Veteran model Lakshmi Rana, who is organising training camps in the capital, says aspirants must understand the business of fashion
Models today face a lot of competition, says Lakshmi Rana, 40, who recently turned entrepreneur with Wilderbee Talent Camp. With inclusivity and diversity being part of the fashion narrative, Rana hopes to help aspirants from across the country succeed. In February, her talent camp partnered with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) for the #GetNoticed model hunt. It saw participants from Manipur, Hyderabad, Meerut and other towns, with four winners making it to FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week 2021.
Having spent over two decades in fashion, the outspoken army wife and mother sums up some of the issues with the Indian modelling industry: too many hopeful candidates dependent on agencies to give them work, low remuneration for freshers, and the inability to balance their personal and professional life. In the long run, how you handle fame is far more important than getting famous, says Rana. As one of the five finalists at Femina Miss India 2000 (along with Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra and Diya Mirza), who went on to work with designer labels Roberto Cavalli, Christian Dior, Tarun Tahiliani and Sabyasachi, she should know. More from Rana:
What must models starting out keep in mind?
Apart from focussing on only appearance and fitness, one needs to invest in one’s internal well-being and financial stability. Honestly, this is a short-term profession and a very fast-moving life. Communication is also important. I often see that models lack this and get into a lot of trouble and uncomfortable positions. It is important to learn to communicate your issues the right way.
What are some of the issues you will help male models overcome?
It is essential for them to know how to get into agencies and represent themselves, how to go about their contracts and know that doing free gigs for people won’t get them anywhere. There should always be a particular day rate that they should be demanding for any kind of work that they do. All models, male or female, must pursue different interests till the time modelling becomes a profession for them. That is something that a lot of male models don’t do. They only go to the gym to pursue modelling and while away their time doing nothing else. It is extremely important for them to have backup plans.