In part 2 of Male Models in New York, we meet Indian model Prakash Patil. Prakash is not your average American male model. Born in India, he is a man of many talents. Besides being a model, he is also a dancer, an actor and a scholar with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Science and Information Technology. By trade, he is an Information Technology Specialist and has worked for Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft®, Cognizant and IBM. He was also a successful model in the Indian mainstream market and was voted winner of Mr. Photogenic India. But it was when he came to America that his dreams really started to come true. It was during Couture Fashion Week that Examiner caught up with Prakash and witnessed his true talent on the runway.
Clad in dripping jewels by South African designer, Pearl Naidoo, with the arch of an eyebrow, Prakash Patil melts hearts inside the New Yorker Hotel. He is a showstopper with the regal good looks of royalty and a heart that is bigger than Texas. Prakash came to the U.S. to work in Information Technology and as a chance to study abroad and get his Master’s degree. His modeling career, which began in India when he was younger, really took off when he made New York his permanent residence and sent in his modeling resume on a dare. "One of my friends challenged me and said I couldn't be a model in the U.S.," he said. That friend is undoubtedly eating his words, as Prakash’s career has taken off since his arrival in New York and is headed for greatness. How he actually got his start in modeling was not an easy road.
"Fashion was something in my blood right from childhood. I always admired celebrities and imagined how difficult would it be to reach that position," said Prakash. Never one to back down from a challenge, Prakash set out to make his dreams come true. He lost 35 pounds in 11 weeks and set out to become America’s next modeling sensation. Along the way, Prakash was discouraged and disappointed in his journey to become a model as initially designers and casting agents refused his calls and messages.
Examiner: It must have been very hard for you taking rejections and having people not believe in you. What kept you going?
Prakash: I was dying to get into at least one fashion show and experience the runway. I just kept in my mind the great words said by Swami Vivekananda, ‘Stop Not Until You Reach Your Goal.’ I knew the journey would be a struggle but I stayed true to my Indian culture and ethics, balancing my education, work, diet and public relations.
Because he had no connections in the fashion world, Prakash knew that his best tool was networking. He would Google fashion events and parties and would attend and introduce himself. Also, being an MBA student, he took on fashion as a project and implemented business techniques to grow. "I came across many cheaters and fake people and even lost money. Each step was a learning curve for me and I kept in mind not to repeat the same mistakes. But the struggles make you stronger and the challenges make you wiser... and happiness has its own way of taking its sweet time," he explained.
Today Prakash has a long list of accomplishments. He has successfully walked in shows for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Couture Fashion Week, NYC Fashion Runway, and Plitz New York Fashion Week, to name a few. He has been featured in Floss Magazine, Vogue Magazine, Brazil Times, Queens Tribune, India Times in Abroad and a host of other publications. He has won the title of Mr. Prince USA 2012, is the winner of Jewel of India calendar 2013, and has performed for B4U channel reality shows, Mr. Super Star performance and Mr. White Star at the presidential inaugural show in Washington, D.C.
Examiner: You have certainly accomplished a lot abroad in India and in here in the U.S. Since leaving your native country, how have you adjusted to life in New York City?
Prakash: New York City is a land of fashion and opportunity. It always reminds me of Mumbai and I love this city. If you work hard, this city will surely pay you. Everyone is given an equal respect regardless of your origin. This city has taught me how to eat a meal for under $4! It was really tough to maintain a balance between work, education and fashion, but by God's grace I am managing.
Examiner: How did it make you feel when you first stepped foot onto the New York Fashion Week runway?
Prakash: It made me feel great. I am very humbled and honored to represent an Indian face in the American market. Thanks to all the great designers I work with, every time I walk, I feel a new experience. Fashion Week is a universal hub which collaborates artists, models, designers, photographers and press. It is a unique way to network with others and to represent myself in my modeling career.
Examiner: What are some of your upcoming projects? And in closing, who would you like to take this opportunity to say thank you to?
Prakash: My upcoming projects are Indian Fashion Week, Mr. India America and Mr. South Asian Prince North America. I have met amazing and outstanding people in my life. Always motivating and supporting are my parents, Suvarna Acca and Vikas Anna. I would like to take this opportunity to thank and appreciate Urban Gypsy Productions, Jones Model Management, NYC Fashion Runway, all my makeup artists, photographers, designers, friends and family members.
For more information on model Prakash Patil, you can visit his Facebook fan page.