April 5, 2016,
On the back of our first ever involvement in an Asian fashion show in London last month, what better way to celebrate this success than profiling our very talented model who has been making big waves in the Asian fashion scene here.
Shivani, born in Uxbridge, not only exudes confidence on the runway and in front of the lens, but came across as very self-aware. On breaking into the Asian fashion industry in the UK, Shivani, who is half-Indian, is upfront with the possible reasons for her early success. “I had all the desired look for the Asian fashion industry, with my fair skin and long brown hair, which helped me become pretty well known quite quickly,” she said.
Managing bookings around her university timetable came easy for Shivani, while she saw modelling as a sort of creative release from her studies. After all, modelling is in her blood, with her mother playing an integral role in her decision to apply to join our agency just three years ago.
“My mom was a model for a while and did a few shoots,” Shivani recalled. “So when I was young, I did come across her portfolio, but never really thought about it”. This all changed when Model Students came to Aston University, where she was studying at the time. Shivani responded to an email and duly sent in her application. The rest was, as the cliché goes, Asian fashion history.
Shivani’s friends and family were very excited for her at the beginning of her modelling career, but none more so than her mother, who she cites as her main inspiration when it comes to modelling. “My mom didn’t pursue modelling as much as she would have liked, so she was very proud for me, as I could do the things she didn’t managed to do for herself in the past.”
As a British Asian model, Shivani has done so much amazing work in the Asian fashion industry in her short modelling career so far. Her career highlights have been walking at The National Asian Wedding Show and Asiana Bridal Show, just to name a few, with her securing of repeated bookings for these shows testament to her natural talent.
Shivani compared Asian fashion jobs with the few Western shows she had done before. “It’s quite hectic and a little crazy backstage of an Asian fashion show, while Western shows are slightly more organised,” she recalled. “I was initially taken aback by the amount of people backstage, such as make-up artists and designers, and the many different things going on. But I’m very used to it now!”
On the difference between Asian and ‘mainstream’ fashion, Shivani mentioned, “Mainstream fashion is more minimal, while Asian designs seem more glamorous. The looks that Asian designers do, with the makeup very dramatic and more bold, as compared to Western designs, which are much more minimalist, clean look and simple.”
This could probably be due to culture, with Indian designers likely to be inspired by the way people dress back home in India, which are usually very big and colourful.
Shivani also compares her experience working with Asian designers and those in ‘mainstream’ fashion. “I find that mainstream designers are faster, with everything more organised, as they have a clear image of what they want, and so they are really quick with their shoots,” she said. “Asian designers are slightly more vague on what they want to achieve, and sometimes do make it up along the way, or use their instincts more often.”
With the amount of success Shivani has enjoyed during her modelling career so far, her advice would undoubtedly be invaluable for aspiring models, particularly those with similar Asian heritage. “Be patient, because right now there are a lot of Asian models, especially in London,” she said. “If modelling is something you really want to do, keep going at it at the beginning to build up your portfolio.”
And the best advice she’s ever received? “Be selective with the shoots you do and who you work with,” she recalled. “Doing lesser, but higher quality, shoots would be better for your own personal brand.”
Currently based in Birmingham, Shivani intends to keep modelling a big part of her life. “I’ve been modelling full-time ever since I graduated last year,” she said. “I will always continue to do modelling, and hopefully I can do it alongside my own business venture in the future.”
On what type of business she would like to run, Shivani mentions, “Probably something to do with styling or fashion, definitely within the fashion modelling industry!”
Whatever Shivani decides to do, we are certain she’ll enjoy the same level of success she has had in her brief modelling career to date!