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Retro Kolkata Exclusive : Interview with Kimaya, Fashion Model from USA

Image ©Kimaya
My inspirations come from Celebrities and models that I follow on Instagram. Taylor Swift, Deepika Padukone to name a few. Since I’m just starting my modelling journey, I enjoy trying out various techniques and sporting various outfits, creative and orthodox both. I can be an elegant queen and a cheeky girl at the same time and in the same outfit.

Retro Kolkata : First of all, thanks a lot for accepting our invitation for an interview. It's a great pleasure to have you as our Guest. Let’s start from the first question… Let's jump into the past. What has been your dream since you were a kid? …what would you like to do?

Kimaya : Thanks for inviting me for this interview and giving me a platform to discuss my personal and professional life.

As a kid, I always wanted to be famous, either as an actress, model or anything of repute! Coming from middle class family, watching Bollywood films that were way more romantic back then, it was an automatic choice to be bedazzled seeing all of that and to become an actress!

Image ©Kimaya

Retro Kolkata : Please say something about your career as a fashion model. How did you get started?

Kimaya : My fashion modelling journey started after my marriage. My husband is a photographer. He loves taking my pictures and helped me create my modelling page on Instagram. Within no time, I had a good audience engagement and I was getting great feedback from a lot of people. Some known and famous accounts started liking and commenting on my pictures which provided a great boost to my work!

Retro Kolkata : What is that specific moment in your life which lit the spark in you to become a model?

Kimaya : When Sushmita Sen was crowned Miss Universe, it was a moment I will always remember. Before that, I had not seen any Indian female being recognized at global level. She was all over the news and very deservingly too!

Image ©Kimaya

Retro Kolkata : What do you enjoy the most in modelling?

Kimaya : The makeup, the outfits, the attention you get as a model - no matter how big the photographer is, or how much efforts or editing goes behind a good photograph - knowing the fact that I am the most important piece of that artwork is a great feeling in itself! Also love doing crazy poses in middle of a shoot like doing pouts or pushing my butt out or a funny pose just for the sake of it. I also improvise within shoots and suggest ideas and hold poses that I feel may look good. Photographers that I have worked with, love and encourage me to do that as well.

Retro Kolkata : Could you walk us through your daily routine like diet, fitness, personality training, etc.?

Kimaya : After having a baby, the routines get changed and adjusted to baby’s routine :) So my usual pre-pregnancy routine was like starting with Yoga for 30 minutes, giving some time for my body to rest. Breakfast and lunch as usual. Then going to the gym in late afternoon/early evening and doing a-lot of cardio. A green tea to follow after the workout and detox my body. An early dinner so my body gets enough time to digest. Then a midnight snack, if needed an hour before sleeping. I still stick to this routine as much as possible, but sometimes with baby you cannot plan ahead so now I go with the flow.

Image ©Kimaya

Retro Kolkata : What have been the greatest challenges you’ve faced in your career so far and as per your opinion, what are the main challenges in the fashion industry today?

Kimaya : In today’s world of so many Instagram users, real and fake, you get so many “fake” offers trying to reach out to you just to get your personal information or to talk to you. This may not be a challenge for famous or known models with someone managing their account for them but as a model who is getting started, she has to endure a-lot of these and be careful about them.

Retro Kolkata : What has been your favourite shoot / campaign / work to date?

Kimaya : I had a birthday vacation at Miami, the four days trip that was my best vacation so far included a-lot of shoots on the beaches on all four days. This was the first time I sported a bikini too and enjoyed the final pictures.

Another photoshoot was the Bengali makeup attire. Not only I enjoyed doing the Bengali makeup, but also loved the pictures from the shoot!

Image ©Kimaya

Retro Kolkata : Sometimes the modelling industry gets a bad rap with the jealousy and egos encountered between other models and agencies. Was this true for you? Have you managed to tough it out and make good friends?

Kimaya : On a larger scale, it is much like a college life where if one girl gets too much attention, others who are more beautiful or consider themselves so, would get jealous. Within this world I’m a kind of a nerdy silent girl who only wants to do what she does best and not care about outside factors. I have made so many model friends on Instagram, collaborated with them, supported them and we never have had jealousy issues whatsoever. Having said that, sometimes a bit of jealousy can result in positive outcomes and create a sense of competitiveness to get the best out of you. So it’s not as bad until it gets too much in the head.

Retro Kolkata : Apart from Fashion Model, you are also a successful Makeup Artist. Can you name some of the biggest trends you are seeing right now in the makeup world? Are any of them here to stay, or are they just fleeting trends?

Kimaya : Yes, I do makeup for other models occasionally and professionally. I do it for my friends for their parties and in occasions. And often I am involved 3-4 hours before going to a party doing makeup on others.

The biggest trend I am seeing right now is the no-makeup look for casual parties. It aims towards making a face look as real as possible and show as little makeup as possible. Taylor Swift sports such makeup looks a-lot. This would surely be going to stay for long.

Another one I see is creative and funky eye shadows to match your outfits or occasion. For eg: Green eye shadow, if you’re wearing a green dress or eye shadows in colour of a flag if you’re going out on independence day. This may be one of those fleeting trends.

Image ©Kimaya

Retro Kolkata : What three makeup items should no woman leave home without?

Kimaya : A lipstick, A duo Contour-highlight stick and a setting spray or face spray. A contour-highlight stick helps recreate the makeup if you are out for long and a lipstick can get dull if you are eating or drinking. A setting spray can make your dull makeup look great and you look fresh!

Retro Kolkata : Staying fresh and innovative in today’s fast-paced world can be a challenge. How do you stay creative and where do you look for inspiration?

Kimaya : My inspirations come from Celebrities and models that I follow on Instagram. Taylor Swift, Deepika Padukone to name a few. Since I’m just starting my modelling journey, I enjoy trying out various techniques and sporting various outfits, creative and orthodox both. I can be an elegant queen and a cheeky girl at the same time and in the same outfit.

Image ©Kimaya

Retro Kolkata : What are the 5 Things you want to tell newbies before he/she becomes a model.

Kimaya : Never do anything for free. There are a-lot of genuine and not so genuine people out there trying to build their portfolios. But remember you are the most important part of that and not their expensive cameras or equipment. If they really need you, they have to pay you.

Do your research well and learn about what’s normal and what’s not. Learn how much should you charge and keep in mind the makeup and preparations you have to make before the shoot or any gig.

Always sign a model-photographer release agreement or similar written agreements for your work. This dictates your rights for a work in which you are involved in, including the rights of images or outputs from the work.

Don’t do anything just for the sake of some cash, be patient and chose your projects wisely.

Do more creative work and enjoy your work! Don’t make it mundane and redundant for yourself.

Image ©Kimaya

Retro Kolkata : Give us a fun fact people might not know about you yet.

Kimaya : I sometimes talk in my sleep. My husband tells that I talk very clearly and not just mumble! Initially he used to get confused if I’m awake or sleeping.

Retro Kolkata : We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to build one single stage for all the artists, because we believe that artists are the most beautiful creation of God and geographical boundaries can never break their unity and harmony. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your followers.

Kimaya : I went through Retro Kolkata website and articles and I absolutely love the initiative you guys have taken. This gives us all a platform to be recognized and reach out to more audiences easily. Specially for someone like me who is living in the US, its a great opportunity for us to close out the geographical boundaries and make themselves counted. I truly believe RK is going to be a big giant in the fashion industry globally.


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