Ashwin Kumar, a fashion model who feels being real is key towards success. He has been in the fashion industry for almost 6 years now. While studying he developed an interest in modeling and started participating in fashion shows held in the college. After winning several fashion shows, he started doing freelance modeling along with his job. Talking more about his initial modeling career, Ashwin says,
“In my college, there were cultural days where fashion show used to happened so, I participated in those. Once there were designers and directors who came as guests and they asked me why don’t I start modeling. So I made a portfolio with the help of my friends and started spreading it. Someone from Reliance Trend called me asking that we need an urgent model. I just went there, it was like some rupees 3500 for the show. After that show, I started getting references.”
Apart from modeling, Ashwin has wanted to be a pilot since his school days. But after getting into modeling, he started working in a corporate job and is currently working there. He does modeling just to pursue his hobby and whenever he is free. When asked what is beneficial for an aspiring model, freelancing or joining an agency, Ashwin replied,
“If you have the confidence, personality and can also motivate others, he can join the agency. But only if he gets a good response from different agencies. One should not run behind different agencies. If you have the personality, agencies will automatically come behind you. you need to have any backup with you when you are struggling. Either work in a corporate job or start your own startup. There are multiple options, you can earn from different sources.”
Ashwin spilled the beans says there are no equal opportunities for both men and women in the industry. Explaining, he said that females get work every day as there are many options for them. Although with male models they have limited opportunities.
“There is a huge competition, as everyone coming to Mumbai wants to be an actor. So modeling is not a full-time career for boys. Work is very less and competetion is too high.”
Ashwin does not care about people who criticize him as he is very focused on what he does. Ashwin told that he used to handle criticism in the calmest manner. Though slowly and gradually things changed and people started respecting him more. When asked about facing rejections, Ashwin said that it is very likely to get rejected when going for auditions as there are 100s of people waiting.
“Initially, we are very confident that we will go and they will select us. But when we reach, there are already 500 people standing in the queue already to get selected. And we do not audition properly. The casting people shout at you and you tend to lose your confidence then and there. If we do not get selected in one audition then we should move to another. That is how it works.”
The biggest challenge Ashwin faced was finding work without any guidance. Adding further he says,
I never contacted any agency so I was totally dependent on the auditions. I went for the auditions and whosoever selected me, I just did the shows. And If I did not qualify then I did not think about it much. The model for any shoots is pre-selected from the agency side. In every show, these models get work in every show and we use to get 3-4 shows in a month.
When asked about the toughest part of being a fashion model Ashwin says being real at all times is very important. The person has to work on their personality and be the same throughout. One should not change their personality according to the occasion.
On asking about the celebrity he wants to work with in the future, Ashwin with confidence mentioned that he does not want to work with any specific designer. Rather he just wants to go on stage and walk.
“I do not care about the dress and who created it. I just focus on walking and wearing. That is the way you can survive in the industry. If you say that he is a big designer and I want to work with them and I will only work for them. Then you will go behind them daily. But you don’t realize that there are several other people waiting. Instead, you should realize that there are multiple big designers in India in all the states. You can contact them as they don’t get good models. So be open to work.”
The impact of modeling on Ashwin is that he has become more confident and has evolved as an individual over these years.
“Modeling has helped me a lot in my personal growth and grooming my own personality. Personality not helps in modeling but also helps in your overall career. You can carry that everywhere, whether it is your job, your work, even if your hanging out with friends it helps you”
Pouring his love towards his father, Ashwin told that his father is the biggest influence in his life. As his father is in defense, so he has learned a lot of discipline and work ethics which has helped him a lot in his career. In the end, his precious advice to all the aspiring models would be to be real and develop a habit of grasping things.
“If you will be real all the time, you are automatically a model. You don’t have to show that I am a model. Do not switch your personalities from time to time. Also, work is there but just be at the right time and place. Do not stress about rejections, these things will be there but you have to keep looking for your aces.”