Insanely Handsome. Intelligent. As one of the nations's in-demand male models, Dushyant Singh Raghuvanshi's star is ascending. A heartwarming conversation with the Saharanpur-bred, Delhi-based model who completed his formal education, worked in IT and safeguarded his future — before carving a niche in Fashion. The young man approaches his career with a dedication that's inspiring, racking up stellar shows and campaigns. And why not? He lives and breathes Fashion with rakish hair, piercing eyes and an effortless elegance in the way he moves and dresses be it a trench or tousled jeans.
''I was born in Saharanpur,'' he tells me. ''Having completed my schooling there and graduation from Kurukshetra University, I moved to Gurgaon and began working in the IT sector. But a 9-5 desk job was not my calling. I was doing it but with no real interest. I had always been attracted to art and creativity. I watched Fashion TV. I was interested in seeing what a model should look like, the work of a fashion photographer, designers in the atelier… I think that formed my interest in fashion and art. And I mustered up the courage to follow the dream, influenced by my mother who always advised me to follow my passion, reasoning I could get a job later in life but today I was young and good looking so why not give modeling a try? That's how I participated in the auditions for India Fashion Week where Ashish Soni spotted me and gave me his show. There's been no looking back since. Gratitude to Pujan Kapoor too for trusting me all these years'' he smiles and then adds, ''One of my most memorable campaigns is Cinthol. Since, everyone began recognising me and I got a foothold. Later, I worked on myself, continually experimenting with looks. Today I'm more focused and poised for future endeavours. My biggest success is that I see things in a different light. I don't subscribe to a narrow mindset.''
His self confidence and straightforwardness is admirable. ''I was always the smart, handsome kid in school, the one who got attention and benefits thanks to my parents' genes! Today, I believe in individuality and my personal style has evolved with time. I'm inspired by Hollywood films since childhood, particularly the style of Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp. Speaking of individuality, it''s not just about looks, but what we offer. Each person is different from the other so instead of copying someone, why not focus on enhancing your own personality? I believe in continually learning and presenting a better version of me. I also prepare myself for all possible outcomes at work because a healthy mindset leads to success. And I don't believe in competition as it makes you egoistic; my competition is me. That's why I work make myself better. People often ask about my fitness regime and diet but I feel positivity is most important. A mental workout is more significant than the physical. To keep my body fit I workout thrice a week. Running is my favourite sport. And adding fibre and protein in my diet makes me look good!!''
Today, he is a familiar presence on top tier runways and in fashion magazines. I believe he’ll have an illustrious career. It would reward his talent, which he has in spades. ''From experience, I feel the key to success is quality over quantity; don't take on many projects and lose a sense of exclusivity. If you work with the best, you’ll learn something new instead of working with people who are always doing the same things. I think good artists will agree with me. So, what it boils down to: do what you like, with an eye to progressing in your chosen path and learning new things.'' Dushyant has made a conscious decision to celebrate his looks. ''It was a year since I had been modelling and for an assignment I was told to go for a clean shaven look… but I didn't. THIS is my look. I focus where I can fit in with the beard! One needs to understand that one cannot work everywhere.''
Then, he gets serious. There are some things that have disillusioned the young man. ''I think people are becoming greedy instead of focusing on being creative. There is always someone who will slash his rate to bag a show. Or agents who will trim your budget. They don't understand models should be paid well for their work. Lack of professionalism is lowering the image of our industry. And what of models who work free and downgrade the entire industry?! Moreover, a lot of people need to understand that friendship and profession are two different things. Sheesh! That said, the most common stereotype about male models is that they can do anything for work! My suggestion would be first, figure out exactly what you want to do. Don't rush here and here. There are so many people out there who will manipulate that state of mind and you'll end up nowhere. Work on yourself, build a solid portfolio and send it to agencies; if they like it, they will get back to you.''
We shift focus to his future. Would he get job satisfaction from modelling or is he considering diversifying to theatre- films or show direction? ''I don't think I'll ever be in a rut or bored of my work; I love to explore and learn new things. Theatre and films is something I'm attracted to and I'm now working on short film and plays.'' His unconventional looks, laser focus and positive attitude will take Dushyant Singh Raghuvanshi places. Is he working on collaborations with International agencies, I wonder? ''I've received a few offers and if something exciting comes up I would love to go for it! I love travelling and speaking of travel I can't do without ID, cell phone, headphones, an extra pair of clothes, moisturiser and perfume'' he grins. A talented drop-dead gorgeous model and actor — with a sense of humour? Yeah, he's on a roll!
— JASMEEN DUGAL