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What would typically be an uphill battle in a saturated industry is compounded for male models. Unless you're exceptional. Shahnawaz Alam stepped in with a print shoot co-starring none other than Priyanka Chopra and that launched him into the next level of his career right there. Having admired his presence on the ramp, positive attitude, sheer hard work and perseverance, I buzzed the supermodel who is walking for Mehraab at Rajasthan Style Fest.


"I began modelling during college in Kolkata where I was raised. At that time it was just fun! I never thought I would one day be a professional model!! I moved to Mumbai when I was recruited in Jet Airways as a flight personnel and that's how it all started… I could have continued as a flight purser but I got bored as my routine became monotonous… I've always wanted to do something related to the fashion industry because I love Fashion and admired Arjun Rampal and Milind Soman! So I began pursuing modelling seriously and my first print campaign assignment was Nikon with Priyanka Chopra — it was inspirational because during the first shoot of my life I was working with a celebrity and that was a major morale booster!!


Reflecting on my experience, to be a good model one needs to have a combination of good looks, great body and, most important, a positive attitude! It's your attitude that takes you places and I think my attitude has been my greatest asset. Creativity is the key to success; you should always be creative in order to be irreplaceable. You should be open to new ideas and experiment with your looks, read fashion magazines to be briefed about the latest trends of the season and follow it. Of course, since I began modelling I have met many people who are fashion conscious and have learnt a lot from them; dressing well is an art… it is a virtue… it gives you confidence… and, as they say, if you can't compete with your contemporaries dress better than them! People speak of rivalry but I wouldn't say that there is rivalry; yes I do agree that there is a very healthy competition and that's what keeps you going; in fact you should compete with your contemporaries but never feel jealous of them or feel that you are superior or inferior in any way because once you start feeling that, it brings in negativity and that could hamper your career.


So I'd like to advise new models to stay positive, believe that you're the best and keep giving your best; no matter how hard it is, never give up. Tie up with a modelling agency because the agency will then push you to work; you don't have to go out and look for work! Plus if you're with an agency they get you good remuneration!"


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