While Rakshita was among the top 10 finalists for Miss India, Roshmita went on to represent India in the Miss Universe!
Modelling was never on the cards for Roshmita who intended to finish her Master’s in International Business and join Estee Lauder’s new product development team. While at college, she happened to audition for the fashion team and to her pleasant surprise, she was selected. Soon she took up professional modelling and joined Prasad Bidapa Model management. Her sister, Rakshita followed suit and it didn’t take long for the duo to set the ramp on fire. While Rakshita modelled for brands like Nyka, Sunsilk, Grazia, Vogue and Verve and was among the top 10 finalists for Miss India, Roshmita went on to represent India in the Miss Universe event held at Manila, Philippines in 2017. Ritz has a candid chat with the gorgeous duo, Roshmita Harimurthy and Rakshita Harimurthy!
Interview: Riya Sonny Datson
Photography: Shafi Shakkeer
Costume: Zyra D&F Studio
Tell us about your experience at the Miss Universe contest. How did you prepare for it?
It was a wonderful experience to be a part of the Miss Universe contest. The event had contestants from 86 countries and the competition was tough but it was amazing to meet so many new faces from different countries across the world. We all became good friends and in fact, I still keep in touch with some of them. The preparation was hectic and I prepared for almost 4 months in various aspects like languages – English and Spanish, ramp walk, personal grooming which included sessions in hair and make up and of course preparing for the interview which is an important part of the contest.
Tell us about a memorable experience while at Manila.
We got to meet the President of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, which was a very special moment for all of us. We were taken on a special chartered plane to different cities in the Philippines and we took part in the Governor’s ball, which was attended by eminent personalities and political leaders of Philippines. We were treated with a lot of love and respect and felt like celebrities in another country.
Like in every field, there is a lot of competition in the modelling field as well with new faces joining the show every day. How do you handle the challenges in the industry?
I don’t think new faces are much of a competition in this field. If you take a look at our seniors’ career graph, they are still super models and they are very much in business. As long as you can deliver and your work is recognised and preferred by clients, there is not much competition. You have to be good to survive.
As a model, you are always expected to look good and stay fit. How do you manage to stay motivated?
Thankfully I have good genes and I don’t have to work very hard to stay fit. It is not very hard for me to stay in good shape. But I struggled with my self confidence levels, which is very important in this field. One needs to really believe in oneself to crack the audition and thankfully I have overcome that phase. It is easy to take care of your skin and hair but when it comes to self-awareness, you have to focus on yourself and assess your strengths and weakness.
Tell us about your Beauty regime.
What I have come to understand is that it is best to stay natural with minimal make up as much as you can. Always use good quality products. I always carry a moisturiser, a sunscreen and a toner. I use coconut oil to remove make up as I feel that works best for my skin.
Fitness Routine? : I like to work out 3 – 4 times a week and always keep a sport. Right now, I am tapping into kickboxing and Taekwondo.
Interest outside of Modeling?: Acting is a field I want to pursue. I recently completed my acting course from Mumbai. I also love learning languages.
Is Bollywood on your bucket list?
I have always loved watching Tamil and Telugu movies with my granny, so I think you would most likely watch me taking up projects in Regional Cinema before Bollywood.
Personal fashion mantra: I would like to say Comfort but that’s not always a ‘go to’. I think you have to dress up to feel confident and good about yourself. I would be most comfortable in a Shirt, bell bottoms and heels.
Do you follow fashion trends? I don’t feel the need to follow trends for my every day look. I wear whatever looks good on me. But for work, yes, I need to be aware of fashion trends.
Your sister, Rakshita participated in the Miss India pageant too, did you plan it together?
My younger sister is the bright and vibrant one in the family. In fact, she was the one who first decided to contest for Miss India and she was among the Top 10 finalists. I was really impressed by the change I saw in her post the event. She had become this whole new person in a very good way and she inspired me to participate at Miss India too. I took part and won the Miss India title and went on to represent India in Miss Universe 2017.
Do you take up work assignments with your sister?
Yes, it is a blessing. We do take up modelling assignments together. Initially we used to stay together and travel together for work as well. We rely on each other a lot as there is the trust and safety factor especially when you are traveling for work.
How safe is the industry? What advice would you give to youngsters who want to get into this industry?
Safety really depends on each individual. The minute you are desperate there are chances that you might get into bad company. One has to be aware of one’s surroundings. I have always felt safe in the industry and my journey has been fabulous. I got to travel and meet good designers across the country and have also had the chance to do shows abroad. We hear of negative things like cat fights and cold vibes among models but there is nothing of the sort. In fact, my seniors have always guided me and it’s been a great experience.
My advice to those who want to join the industry would be to realistically analyse oneself to see if they would fit in to the industry first. When it comes to women, unless you are really focussed, our career span in the industry is relatively short. So it is important to plan your future accordingly. This industry gives us the freedom to do modelling as a hobby so one needs to prioritise our goals. I would say it is always better to have an alternate career plan as back up so that you can always fall back on it later if you choose to step out of the industry. Confidence is vital in this field. You have to know yourself well, without even the slightest of self-doubt.
What inspired you to step into the modelling field?
Though a doctor by profession, my dad was a model while at college. So while growing up, he was our first inspiration. As a child, I loved watching my mom do her make up and always tried to imitate her. Fashion and make up has always been my passion and deep down, I knew that this is what I wanted to do when I grow up. The glitz and glamour of the fashion industry was always alluring. I used to do fashion shows while I was studying. So when one of the designers asked me if I could walk the ramp for her and I was more than happy to oblige. Since then, there has been no looking back.
You were among the top ten finalists for Miss India, how was the experience and what was your learning from the event?
It was a fabulous experience as I got to meet so many girls from across the country. It was challenging too as the audition was tough. The fact that I could compete with so many girls and overcome the challenges thrown at me was a big morale booster! The event opened up my mind, helped me to understand myself and helped me with my confidence levels. I got to understand how the industry works – that it’s not all glitz and glam and that there is a lot of tough work behind it.
Unlike other careers, modelling requires you to be fit and look your best always, how challenging is the modelling career?
Yes, you need a lot of discipline, a lot of patience and you have to be ready to work long hours. It can be very challenging as competition is very high. I am very conscious of my diet and as a model, I am aware that I have to look my best and that I need to take care of myself, literally from head to toe.
What is the one thing that keeps you motivated?
I want to do good work and be successful in my career. Yes, it is hardwork but finally, when you see that all your hard work pays off, it inspires me to try harder.
Do you take modelling assignments with your sister? What are the fun things you do together?
Yes, we do. We haven’t done too many assignments together but whenever we do it’s a lot of fun. We speak the same language unlike others at work, so we share jokes and understand each other well. Since we know what works best for each other, we are able to complement each other well.
Tell us about your beauty regime: Beauty is a reflection of your health. So, I ensure that I eat healthy with a diet that has loads of fresh fruits and veggies. It is also very important to drink a lot of water and to stay hydrated. I ensure that I get atleast seven hours of sleep. I use only natural face packs that’s made at home. One beauty secret I swear by is laughter and staying positive!
Your fitness mantra: I run, hit the gym, eat right and do martial arts.
Your fashion mantra: I love dressing up and make up, so whatever the occasion, I like to look my best and dress to the point. I love being glamourous – that’s just me!
Interests outside of modelling: I am training to be an actor. I also love event planning once in a while. I think it’s a fun thing to do and I really enjoy it. I also love to travel.
What’s on your wish list as a model?
I want to work with the best people in the industry – the top designers, stylists, make up artists. I hope to try my hand at acting too. I love south Indian Cinema and I hope to step into Bollywood eventually.