SSSPROFILE @khushirathee

From 'hating being photographed as a kid' to not being able to drive around the country's top cities without seeing her face across billboards in the new Levi's campaign, Khushi has come a long way. We spend the day with the 23 year old fitness and fashion enthusiast who defines her personal style as 'chaotic with intention'. There’s a lot to like about our October muse, read on...

How did you start your modelling career? 
“At 18, I was studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I used to frequently model for my flatmate who’s a photographer. I began to really fall in love with the performative aspect of modelling through working with her. I was also approached by strangers at parties to feature in shoots for their designs and that helped build my confidence to really be a part of this environment. I could sort of see myself modelling professionally but kept it under the guise of “on the side” of studies, because its almost a resistance to believe in yourself to be successful in any profession where you’re high in visibility. So I kept it on the DL, until I was pushed by my childhood friend’s dad to send in my polaroids to agencies in India and then I did. Now this is all I do and I love to do it.”

How has the year been for you and what was the highlight of 2023?
“We’re more than halfway in, and it’s just the past few months that I have started modelling full-time. I am grateful to be growing in the direction I have worked towards being in. My images from a Levi’s campaign are on billboards in major cities in India which has been extremely surreal and quite a big career milestone.”

Most memorable modelling gig…
“I recently shot a Pero campaign, I can’t get into any details but, the cast was big and all female and we were mostly shooting together which required us to have on-screen chemistry. It’s rare to bond with every person in a large group especially while working and I was lucky enough to have experienced it. We quickly formed inside jokes and our off screen relationship made the on-screen really flow easy.”

Who is your favourite model, someone who inspries you? 

“Anok Yai, I deeply admire how patiently and hard she has worked to be where she is at today. I have not seen one show where her walk seems anything less than powerful perfection. There’s so much character to the way she walks on the ramp, it’s truly inspiring. I also love the control she has over her expressions. She seems to have a genuinely warm and positive heart.”

Your current favourite brand?
“Dilara Findikoglu at the moment. Google them and you’ll know- no one’s doing it like them. I think they are heavily inspired by JPG and I’ve been a Gaultier fan since forever.”

Least favourite trend right now? 

“Anything and everything that is done for the sole purpose of ‘hype’.”

One brand that dominates your wardrobe right now? 


Favourite Indian streetwear brands? 

“Rkive city, ikoho, NorBlacknorWhite – The brand identity they have created are so unique, and I truly believe that god is in the details, which I believe resonates through everything they put out.”

Your favourite artists growing up and how they influenced
your current style? “Growing up I was listening to a lot of rock, punk, and pop. I was obsessed with Fall Out Boy, Avril Lavigne, Panic! at the Disco, Cage The Elephant, Radiohead, MCR. I think their influence has lasted more in how I learnt to navigate life than in my style now. But I wear a lot of black since I was 14 which probably has a bit to do with them.”

One person whose wardrobe would you want to dig into, if you could? 

“Fka Twigs”.

Tell us about your fitness journey, as we can see you are very fit, who is your inspiration and how do you stay inspired?
“I would have to say my parents, particularly my father. Ever since I was 6 I was pushed by my dad to join the soccer league, then the basketball team, and to be disciplined enough to make me worthy of the sport I play – which involved regular practice and a healthy diet. My dad is 52 years old now, and he works out daily at the gym and plays football tournaments over the weekends. I grew up seeing an active lifestyle as a part of our routine, and its quite great that I have a support system which not only pushed me to keep striving to reach my potential but also quite literally are doing it for themselves too.”

Which genre of pop culture has affected your style the most? 

“A lot of my style is affected by people I interact with and art I keep up with. I can’t pinpoint any specific genre but I do love wabisabi-ing my fits.”

How does fitness and your career go hand in hand?
“My work hours are usually very long and demanding, if my body isn’t healthy and strong enough to power through full days of being on my feet I won’t be able to perform my best in front of the camera. Especially during fashion weeks, there’s no time to rest at all and it’s important that my body does not fatigue easy so my walk is conscious and my expressions are well in my control.”

Top three personal fitness tips you can share with our readers?
“I can only share what has worked for me, because I have gone months of not doing anything active too and it’s the hardest to restart.
1. Hold yourself responsible for the promises you make to yourself. Build trust with yourself!!!!
2. Intermittent fasting never worked for me, have smaller meals throughout the day rather than a huge lunch and dinner.
3. Combining yoga and strength training has helped a lot.

Dream team to shoot with… 

“Bharat Sikka, Nidhi Jacob, Nadia Lee Cohen, Carlijn Jacobs, Danielle Emerson, Youssef Marquis and Kshitij Kankaria.”

What are you looking forward to in 2024
“I hope to find and create a lot more connections with people I admire. I would love to keep travelling a lot more for work and be part of campaigns that are meaningful.”


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