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India’s next top model

Monica Tomas entered the world of professional modelling just about a year ago and she is already the toast of the major international fashion weeks. After walking for Nicholas K, Chiara Boni and Tome at the New York Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017, this dusky 24-year-old from Tamil Nadu, hit the runway again at the recently concluded London Fashion Week where she walked for Tomas Palmer, Gabriel Vielma and Fashion East. We caught up with this new kid on the block who knows what it takes to walk the walk. Excerpts:

How did you get into modelling?
A year back, I signed up with Anima Creative Management. A friend of mine had shown some of my snaps to them and they approached me with an offer. And that is how it all began.

Monica made people sit up and take note of her when she walked for Ohne Titel, Tome and Zac Posen at Fall NYFW 2016 (Courtesy: Anima Creative Management)

How did you land your first international project?
My first international project was for Zac Posen NYFW Fall 2016. It was one of my first castings and I just got through!
How was it working with such a big brand?
I had never imagined myself walking for such international names. I was totally enthralled. Working up from a smaller market to a bigger market is an experience by itself.
Which is that one trait that has helped you in this journey?
Since childhood, I have been a very observant person and this helps me every day as a model. Also, being in this industry, I have learnt to be persistent and patient.
How different is the industry there as compared to the one in India?
New York is not only a bigger global market but also the prime hub of the fashion industry. Also it is much more accessible. The approach of the designers, as well as the brands, in New York is very different. However, I feel that India, being a younger market, is growing rapidly and has a lot to explore and experiment.

NYFW SS 2017 saw Monica walk for Chiara Boni, Nicholas K and Tome (Courtesy: Anima Creative Management)

Do you think the scene is changing for better for Indian models abroad?
Yes! Indian models are definitely making their presence in the global scenario. The industry is certainly coming to accept Indian models as a new discovery. The fashion industry gradually accepting the Indian look and signing Indian models for big mainstream shows and campaign.
However, although markets like NYC and London are quite global, in general the international scene is still tilted towards the westerners. Certain brands use a certain ethnicity or a particular type of model. But my ethnicity also makes me unique and helps me stand out among a bevy of models.
So what do you think your generation of models are doing right to make this big switch?
Models have been treat modelling as a stepping stone to Bollywood. However of late, with the emergence of newer and more organised modelling agencies, Indian models are slowly starting to realise that modelling can be a real career option and they need not fall back on Bollywood. Also, our generation has easy access to a lot more avenues. As communication and social media is making the world shrink, the opportunities are rising.

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