With India making its presence felt on the world fashion map, it is attracting international models who are not only eager to walk the ramp here but also try their luck in Bollywood.
Over the years Indian fashion matured as designers stopped copying Western motifs blindly. India emerged as a country exhibiting innovative silhouettes as well as becoming a profitable business destination for international buyers.
Indian fashion designers have also started showcasing their clothes in top international fashion weeks with Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Rohit Bal, Manish Arora, J.J. Valaya and others participating in London, Paris, Milan and the Middle East.
The growing exposure has led to a degree of international recognition that has attracted models from other countries.
Six international models from Britain, Czech Republic, Brazil and Sri Lanka took part in the model auditions held in New Delhi for the Delhi Fashion Week, which will be held in the capital from Sep 5-9 and will see designers flaunt their Spring/Summer 2008 line.
Three of the international models made it to the shortlist of 18 candidates - of these 10 will be selected.
"This shows that not only are the Indian making it big globally but now Indian fashion has become a global brand," ace designer Suneet Varma told IANS.
"International models won't come to India if the country has nothing to offer to them. They get a lot of exposure and are here because they can take back something from our country."
The international models reckon India to be fast becoming a top fashion destination of the world. They feel that working here will help them not only in gaining knowledge about this country's fashion but also provide their career an added boost.
"It's a great experience to work in India as in Europe Indian fashion is very respected," said Barbora Brabcova of the Czech Republic. "When I go back to my country, I'll have a better experience of Indian clothes and designers than the others. I'm here purely to know about Indian culture."
For some, modelling in India is also a step towards fulfilling their Bollywood dreams.
"I love Bollywood and I want to act in the movies," said Jacqueline Fernandez, who was crowned Miss Sri Lanka 2006. "I am in talks with some people too.
"In Sri Lanka, the fashion industry is growing and the designers are slowly learning but in India fashion is huge. I came to India to gain some experience but now I'm in love with it."
Experts feel the participation of more and more foreign models will help the Indian fashion weeks gain recognition, much like the events in Milan, London, New York and Paris.
"If we want to call ourselves at par with top fashion weeks, we have to be open about including international models," said top photographer Sumiko Nanda. "Our fashion weeks will then have an international feel to it.
"Moreover, the buyers too would get to see clothes on a different body type which will help them to judge the wearability of clothes."