First runners-up at the Miss India Universe pageant, Reha Sukheja's sculptural beauty—the long neck, the charming smile and those cheekbones—was a revelation when she hit the scene. In conversation with the 6' 1'' beauty from Hyderabad.
So who is the girl behind the glamorous facade? What attracted you towards modelling when you could have settled for a more stable career, I ask? ''Funny you should ask that because that is exactly what I wanted to do! I was completing graduation in economics when my mom sent in an application to the Miss India Universe pageant on my behalf… without telling me!! I got a call back and I was initially hesitant but there's been no looking back since'' she grins.
There truly has been no looking back as she continues to shoot and walk for Fashion A-List. ’'I'm very adaptable, to a designer's needs, a choreographer's wants. I listen. What they ask of me, I deliver to the best of my abilities. I've shot for various designers but I'm still waiting for that milestone moment. As far as shows are concerned, any showcase with Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi feels like I've arrived. That clubbed with Lakme Fashion Week and Amazon India Fashion Week, well, let's just say the ramp has been really good to me.'' On a more serious note, she adds, ''We do go a little off-book to get rid of monotony and are continuously trying to create something new, something never seen before and in that process, our creativity as a model is challenged which is great because it opens us up to parts of ourself we wouldn't have explored otherwise. Staying fit is a battle though but I do 30 mins cardio and core strengthening each day and go for dance classes thrice a week.''
From her experience, Rhea shares some advice with aspiring models. ''Take care of your health. In a constant struggle to become 'skinny', don't lose yourself. Get plenty of exercise, sleep well and eat well because you will soon realise that at no point will you be a 100 percent satisfied with your body. And that's okay!! Besides this, listen! Listen to what is asked of you. Every designer's collection is his or her idea come to life and that idea is handed over to the choreographer to present to the world. Listen to what they want, cater to their idea of showcasing their garments according to their sensibility and then add your individuality as a bonus to create magic! And, never stop learning. Don't get overconfident. You may have modelled for a month or a decade, it doesn't matter. Be grounded, be kind and put in a 100 percent into every show like it's your first.''
There's a lot of traveling coming up for Reha. I head straight to Goa for the finale of the L'oreal tour and from there to Hyderabad for a show for Gaurang Shah and then back to Mumbai for the Mumbai leg of the Vogue show. Work, work, work, work!!!''
— JASMEEN DUGAL