Mumbai, Aug 26. Watching Bollywood actresses instead of models on fashion magazine covers makes Kanishtha Dhankar, a former Miss India and now a popular face in the modelling industry, sad. She feels models aren’t given their rightful place in the industry, but says it could be partly because Indian masses aren’t much aware of models.
When IANS caught up with the 27-year-old sharp featured model and asked her views on actresses grabbing prominence on fashion magazine covers, she said: “I think that is partly because our masses are not aware of who the girls are in this modelling industry. But I think slowly slowly people have started recognising the fashion girls or models.
“But yes, I think it makes all of us sad because we aren’t given our place in the industry as you can see that we barely get one cover in a year. Also people who work in a magazine know that they have to pitch Bollywood actresses because they are beautiful women, they are influential and which is why they are on the cover. But I wish that the fashion industry grows further and be able to do what they need to.”
The Mumbai-based model was crowned Pantaloons Miss India 2011. She later represented India at the Miss World 2011 pageant.
As far as films are concerned, she made a brief appearance in Madhur Bhandarkar’s film “Fashion” as a model with Kangana Ranaut and Priyanka Chopra.
Asked if she considers modelling a stepping stone to films, she said: “Modelling is a stepping stone to many things — whether you want to be in Bollywood or go international.”
So is she also open to entering Bollywood unlike her contemporaries?
“Yes, I am as I find the craft very interesting. Earlier I didn’t understand the craft but now that I do, I have lot of respect for it. People approached me when I did Miss India but I think I was a kid then and I had to do other things. I always wanted to travel and explore the world a little bit more… That’s why I didn’t do it that time,” Kanishtha said.
These days, she is busy walking the ramp of Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festive 2016. She is enjoying the designers’ love for Indian models from different regions now, unlike a few years ago when roping in foreign models was a big trend.
“I have not done LFW for two seasons but I have been doing a few shows. I have seen girls have changed and what I am really excited to see this time that I have seen so many new faces and they all are so great. It’s evolving and fashion is reaching out a lot further.
“The young, beautiful and skinny tall girls are being observed by the industry and I think it’s great because when I started modelling, they (designers) weren’t so open to Indian girls, but to foreigners… So I think it’s great that everyone is so open to find Indian beauty. The perception has definitely changed,” she added.
(The writer is in Mumbai at the invitation of LFW organisers. Nivedita can be contacted at email@example.com)