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Indian Supermodels we miss on the runway

The Lakmé Fashion Week is upon us and everybody’s running amuck with the latest designs and the heart-throbbing showstoppers. Instead, we’d like to sit back and pay homage to the yesteryear supermodels who paved the way for what runways mean to us today. These models wowed the ramp with their craft and left the modelling world stunned; they not only set new benchmarks for the ever evolving Indian fashion world but have also became muses to fashion stalwarts like Armani, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent and more. They were confident, controversial, and larger than life; much unlike what the world believed them to be (just a pretty face and a great body).

Take a look!

Madhu Sapre: Who doesn’t remember her steamy advertisement for Tuff Shoes from 1995? She posed nude with Milind Soman! Bold, wild and audacious; we loved every bit of her chutzpah! The 1992 Femina Miss India was well known for being a livewire on the ramp and for her edgy personality that changed the country’s perspective towards models.

Mehr Jesia Rampal: This Miss India from 1986 did her first campaign for Lakmé and went on to being the face of Vimal, Palmolive, Nivea in no time. At 24 she was offered to replace Isabella Rossellini as the international face of Lancôme. She turned it down because she’d miss home too much. Her oomph, her charm, her confidence, her energy, they all displayed her passion for the fashion industry. Every time she walked the ramp, her ‘Mehrness’ would ensure that every eye in the room fixated on her. At 44, the ramp may have gone, but the latter still remains true.

Shyamoli Verma: Acclaimed as the ‘first Indian supermodel’ who broke conventions and landed modelling assignments with international brands, she was a treat to watch. Her grace and poise amplified the outfit she wore. Still identified at the Lakmé girl, she was the greatest thing to happen to Indian modelling in the ‘80s with her beauty and confidence.

Tupur and Tapur Chatterjee: They are mirror images of each other which meant twice the sizzle on the runway. A remarkable brand portfolio with Titan Raga, Lakmé and Park Avenue amongst many others and a cover for Femina and fashion features in various magazines like Elle and Cosmo; these girls were the most recognised faces in the early 2000’s.

Nina Manuel: Her tanned skin tone, her toned body and her attitude made her a runway favourite for the longest time. But Nina was more than just that! She walked for biggies like Tarun Tahiliani, JJ Valaya, Rohit Bal and did ad campaigns for Coke, Levi’s, San Miguel etc. The buck didn’t just stop just there for this supermodel, she was featured in music videos for Anaida, Remo and Baba Sehgal and even had a career as a Video Jockey going for her. Synonymous with the ‘Indian Supermodel’ tag; she is truly evergreen.

Other unforgettable faces we miss on the ramp and beyond are Nethra Raghuraman, Noyonika Chatterjee and Jesse Randhawa. These models ruled the roster and reigned the ramp throughout their era. Timeless, indeed!

The men weren’t far behind….


Shawar Ali: People may not have known his name but they surely knew his face! This man made it past the stereotypes of the two-tier city people and made it big. With his trademark poker face, he created a sense of familiarity and intrigue with the audience.

Milind Soman: The other half of the Tuff Shoes campaign, his tryst with modelling was his claim to fame. His buoyant personality and oozing charm made him more than a man with a chiselled face on the ramp. He may have migrated to acting and running but he will always be remembered as one of the revered male models in the country.

Do you have any supermodel favourites you wish to see on the runway this Lakme Fashion week? Tell us in the comments below!

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