There are new models, and then there are new models who seem like they’ve been doing it forever. With only a handful of newcomers who have the right attitude and versatility it takes to become next-generation stars, Madhulika Sharma is one of the latter
Model: Madhulika Sharma (Toabh Talents) Photographer: Suvrat Tandon Hair and make up: Iram Kazmi
Tell us a bit about your childhood I grew up watching grainy television, reading books and pursuing hobbies offline.
How were you scouted My friend and I decided to kill some time and click portraits for our Instagram account. I was approached by some agencies from different countries and that’s when I thought there was no harm in trying a new activity. I booked a one way ticket to Mumbai and was signed by Toabh Talents in my first meeting!
How long have you been modelling Five months.
Where can we find you on Instagram @ madhulika1997
What was your first modelling gig and how was it A week after I had signed by contract, I modelled for Anju Modi’s couture collection.
Any advice for the 15 year old you STOP TRYING TO FIT IN!
Anything cliché you have heard about the industry that is not true That we’re all druggies.
Anything cliché you have heard about models that is not true We’re only meal-eaters and we never snack.
Your first major gig and how was it A couple of weeks into modelling, I was assigned to model for the festive collection of FabIndia. It has to be my first major gig since the advertising was huge and I couldn’t believe my face was on papers, hoardings, banners and even bus-stops!
We see you are related to Dipannita Sharma She is my Aunt. She is very inspiring, she told me to never lose my focus and pursue everything with diligence.
A phrase you live by Change is the only constant.
Fashion inspiration Amanda Steele and Chriselle Lim
What is your personal style It’s a blend of grandma chic and a grungier model-off-duty style.
Three instagram pages we should follow for fashion/style inspiration @sincerelyjules, @amandasteele, @wendyslookbook and @chrisellelim.
What are your chances of modelling in the Europe and America My agency folks, are you listening?
Now that you are in the industry and are represented by a great agency, what advice would you give an aspiring model? What are the first 3 steps they should take First, do some research on the type of modelling you’re meant for. Be it print, runway, TV commercials. Second, get basic Polaroids clicked. Third, send them in to agencies. Go meet the people at the agency. You won’t really find a model scout casually hanging around in your local Sunburn or a mall, at least not in India.
Model, especially when they are new, go through that phase where a client rejects them for a certain reason/a certain shoot. What was yours and how does one deal with it I have to go meet my booker and get the list of rejections. Thanks for reminding me!
What do you eat on your cheat day The holy C trinity – cakes, cookies, and chocolates!
What do you have as a new/fresh face that other don’t I have been told I have a very versatile face. I like to think that’s a good, differentiating asset.
How do you spend your free time Read, bake and play the piano!
How important is it for models to have a good sense of style I feel it’s always the personality that overshadows appearance. However if a certain style statement makes you even more confident, flaunt it!
A brand you would love to represent I would love to be the face of Karl by Karl Lagerfeld. He has pioneered the individualistic movement fashion has evolved into.
Your dream job Victoria’s Secret, baby!
Since you mentioned your agency, what is the best advice they have given you “Have a strong sense of work ethics”. But my favourite piece of advice is this one by Yolanda Foster to her daughter and supermodel Gigi Hadid “When you start working, you better be the most hardworking, nicest person in the room because if you’re not, then there’s always going to be someone prettier, nicer, and more hardworking.”
Struggles of being a new model The mental replay of how you’ll say ‘hi’ to the casting director and hopefully never exhaust your poses for a photographer.
What is that one part of your body you are least comfortable with. How do you deal with it and make it work I have a slight DNS problem in my nose but there’s always a good bronzer to make it more chiseled. More often than not, I’ve actually embraced it as my USP.
What are the pros and cons of your profession The major pro has to be getting to travel to new places and the biggest con has to be the early morning call time! Everyone’s grumpy on site.
Favourite Indian model and why Lakshmi Menon because she’s so self-empowered, radiant and smart.
What kind of work would you say no to even if it means getting paid Endorsing a product I can’t associate myself with.
Favourite international model Karlie Kloss. She’s such a ‘klossy’ geek!
Something you are tired of hearing Do you get to keep the clothes?
What would you like to accomplish in 2017 Try my luck in the international market.
Things you do everyday in order to become a better model Run, jog, walk. Agility is key.
What are some of the most annoying questions models often get asked Can modelling be a full-time profession?
What is your best feature and how does it work for you My cheekbones and long, flexible neck.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years I’ll get back to you after I graduate.
Fashion editorial or walking the ramp Both. Editorial because they build a strong portfolio and because you get to obsess over it later. Ramp because of the fifteen minute adrenaline rush.
Any last thing that we did not ask but you would like to mention I’m very chatty. I could go on and on. 🙂