There’s no fixed paradigm toward defining beauty. But to break away from the conventional saying, “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”, it might be fair to reorient the assertion. Beauty is power that can appeal to people from limited ways of seeing and believing.
There are few things that carry this essential truth than androgyny beauty. Truth be told androgynous models add a distinct flair to beauty. They are unconventional and unassuming. They make modelling not only compelling but stand true to the core of its essence: eye-catching and full of aesthetic charm.
While androgynous models have been a huge draw for crowds, brands and marketers in the West, they are a rising trend in India.
So who are some of the known androgynous models in India that have been quietly doing their job albeit to little public attention?
1. Lemuel Huffman
In first instance, the name might just confuse people about it being associated with a Jewish diva, someone who might’ve shot to fame in the United States. But Lemuel Huffman is a Chennai based beauty model in India and someone who’s a passionate advocate of LGBT affairs.
With her chiseled, bronzed cheeks and pronounced jaw-line, this 27-year-old model shot to attention after appearing in Mumbai based photographer and visual artist Ganesh Toasty’s photo shoot.
A fierce model who lends an efficacy to fabulous photo shoots, Lemuel has often worked as the muse of several photographers. Spurred by the great success and admiration for America’s Next Top Model, Huffman decided modeling was her calling after being serenaded by the famous reality show.
2. Kean Alvares
A known face in the sphere of androgynous modelling, Kean Alvares has been working steadily in an utterly competitive industry for quite some time. One of the rare few who’ve successfully straddled divergent art forms- make up artistry and androgynous modelling- Alvares admits to be smitten by the creative challenges the make up artistry throws.
He took to modelling at the age of eighteen after a chanced meeting with fashion photographer Vikram Bawa and hasn’t ever looked back.
He’s made it far in the realm of modeling and has been featured in celebrated fashion publications such as Better Photography. Kean insists that it’s burning passion for modeling and his desire to take androgynous modeling to a respectable sphere- that it truly deserves- keeps him going.
3. Rabanne Jamsandekar
The Indian fashion runaway is current witnessing a revolution. It’s a constantly evolving sphere. And adding his own charm and flair to this growing specter is Mumbai-based model Rabanne Jamsandekar. A rare talent who is adept at self-styling himself for shoots and campaigns, Rabanne shot to attention starring in HUF magazine’s shoot highlighting ‘Gender- Neutral’ love.
Famous designer Nikhil Mehra, speaking of his admiration for Rabanne Jamsandekar’s work has said, “while the nineties were about personifying male masculinity with men like Milind Soman in the centrefold, today’s times are about Rabanne Jamsandekar who represent new idea for being who they are.”
Rabanne has been doing gender-neutral modelling for about three years now and has lent a useful presence for photographers and designers who are rallying behind the idea of promoting androgynous modelling.
4. Pooja Mor
An accomplished model and fashionista at 26, Uttar Pradesh born Pooja Mor is among the popular and instantly recognisable androgynous models from India.
Her natural charm blends well to add appeal to androgyny beauty.
With her natural ease at front of the camera and a very candid presence around it, Pooja Mor has added a new dimension to the realm of androgynous modeling in the country.
Although she started out as a freelance model and some of her initial stints were in Delhi, she attained distinct heights such as being on the cover of Femina, 2013 edition and for pathbreaking stints with Elite New York.
Thus far, Mor has added many feathers to her hat by appearing in covers for Italian Vogue, Verve India and, Harpers Bazaar India.
5. Lakshmi Menon
Arguably, Lakshmi Menon is one of the finest androgynous models in India. Gifted with a graceful personality and height, important must-have’s for models, Bangalore-based Menon has carried tons of androgynous modeling campaigns on her dependable shoulders.
She’s modelled for Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris, after her work appeared in an Indian magazine. Following this came distinct breaks with renowned brands such as a Hermes catwalk and campaigns for Max Mara, H&M, Givenchy and, many more.
Her dusky charm and beautiful eyes add a natural flair to her divergent modeling campaigns and have added allure to her work in androgynous campaigns.
6. Bhumika Arora
Tall, lithe and charming, Bhumika Arora has beautifully plucked out of a period of relative obscurity and is turning heads, in both India and internationally. Established fashion publications like Vogue have gone on to state, “ Bhumika radiates a confidence and beauty that is quite rare in a business populated by sameness.”
Just a few years back, Bhumika harboured the quintessential dream to make it big, hailing from a relatively small city of Karnal and is today named a Supermodel by Vogue India. One of India’s newest supermodels and a charming addition to the list of androgynous models in India, Arora has racked up appearances for Armani Prive, Fendi, Bottega Veneta and many more luxury and fashion brands.