The sensuous gaze, the petite silhouette and the luscious locks is what makes Arshiya Parmar a stunner. A self confessed “dork”, Arshiya spent her formative years in Delhi and subsequently moved to Australia and the United States. The dusky model “went to school at UC Santa Barabara as a History Major and aspired to move on to law school” but destiny had other plans for her. Facing adversity at 15, the former high school cross-country runner was in a car accident and lost feeling in her legs and had a year's worth of physical therapy to walk properly again. This never-say-die attitude served her well as she entered the tough world of glamour.
Her “big break came when she was selected for a shoot at Alexandria Hotel with couturier Maggie Berry, which was shot by renowned fashion photographer Ash Gupta.” At 16, she won 'Miss Photogenic' in an LA-based pageant and was the youngest winner in the history of the pageant. Soon she was one of the few amongst established LA models from agencies such as Click and Next. Arshiya soon diversified to anchoring and did interviews for the show "Pulse the desi beat" where some of the interviewees included Kal Penn, Janina Guarivankar, Koena Mitra, Rupak Ginn and her favorite Kiran Bedi! She was cast as Sarah in NRI Web Series ‘Desi OC’ and was featured in the first season of NBC Show ‘Outsourced’ and also appeared in a music video with Justin Bieber and Sean Kingston for the song ‘eenie meenie’. Whilst in LA she worked with Indian and American designers. Arshiya’s star rose higher when she shot for photographer Chris Anthony as an Indian princess for his art exhibit 'I'm the most normal person I know' which was a hit in LA (his prints sold for over three thousand dollars), appeared in ‘Bunker Hill’ magazine and was the face of September in ‘Agenda’ magazine. In India, she did an eight-page editorial in Maxim, participated in Kingfisher Calendar Girl Hunt and shot for Mirch Calendar 2012.
Though her personal style is “a blend of rocker chic and bohemian glamour”, Arshiya effortlessly slips into any avatar and hopes to someday work with Burberry and Betsy Johnson who are her “favorite International designers.” She believes this is an exciting time for models in India as there is an influx of International models and the standards are being set higher. In the future, she hopes to grace the silver screen as she has “worked extensively in acting and improvisation in LA and is looking forward to applying that to Bollywood.” We wish her luck as she looks forward to the day she will see her name in the same lights as her “favorite actress Vidya Balan.”
— FARAH PALIA FOR EXPLOSIVE FASHION
Photographs — ARSHIYA PARMAR