Have the courage to follow your heart and everything else will fall in place. Meet fashion model and marketing consultant Aashna Gurav, striving each day to bring a positive impact around her. Her beautiful presence of mind and vision to educate people, make her stand out from rest. We fall short of words to define this soul so let’s dive right in, to know more about Aashna and her views on sustainable fashion.
Aashna was born and brought up in Mumbai. She grew up watching Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen and considers them her idol. Although she never thought of getting into the modeling industry but had keenly participated in college fashion shows for fun. Luckily she stumbled upon campus princess, a talent hunt by Times Group. Aashna told us, modeling has helped her grow as an individual and is still in a learning phase.
“I happened to come across Campus Princess while I was participating in college fashion shows and that’s where things started for me. I was a complete fresher but I learnt a lot. Though, I did not make it the first few times, ever competition, audition or casting I went for did help me grow along the way. So, I would not say it was a complete failure. Because I did get to experience and learn a lot and that according to me is my prize. I may not have won during those first few attempts I made, but those experiences have helped me get to where I am today. It didn’t just add to my modeling profession but also helped me as a person. It added a lot to my personality. And since then I have just focussed on learning.”
Explaining how she convinced her parents, Aashna told that it is very important to make parents aware of how things work in the industry and educate them about it.
“The only thing with parents is that they do not know enough. So that is the reason they are apprehensive. But if you give them some time and share your experience they evetually come around. Over time they will understand that she is doing well, there are shoots and shows, they pay well and everything is good. Eventually they get convinced, they understand.
Aashna’s main objective to get into the field of fashion was to observe and learn. She tries to imply the experiences she has had in the industry till now and the things which she has learned in her daily life. The industry had made her disciplined and more hard-working than before.
“I was excited to meet people. Excited to observe how things go. I think I didn’t quite have a far shot goal back then.”
Aashna has been passionately pursuing her modeling career. She feels if a person has an interest in love for different things then they should pursue it no matter what. Often people recommend focusing on just one thing. But according to her, one should pursue everything.
As mentioned above Aashna started her career with a beauty pageant. She is the winner of Femina Miss India Goa 2018 and Femina Style Diva South in 2017. Her experience from these pageants has made her a confident person. When asked about the most memorable moment of her from both these pageants, she shares an incident from Style Diva,
“It was the final round, all the contestants were supposed to do a final walk. I was wearing a nice long gown. During my walk, I had these really big dangling earings. They were heavy and quite difficult to manage. But it was what was given to me and I had to carry them. Right when I was hitting the ramp, the earrings were so heavy that one of them broke. Because I was walking in a fast pace and momentum, the earnings flew off and went straight to the judges table. Normally, I would have been super startled, I would have stopped there in the middle. But I did not, I kept my smile on and went on to walk without budging.
I also remember my mentor Alesia Raut always said that ‘Don’t react to things, always respond’, what she meant was that whenever in your life or on stage, you have to have your composure and understand what has happened, process it and respond to the situation. Rather than reacting to any such incident in haste, just take a deep breathe and respond to it well. At that moment I did the same. My smile did not budge and I kept on walking. And that’s probably what made me win that time.”
Aashna told that industry works in such a way that a person might be in a place of self-doubt. Though a person should always keep trying for better and to improve at every point in life.
“When you go for casting there are many people competing, or even if you go for a pageant there are 30 other contestants competing for the same title. So when you are being chosen for a show you know you are being compared to someone at all points in time. At times when you are rejected, it may go to your head in the wrong way. Like you may take it personally, even though it is not. It is not like you are not good enough.
Of course, there is always room for improvement, you can always work on yourself. Sometimes you do lack confidence. It is not possible that 24*7 you feel confident and good. That is very unrealistic. At times you need to tell yourself ‘you have got this’ or just pretend for that matter, things aren’t always going to be great but you have to keep faith and tell yourself that it’s all good”
When asked Aashna about her dream shoot with well-known designers or photographers she would like to work with, she said that she does not have a proper setup in her mind yet. Being a responsible person, she wants to work with sustainable fashion brands. Also, the brands who convey the message of ‘shop smart’. She feels that there is a need for such change in the industry. Talking about the few brands, Aashna says,
“Now, brands are waking up to this fact that each individual is different, their body type, their features. They all deserve attention. They all deserve recognition. And also, we need to be mindful about what we’re doing to our planet. So few sustainable and conscious brands that are Indian, Lea clothing, they are sustainable along with being body positive. Their models all look different, plus size models, petite models, So everyone feels represented with brands like these. There is Urth Label as well. I personally like them.”
Aashna wants the fashion industry to be more conscious. She believes everyone should feel accepted. Also, she does not want anybody to feel underconfident because of fashion. If fashion makes someone feel inferior then that is not fashion. Fashion is something that can make people feel empowered. Being an environmentalist, she would love to make people aware of what is happening.
“Now-a-days people have started saying “Vocal for Local”. Why does that happen? Because that means there is less transport, less pollution. Also, who ever has actually made your clothes get the value. I hope along with the industry the consumers also become conscious and mindful. I feel like to bring change, it is not always important to do something big. Sometimes even a small conversation helps. I started speaking about all this on my own social media. I have tried to identify brands that are sustainable and talk about why they are sustainable and conscious. So, I feel like you could just talk to 5 people around you and make them aware.”
In the end, her plans for 2022 are to grab more opportunities and wants to travel. Aashna being a beach person wants to travel to an island. She feels that everybody is different and the main reason a person feels conflicted or cheated is because of a perspective.
“If someone asks me, why you are unhappy we say, ‘No I am not doing good enough’ but who has defined that good enough? That good enough is very subjective. The thing which is good for you might not be for me. Everybody is different, everyone’s point of view is different. If you will understand this the things would feel easy. The world has a lot of different perspective, so just take your own perspective and go ahead.”