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Boys To Men

In the serpentine queue of aspiring models awaiting their turn at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week model auditions at the Intercontinental Eros last week, it was surprising to see virtually no male aspirants.

Written by RICHA BHATIA |
February 25, 2009 10:59:46 pm

Talk does a tete-a-tete with two rookie male models set to walk the ramp for the Delhi Fashion Week

In the serpentine queue of aspiring models awaiting their turn at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) model auditions at the Intercontinental Eros last week, it was surprising to see virtually no male aspirants. But in this recession-weary fashion universe,one of the casualties has been male models. However,the two models who have scraped through the cut are Delhi boys Rahul Choudhary and the brawny,broad-shouldered Lalit Tehlan,designer Rohit Bal’s find last season. Both will be part of the Delhi Fashion Week (DFW) this year.

For the upcoming DFW,Tehlan will muster about Rs 18,000 per show,somewhat more than the Rs 10-12,000 that an average male model brings in. But the modeling world’s latest IT-boy did not start his training in a flashy modeling agency. This brawny boxer was sweating it out in the inter-state boxing rounds when he was spotted by Rohit Bal aka Gudda last year,and concedes rather candidly that he lacks a fashion bone in his 6 plus frame. “I was pursuing a diploma in global aviation and hospitality when I was spotted by Gudda. Being from a Jat family and that too a boxer family (his cousin Jitender Singh is an Arjuna awardee for boxing) my family wasn’t willing to let me enter the industry,” says Tehlan. However,Bal persisted and Tehlan walked the ramp for the WLIFW Spring / Summer 2008 edition.

What followed was a series of shows for top-rung designers Manoviraj Khosla,Rohit Gandhi,Varun Bahl and Priyadarshini Rao for WLIFW Spring / Summer 2008. And invariably,he wound up as the official model for Bal’s DFW Spring season.

With three seasons under his fashion belt,Tehlan is reasonably seasoned. However,he rues the fact that there is virtually no work in the industry for male models once the fashion weeks are over. “Everyone is free in off-season. During my free time,I help my parents in business. Also,I help in the running of the two boxing clubs in Shahpur Jat where my nephew is the coach,” says Tehlan.

Meanwhile,23-year-old Choudhary,who has clocked three fashion weeks in his three years in the industry has come a long way. He walked for designers Rajvi Mohan,Varun Sardana and Rohit Bal for DFW last year. This year Choudhary was selected as the Fresh Face of Fashion at the DFW auditions. “With menswear becoming more important the future isn’t all that bleak,” says Chaudhary. Then there’s the Men’s Fashion Week in July organised by FDCI,to look forward to.

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