As the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week gets in full gear to become the biggest fashion extravaganza in the country, the never ending debate between Indian and foreign models and who gets a better deal on the ramp continues to hog the spotlight. Days after the Indian models cried foul over designers’ growing preference for foreign faces, now foreign models are complaining about pay disparities and the high-handed ways of their Indian counterparts. Though most are not willing to come on record, models from Ukraine and Russia do not seem pleased with their Indian outing.
Says a foreign model in broken English, “We get Rs 22,000 a day for at least three shows, while Indian models, especially the top ones, get around Rs 33,000 per show.”
A designer, on condition of anonymity, agrees, “Foreign models get paid a lot less than Indian models, and that’s why this time there are so many of them.” Designer Rahul Jain too says, “Foreign models have a lot more attitude, and agencies promote them because they charge less.”
Another model from Ukraine doesn’t understand the fuss about “get Indian big names on the ramp, irrespective of their age.” She says, “A lot of top models are in their late 30s — their skin and body show their age. In fact, most of them wear a body suit to hide the flab, but they are still on the ramp.” The foreign models also complain about the ‘touch me not’ attitude of their Indian counterparts. “They throw tantrums and think of themselves as celebrities, specially this top model with short hair,” says yet another model.
Designer Abhishek Gupta concludes that nationality doesn’t matter when it comes to quality. “But yes, foreign models are less fussy.”