Cashing in on India's fashion boom, Swedish Vodka maker Absolut is launching a talent contest later this month to pick four "absolutely elegant" Indian models to showcase a new clothes line by London-based Indian designer Ashish Gupta.
The four winners will also receive a two-year contract with Mumbai's premier Elite Model Management - giving them a chance to launch themselves on the Indian stage.
"The Absolut Label line is meant for all those women of substance who aspire for more in their life. And what better way to showcase this through four absolutely elegant young ladies we will identify through a talent hunt," explained Siddharth Bannerjee, managing director of Kyndal India that promotes the Absolut brand in the country.
Beginning in Delhi on September 27, the talent hunt will travel to Ludhiana on September 30, Kolkata on October 5, and Pune on October 18 with one winner being picked from each city for Gupta's show in Mumbai on October 25.
According to Banerjee, the Absolut Label was initiated two years ago "to inspire and promote new talent emerging within the industry. It is the playground where some of the world's most exciting young fashion talent is asked to create a limited edition piece inspired by the Absolut bottle", he added.
Joining Gupta in the effort in seven other countries are Ania Kuczynska (Poland), Apostolos Mitropoulos (Greece), Jean-Pierre Braganza (Canada), Bambi (Spain), Lesley Mobo (the Philippines), Neon (Brazil), and Swash (Britain).
"These names might not mean much to the average fashion aficionado, but, believe me, they are the ones to watch out for and we are proud that Ashish is among them," Banerjee maintained.
Though not too well known in India, Gupta is hot property in Britain, where he has attracted a host of celebrity clients like Victoria Beckham, Jerry Hall Christina Aguilera, Kelly Osbourne and Sharon Stone.
This is not surprising, because with their bold, bright colours, daring graphics, eye-catching sequins, delicate beading and intricate workmanship, Gupta's works are in a class of their own - a culture clash not just of west and east, but of the young and old.
His designs are marked by intricate detail, including exquisite hand embroidery, all made in his own factory in India. Every piece is finished by hand, with some requiring more than a week's work.
"This eye for detail sums up the essence of the Absolut Label," Banerjee maintained.