no agency at that point of time. We represent a personality; we don't only represent being a model. In today's world with so many agencies coming in with so many options, I think girls are losing their identity in a way where they are trained as models, but I feel it's very important to portray one's personality on the ramp and that's how you become a supermodel," Model Lakshmi told Sputnik.
She also feels that "Bollywood has taken over" the glamour business, and that is why the concept of the supermodel is a little lost today.
"Everybody wants to get the Bollywood celebrity for their campaign. They feel that their product won't sell if there is no Bollywood star endorsing it. Again, it's a mindset, as a lot of big designers are changing that concept. I feel fashion models portray a design or creative outfit best, and that is how it should remain," she said.
"With time, the fashion industry is becoming very business-centric. It's not just all about glamour. Thus, the concept of supermodels is probably fading away. Having said that there are some very promising faces in the industry which are changing the way people perceive fashion for instance (models like) Rikee Chatterjee, Mitali Rannorey, and Archana Akil," Sonalika told Sputnik.
Though anyone can be a model today, to be a successful model or to be even called a "supermodel" one should remember that modelling isn't just glamour; there is a little bit of pain inflicted with it as well, feels Arjun Zander, the first Nepali model in India.
"Aspiring models should understand that there's so much that goes into modelling than just having that perfect face or body stats. Modelling isn't just about glitz and glam (as) it (also) requires teamwork, a sense of professionalism and discipline. In fact, modelling is a career and not just 'Oh, I look a certain way so let me give a shot at modelling'," Arjun told Sputnik.
He also feels that the term "Supermodel" isn't just an X-factor tag that one can casually use.
"From an individual perspective, I believe the lack of professionalism, discipline and dedication from aspiring models has to be the top reason. There are only a few modelling agencies that are genuinely doing justice in terms of grooming models to walk, to strike a pose, to communicate, to follow a routine etc. There are so many more modelling agencies (that are) set up as businesses, but not necessarily helping aspiring models be successful. So, I guess, everyone is to blame for the vanishing "supermodel" concept," he said.
What about fashion designers, do they also feel the lack of supermodels in India now?
"The whole era of the supermodel has gone, and I think the reason is that we started using plus size models, looking at fashion in a way that it is more for the people rather than just for model and the definition of beauty has also changed in so many years. We feel that the way that Sonalika, Lakshmi, and Nyaonika show clothes, is special, and there are no replacements for them among newer models. We want to try, we want to work with new people who have that kind of attitude, but that, I think, is missing," Delhi-based Fashion Designer Samant Chauhan told Sputnik.
So there is a concern for the industry, feels model Nikita Sahay.
"A lot of new designers are trying to find skinny models to show their clothes. Hence, you can see the change in models every six months. That's why there is no supermodel in India right now. I am afraid if the founders of the industry are not going to speak up now, and start a strict quality control operation, we are in for a complete collapse of the lovely industry we have created over the past 30 or more years," Nikita told Sputnik.