Ipsito Das the Model Maker interview published in The Hindu

Use and throw

Threats to the Indian male model don’t always come from the outside. There are clear and present dangers closer home. Models in Kolkata are a case in point. Derided for not being groomed enough, they are often left scavenging for the dregs their Delhi and Mumbai colleagues leave behind. Before he returned to Kolkata in 2012, fashion photographer Ipsito Das worked in Delhi for two years. “If asked to name competent male models in Kolkata, I can still only point to Nick Rampal. There’s a vacuum of talent here, and every time there’s a show or a fashion week in the city, that vacuum comes to be filled by models from Delhi and Mumbai.” So where do Kolkata’s models go? “There’s always Odisha.”

Das says he makes it a point to forward the portfolios he shoots to recruiters and other corporate clients. “It’s a tough crowd,” he admits. Sumukh Parasramka’s WhatsApp is flooded with such pictures and portfolios. Owner of Czarr Innovations, an advertising solutions provider, Parasramka says that grooming in the modelling industry boils down to just one thing — your relationship with the camera. “It’s sad but Kolkata’s models are usually not very camera-friendly. As a result of that, they really never get past that middle bracket. To have a lucrative modelling career, you have to be part of the cream, and the cream can include only 50 men. Let’s face it, those 50 do come from elsewhere.”

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