Four Indian supermodels talk about their experience in the industry and on the global runway

They tell us what it feels like to take the global ramp by storm, one strut at a time.

Harper's Bazaar India

When it comes to the world of fashion, Indian supermodels have made their way to the global runways and are representing the country. Bazaar India shines the spotlight on four supermodels who speak about the many challenges they've faced, the pride they feel while walking the ramp, their milestone moments, their lives outside the world of fashion, and more. 

Avanti Nagrath


Perhaps a fairytale-turned-reality is the only way to describe Avanti Nagrath’s remarkable modelling journey. “I began at the age of 15, fuelled by a lifelong aspiration of becoming a model. The allure of clothing and the joy of dressing up ignited my passion.” Fresh out of her teens, the prospect of being in a room filled with creative individuals and expressing herself through fashion was her driving force.

The Delhi-born finds immeasurable joy in representing India on the international fashion runway. “It fills me with profound happiness and a great sense of pride,” she exclaims. According to Avanti, challenges are inevitable in making a mark on the global fashion scene as an Indian model. “All the highs and lows are part of the journey. The key ultimately lies in staying focused, dedicated, and patient.” And while there have been rejections, her goal is to never give up. “Hard work, commitment, and a positive mindset are crucial for success.”

Paving the way for an entire generation of aspiring models in the country, Avanti is now a force to be reckoned with. “My most memorable backstage moment was when I spoke to and hugged Donatella Versace before opening her show—it’s an experience forever etched in my memory,” recalls Avanti. Well, it’s not every day that you walk the ramp for one of the most renowned couture houses in the world, let alone open it. Choosing a favourite fashion designer to walk for, she believes is a tough choice. “Each designer brings a unique vision to fashion, and I aspire to collaborate with all of them, embracing their diverse perspectives.” The concept of having “made it” hasn’t really crossed the 21-year-old’s mind, contrary to what it seems to the world. “I’m committed to ongoing growth and progress, knowing there’s more to achieve,” she says.

Off-duty, Avanti is an adventurous girl who loves learning new things. “Cooking, outdoor activities, and sports, especially running, bring me joy.” Artistic and playful, the young model takes life as a canvas filled with happiness and creativity. “As the year concludes, my gratitude extends to my family, the unwavering support received, and the love from everyone.” With her ever-growing passion for modelling, the trailblazer continues to carry forward the lessons, experiences, and overwhelming encouragement that enable her to pursue her dreams.

Deepak Gupta


Deepak Gupta’s story is one of grabbing opportunities. He was only 17 when he first embarked on a journey into the captivating world of modelling. “I was scouted by Deepak Singh Chhikara, the director of Anon Models. His vision and encouragement ignited my passion for the fashion world.”

For Deepak, representing India on international runways is an incredible honour. “It’s a unique opportunity to showcase not only my personal style and creativity but also the rich and diverse cultural tapestry of India to a global audience.” While the journey has been rewarding, he mentions that the profession comes with its own set of unique challenges. “As an Indian model, one notable hurdle has been the limited options for vegetarian food during international fashion events. Despite this, representing India globally is worth the trade-off.” His best backstage moment: “Just before the Armani show (which was also his first international runway), I managed to sneak in a video call with my friends and family, which made it an unforgettable experience,” recalls the 19-year-old. As for the fashion designers he’d love to walk for, “Dior and Prada would be a dream come true, given Dior’s timeless elegance and Prada’s innovative fashion approach.”

In his little, but impactful, time as a model Deepak has not yet felt like he’s 'made it' in his modelling career. “This industry offers continual opportunities and challenges, motivating me to strive for improvement.” Acknowledging his progress, the young achiever embraces the constant room for growth.

Beyond modelling, Deepak is just a regular college student pursuing Information Technology. “I balance my education and fitness and hit the gym regularly, something I did even before my modelling career started.” He believes in the importance of both personal and academic growth. “Modelling hasn’t shifted my commitment to studies and personal interests,” he says confidently. As we approach the end of the year, Deepak’s gratitude is profound. “This year, I found my purpose and a career aligned with my passions. It’s a year of self-discovery and growth and I’m thankful for the opportunities and the kind of mentorship I have received,” he says.

Kirandeep Chahal


Kirandeep Chahal’s unexpected foray into the world of modelling began when she met her manager and agent, Akanksha, in Mumbai while still working as a journalist. Professional modelling was never on her radar initially. “I predominantly booked catalogue shoots. Despite this, a gut feeling persisted about the path I was on.”

Representing India on global fashion runways is a profound gift and honour that allows Kirandeep to pursue her passion and affirm the belief that 'dreams do come true.' While all of this may seem like a cakewalk, it most certainly was not. “As an Indian model, rejections were abundant before I found a place with my modelling agency, Purple Thoughts. I was scouted last November and the transition to a new country required physical and mental training.” The love of the chase and the thrill of being part of new stories kept her going. “I remember my first time in Paris, standing for a casting call in freezing -1 degree temperature—an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world, having ultimately booked the show,” she recalls.

A standout backstage moment for the 25-year-old was more of an on-stage revelation during her debut with Dior at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2023. “Walking the ramp, I spotted Gal Gadot, Charlize Theron, and Natalie Portman in the front row, a surreal experience.” In the future, she wishes to work with Mugler and Alexander McQueen, given their influences on her current personal style. “Feeling like I had 'made it' came with getting my own work link and when Vogue France invited me to share a day in my life as a model on their page,” she says.

Beyond modelling, the fearless model remains rooted in her hometown Punjab, spending downtime with her family on the farm and her two dogs. “In Mumbai, I embrace the roles of traveller and an athlete in training, revelling in the simplicity of life.” Kirandeep approaches the end of 2023 with gratitude for the year’s achievements. “My deepest appreciation goes to the beautiful souls I’ve encountered on this new journey. Working with such lovely minds has been a pleasure, adding richness to the tapestry of my life,” she concludes.

Naman Narnolia

Naman Narnolia’s introduction to modelling began when he was scouted on Instagram by a European agency. Initially sceptical, he decided to give it a shot, inspired by his childhood admiration for models gracing magazine covers and billboards. “The glamourous lives they led fascinated me and despite being a small-town kid, I took the opportunity, thinking I had nothing to lose,” says Naman.

“Representing India on international fashion runways has been a thrilling experience from day one.” Being an Indian model on the global stage, Naman believes, has its own set of challenges. Although he is fortunate to work with top designers, he wishes for more opportunities for brown individuals. “Grateful for the chance to showcase the beauty of diversity. I walk the runway with pride, adding our unique Indian touch to global masterpieces.”

The fashion industry is evolving and while there’s still a long way to go, he hopes to see more Indian faces making strides in the coming years. One unforgettable backstage moment the 23-year-old recalls was his debut show in Paris for Hermès—an absolute ‘pinch me’ moment that left him and his family emotional. “I could not believe that any of this was real!”

Walking for Valentino, a brand at the top of Naman’s list, was another dream come true. “In this competitive industry, I avoid feeling like I’ve 'made it' to stay motivated, constantly celebrating and remaining grateful for the opportunities that come my way.”

Outside of modelling, Naman is a laid-back person who cherishes the peaceful countryside. “Spending time with my family and embracing the slow, simple life brings me joy.” As 2023 comes to a close, the model is most grateful for personal growth, spending quality time at home with his family in India amid work travels, and learning from industry professionals. While manifesting a fantastical year ahead, Naman only hopes for more designers to embrace casting Indian models. “This will be their contribution to the continued evolution of diversity in the fashion world,” he signs off.