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Why are we paid peanuts?

fashion and trends Updated: Mar 25, 2011 01:05 IST
Aaron Rohan George
Aaron Rohan George
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Supermodel Naomi Campbell gets paid approximately Rs 2.5 lakh for every step she takes on the ramp. For Indian top model Carol Garcias, the amount is a measly Rs 1,500. It is no wonder, then, that with the Fashion Week around the corner, Indian models are crying foul.

"The major reason for this wide gap is that Indian models are not valued so much when it comes to commercial projects," rues Gracias. "Sadly, in India not too many people follow hardcore fashion," she adds.

On an average, top-rung Indian models are getting paid around Rs 45,000 per show, whereas international models like Gisele Bundchen (now retired from the catwalk), Kate Moss and Adriana Lima earn $20,000-$150,000 (Rs 1,00,0000-7,50,000) for every runway appearance. Supermodel Linda Evangelista had once famously said, "We don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 (Rs 4,70,000) a day."

Closer home, of course, no ramp scorcher can make such a statement. "It’s only this time that rates have touched the 40,000 mark. But, package deals involving many shows may further bring this rate down," says an industry analyst, wishing not to be named.

Naomi Campbell"Bollywood hogs the runway so how can any model truly make it big here, or earn top-grade money?" says model Pia Trivedi, a ramp regular. "Even if you’re a great model, you can’t expect to be favoured over a film starlet," says Delhi-based model Lakshmi Rana.

But fashion choreographers cite other reasons. "The girls are not tall enough and have varying body shapes," says choreographer, Tanya Lefebvre. "If people here looked at fashion seriously enough, models, too would be worth a lot more," says Neena Haridas, editor, Marie Claire India.

East vs West

Highest paid Indian models (earning Rs 30,000 - 45,000 per show)

* Bhawna Sharma
* Carol Gracias
* Lakshmi Rana
* Binal Trivedi
* Tinu Vergis
* Diva Dhawan
* Diandra Soares
* Indrani Das Gupta

Highest paid international models (earning $20,000 -$50,000, which is Rs 1,00,0000 - 7,50,0000, per show )
* Naomi Campbell
* Gisele Bundchen
* Adriana Lima
* Kate Moss
* Heidi Klum
* Bar Refaeli
* Miranda Kerr