A career in modelling is often short; these women have taken it further and found success even after their modelling careers came to an end.
A career in modelling is often considered suitable mainly for young people, even if exceptions exist! Fashion models, especially female models, are known to have a short shelf life, a short window to claim that bit of fame and achieve their dreams. But is there a life after a career in modeling? Meet these Indian female models, who after leaving a mark in the Indian fashion industry, have managed to carve their own niche in another career that they are passionate about.
Salome Roy Kapoor was the beautiful face behind Apsara Sarees, way back in the seventies. She won the Miss India title in 1972, and modeled for a few years thereafter. Post her career in modelling, Salome stepped into her dancing shoes, to pursue her passion. An accomplished ballroom dancer, Salome went on to make her career as a dancer and film choreographer in Bollywood. She has choreographed dances for some of the biggest films in the seventies. Apart from the choreography she did, Salome also taught dance for over thirty years at the GD Somani Memorial School in Mumbai, and runs a Western Dance Academy where she has trained many known Bollywood actors.
She brought home the title of Miss Asia Pacific in 1976, and is considered one of the most beautiful women of her times. Anna Bredmeyer was one of India’s finest supermodels having campaigned for Sunsilk, Ponds, Tivara Shampoo, Nivea, Nescafe, Vimal and Rexona, to name a few. After stepping down from the ramp in 1996, Anna became the first model to become the ambassador of Beautiful Boulevard – the first Indian store to get luxury brands into the country. She also became its consultant for brand development and the retail brand partner for Kohinoor Group’s Kohinoor Square. Expanding her horizons, she joined hands with model Svetlana Casper to open the Anna B Grooming Academy. The academy imparts training to young wannabe models on grooming, etiquettes, communication and presentation.
Lubna Adams was one of the finest Indian female models of the eighties and nineties. Today, she is a top-notch fashion choreographer, event director and producer. She has worked as the Creative Director for Zee Trendz, Zee Muzic and ETC, contributing significantly to the revamping of the channels. She has directed events such as the Lakme India Fashion Week, Couture Week 2008, IIFA Dubai 2006, IIFA Bangkok 2008, Miss World Fashion Show Seychelles 1996 & 1997, Ingeo Launch, Cargill Dow, New York 2003, to name a few. As a model, Lubna’s glamorous looks made her the face of top brands such as Vimal, Kodak and Orkay.
A trendsetter of sorts in the nineties, Gurmit Kaur was the face of many prestigious international brands, such as Versace, Lagerfeld and Lacorix. Born in Singapore, she has travelled the world, having walked the ramp in New York, Paris, Brussels and Toronto. She was blessed with a slender frame and a classical Indian face. Today Gurmit is an accomplished jewelry designer and artist. Her jewelry is sold under her brand name, Gurmit. Her creations include contemporary pieces, as well as those with a traditional touch.
Pressy Nathan was only 17 when she won the Miss Bangalore title. Her career in modelling took off after that. She has worked and walked the ramp for some of the biggest names in the industry- Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra, Manish Arora, Vikram Phadnis, Tarun Tahiliani, and Malini Ramani, to name a few. The popular brands she has been the face of are De Beers, YSL and Valentino. Post her modeling career, Pressy went on to study and collect contemporary art. She explored photography as a career option, and today, she is the finest in her area of photography. Pressy clicks fashion, lifestyle, portraits, and food. She is based out of Manhattan. The subjects in her photographs often portray, intimate moments and are filled with emotions.
She is one of the most popular (and controversial!) columnists of today, but way back in the seventies, Shobhaa De was an model, having worked for prestigious brands such as Khatau sarees, Taj Tea, Ponds and Bombay Dyeing. After almost six years of a career in modelling, Shobha began her career in journalism and became editor of three popular magazines – Stardust, Society and Celebrity. Her popularity as a columnist rose with her columns that were featured in the Sunday magazine section of The Times of India, where she explored socialite life of the celebrities. Today, Shobha De writes several columns for leading dailies and has a number of published books to her credit. She has also written several popular long running soaps on television.
Nandini Sen was the Supermodel of the eighties. She ruled the ramp in her time, and endorsed popular brands such as Lakme and Cherry Blossom. After quitting a successful career in modelling, Nandini Sen began her role as a soul coach, transformational therapist and past life ‘regressionist’. She conducts courses in spiritual healing and meditation that is based on the principles of Tibetan Buddhism and Advaita. Calling the modules ‘Nandini Sen Way’, her program consists of a number of workshops on meditation, chakra balancing, and guides people to improve their professional and personal life, through spiritual growth.
Veena Sajnani, a female model in the 70s was known for her Miss India Title, in 1970. She modeled for a few years thereafter, to subsequently move to acting in television serials. However after she moved to Bangalore post her modeling career, she found her true calling in theatre. Along with her brother she started a venture Theatre Arts, which produces and directs plays, out of Bangalore.
Veena today acts in various plays, and is an intrinsic part of the Bangalore Theatre scene. Plays she has been part of are One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, directed by Arundhati Raja and, A Man For all Seasons.
The glamorous face of the seventies, Esther Daswani was a popular Indian female model. She entered the world of modeling at the age of 21, first appearing on the cover of a popular women’s magazine, in 1967. Esther modeled for popular brands such as Pears soap and Charmis Cream and, also walked the ramps for brands in India as well as abroad. She soon quit modeling post tying the knot. Along with Rama Bans- the fashion and Bollywood fitness counselor, Esther established herself as a fitness trainer. She pursued this career actively for fifteen years, when tragedy struck in the form of cervical cancer. Esther fought the disease emerging as a survivor. Today, she works towards counseling cancer patients. She also is a champion of the Marathon of Hope (the Indian-Mumbai chapter), an international fund-raising run for cancer patients.
These talented women have certainly not given up on a career after modelling and reinvented themselves in ways that make business sense as well.
Join the Women’s Web Network for women at work by filling in the form below. You will receive a monthly newsletter from us with great resources, plus we’ll keep you posted on all Women’s Web events in your city!