Being showstopper is models” birthright: Ujjwala Raut

Indian fashion designers often opt for a Bollywood celebrity as a showstopper. But Indian supermodel Ujjwala Raut, who has walked the runway for international luxury brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana, says it is the birthright of models.

The supermodel, who walked as a showstopper for designer Monisha Jaising’s show at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week winter-festive 2015 here, says she is “very proud and honoured to be the showstopper because right now there are many choices in the market in India”.

“Though we would love Hollywood or Bollywood (celebrities as showstoppers), it’s like the models’ birthright,” she added.

Ujjwala has appeared on the cover of fashion magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire and was once the face of the French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent. She has also walked the ramp during Milan, Paris and New York fashion weeks.

How does it feel to be a regular on the Indian runway?

The model, who has a daughter, says “its’s great feeling”.

“It’s great to see that they still remember me even though I am in and out and I have been busy being a mother too. So, it’s amazing to be back. But it’s a great honour to see that finally fashion is coming back to models slowly,” Ujjwala, whose younger sister Sonali is an actress, said.

She shared that she has “lots of friends in Bollywood”.

“We did modelling together. It’s just that I moved internationally and they joined Bollywood. I have nothing against it, but I feel that the designers should think that it’s the models and not the actresses who are going to look fabulous in my outfit. It’s always encouraging that I worked with those designers who think like I think,” she added.

She also believes Bollywood is one of the reasons why Indian fashion industry has not produced supermodels after the likes of Madhu Sapre and Milind Soman.

“If there is a demand, there is a supply. It’s just that Bollywood is something that everybody wants to do after modelling. If you don’t really go international or if you don’t have something to fall back besides modelling, the next step has to be Bollywood,” she said.

The model shot to fame when she won a title at the Miss India beauty pageant in 1996 when she was just 17. She was pushed by her elder sister to join the glamorous field and after that, there was no looking back.

Asked her if she is ready to nurture aspiring models in India, she said that she is looking at offers.

“I am in talks for something which brought my attention last week. There is a lot of room here for grooming of girls. I was fortunate enough to learn from the best in the business. In India and internationally, grooming is great for everyone but yes in modelling, you need to give a lot of patience because there is a lot of working and waiting.

“You constantly see people touching you all the time so when I go home, I tell my daughter that you can’t play with my hair.”

“There is a lot of room in India for girls to look western. Nowadays, I can see a lot of American TV shows here and in New York, I can see a lot of people taking Indian lifestyle. So, there is huge change happening,” added the model, who loves doing yoga and eating right to stay healthy.”

She is happy to have the “best of both”.

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