City boy and reigning Mr India, Prateek Jain, is riding the high-fashion waves these days his signature mighty beard and runway presence took him to Milan for a three-month stint recently . There, he shot for international print campaigns and walked the runway for Italian brands, the first Indian male model to have catapulted into the big league overseas.
There have been male models of Indian origin in the international fashion circuit before. Like Pondicherry-born France-raised Satya Obelet and UK-raised halfIndian, half-British Tarun Nijjer.But Jain, born and brought up entirely in India, is the first to bag such quantum of international work. “Italian fashion circuit is ruled by blonde and Chinese models… (And) runway looks demand super-skinny teenage looks,“ said Jain, an alumnus of Jain International School and Christ College in Bengaluru. “However, since I was just one guy from India, the spotlight was on me.“
The 6.3-feet tall model walked the runway for Italian clothing labels Sisi, Philippe Matignon and Golden Lady and shot for print advertising campaigns for brands such as Enrico Coveri and Cavagan, in addition to doing fashion editorial and catalogue work. He now wants to hit the New York fashion circles as well. Jain began his career as an investment banker with Northern Trust Corporation in Bengaluru.But the 9 to 5 rigmarole did not suit him and he took to mixed martial arts. A fight injury kept him home for months, during which he took to yoga and grew a beard. Little did he know that this avatar will skyrocket him to success.
“Being Bengaluru-bred worked for me. Education is important for Bengalureans. The warm friendly nature of the city grooms you to be an amiable person. In the international fashion and pageant circuit, it is very important for a male model to be a complete package. Looks alone cannot get you work and titles. You have to be smart and our city grooms men to be just that,“ says Jain, who was born in the financial city of Beawar in Rajasthan but raised in Bengaluru. That’s not all there is to Jain. He is slated to enter Bollywood shortly as the lead in a love story. And through his company Zyzzteek Fitness Corp in Bengaluru, he will privately train people in fitness and lifestyle. And plans are on to launch a signature sports and gym wear label, too.Who says Bengaluru is not on the high-fashion radar!