Gunjan Kunwar talks about her Journey, challenges and opportunities in the ever competitive modeling industry

Know the inspiring story of Gunjan Kunwar and her interesting perspective on the modeling industry in Uttarakhand

Gunjan Kunwar paved the way for herself and many others by winning the Miss Uttarakhand title in 2022. We often wonder, what all goes behind the glitz and glamor of beauty pageants? We wanted to know it all from someone who has been there and, to be honest, Gunjan Kunwar does have an interesting perspective on the modeling industry. We asked her about her story and how it all started. We had a little chat with her over the same, where she talked about the challenges and opportunities she encountered along the way, such as navigating the competitive landscape of the industry, building a personal brand, and learning how to strike the right balance between professionalism and personal goals. It gets more interesting when she adds up her proudest moments and accomplishments. Catch this fascinating glimpse of the modeling industry from someone who has been there for quite some time. Scroll down to read our brisk conversation with her.

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How did you get started in the fashion and modeling industry, and what inspired you to pursue it? And what is Gunjan Kunwar doing right now?

Soon after I was done with my school, I started posting on Instagram, and to be honest, I wasn’t doing something extremely mainstream. My fashion content was all about what fashion means to me and what I find comfortable and people did appreciate my content for its uniqueness. How I won the pageant and became Miss Uttarakhand story also kinda starts from here. I applied for the competition somewhere around December 2021 and the whole thing was quite confidential and even my parents were unaware of that. I was not quite sure about the whole thing at the start but when I got the mail of selection, I was really excited and from there I took this all seriously.

I have always kept my academics as my priority. I remember how I wasn’t able to attend the grooming classes before the pageant because I had my exams. It was a task for me to balance everything out but everything went well and here I am. If you ask me what I am doing right now, I have studied physiotherapy and currently, I’m pretty occupied with my internship. 

What’s your favorite part about being a model and an influencer?

Whether it’s about being a model or an influencer, my all-time favorite thing has to be in front of the camera. I have tried a number of things but when it comes to doing stuff in front of the camera, it all comes very naturally to me.

Do you have any favorites when it comes to designers or brands?

I’m really inclined towards ethnic Indian wear, especially sarees, and suits. I think it suits me and matches my personal style as well. If you ask me about designers, Sabyasachi is the first name that comes to my mind. I also like Manish Malhotra but his Indian wear collections have a pinch of western elements to it. On the other hand, I’m a huge fan of how Sabyasachi represents our culture with its patterns and detailing which makes it my personal favorite. 

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the fashion and modeling industry in Uttarakhand, and how did you deal with these challenges? 

If we talk from the perspective of people who want to make a career in the industry, I think they lack confidence and resources. It was when I entered the industry, I got to know about the immense potential people here have but most of them lack confidence in themselves. Apart from that, there are not enough resources and awareness about it here. Even if someone is aspiring to be something in the industry, they are not sure about “How to Start”. 

What changed after you won the pageant? What is it like for the models on the other side?  

First of all, when I heard my name being announced, I was on cloud nine. Personally and professionally, a lot has changed after that for me. There is a thin line between being confident and overconfident and I learned to acknowledge that. Back in the day, I believe that I was really overconfident about a lot of things but with time, I realized to draw a fine line between things. Now I believe in having faith in your skills, doing hard work for things you want, and believing in destiny. After winning the pageant, a lot of recognition happened. I received congratulatory calls from my relatives and even from local politicians. Soon after that, I got Uttrakhand Achiever’s Award, and also many opportunities kicked in. And though I was quite known already for being an influencer, this experience was really different. When people meet me now they recognize me as Miss Uttarakhand winner and feel like I have achieved something. 

Some people argue that the fashion industry perpetuates a culture of consumerism and waste. Do you think people can be sustainable while still being trendy?

I think people who are very much influenced by modern culture don’t think much before hopping onto a new trend. I think, instead of trying too many new things to fit in, we should rather preserve what we already have. I have mentioned above my love for Sabyasachi designs and I stick to that. Secondly, one should be aware of their own fashion preferences and should not just try things because everyone else is doing so and it is a trend. Coming to the sustainability point, I have a few suggestions that can be followed personally. I think it all will start with conscious buying. Knowing what suits you is the first step and then, you should go for the basics that can be worn and styled in many ways on different occasions. 

What advice do you have for young people looking to break into the fashion and modeling industry?

First of all, “Be your own cheerleader”. When you go into the industry, there won’t necessarily be people out there patting your back when you do something amazing. It’s good if you have found yourself in a supportive environment but you should always be prepared to encourage yourself. When you go out there and meet people, especially the ones who consider you a competition will try to drag you down but you have to stand strong. Secondly, you have to be confident out there and stand strong on things you believe in. And most importantly, you should always set and respect your boundaries. Whenever you are making important decisions, think it through.

Also Read: Mr. North India 2023, Abhishek Singh Talks About His Journey In The Indian Modelling Industry.

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