Modeling was a windfall gain. Ugochi Igwilo came from the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the year 2009 to India to study for a ,Bachelor’s Degree in interior design at the Amity University here. It’s been an impressive three years since then that have made Ugochi’s stint with modeling, the talk of the town; a face more regular than any on the Indian ramp today.
She has done several campaigns for fashion designers; has worked with photographers like Vineet Modi, Rohit Chawal, Mukul Raut, Amit Sharma to name a few and she has done campaigns for H .P Singh, Diamond Ark, Yelloe, Red Light, Sephora India and got featured in most of the prominent fashion magazines as well.
Her walks on the ramp include shows like IFFD (Indian Federation for Fashion Development), Premier India Runway Week, Pearl Academy of Fashion, J.d. Institute fashion Technology, apart from many fashion designers. She has also done a show for channel V India and has judged several pageants in Delhi including the Mr. India global pageant.
As an interior designer she works as a design consultant for a Delhi based architectural firm, and has worked on both residential and commercial projects. Her creative sense has landed her projects on farm houses at Chatterpur, apartments in Chandigarh and Lucknow and few office projects in Delhi including the one at the DLF Saket Mall.
Ugochi is currently exploring opportunities in India. “I appreciate India for its rich culture and arts; especially the dance forms and clothing. I continue to draw inspiration from my surroundings and people I meet. I love working with designers who have a different, edgy or contemporary style as I find that such clients are more willing and excited to work with me being a black model. Fashion designers and photographers are looking for something different these days, a type of model that wasn’t available previously,” comments Ugochi.
Meet the model cum Interior designer who has managed to make a mark in the Indian fashion industry, thanks to her unconventional looks and a dedicated work attitude!
The foray into modeling…I didn’t actually come to India for modeling, I came for studies. I started modeling while I was in school because it seemed that I had the look, considering my height and figure and the offers were interesting. It’s been three years since I started modeling in Delhi, I started when I was in college, at Amity, Noida doing college shows and off hand shoots for fashion students. After college got over, I started doing freelance jobs, working with photographers and fashion coordinators.
The first modeling campaign and the experience so far… My first campaign was the one I did for an upcoming brand Yelloe; which was a new bag line at the time as well as campaigns for fashion designers Bharat and Priyam. But my first note worthy campaign was for H.P Singh. I have also done other campaigns for stores and fashion brands. My experience has been good so far, even though communication is sometimes difficult. Some of my favourite campaigns include the shoot I did for H.P Singh, Sephora India, as well as the shoot I did for fashion designer Amit Aggarwall.
The campaign that you still haven’t got… I would like to do campaigns for ace designers in India such as Tarun Tahiliani, Manish Arora, JJ Valaya and Rohit Bal.
The thing about your India experience… I enjoy Indian food, so getting something to eat is not a problem. Communication was a huge problem when I had just arrived in Delhi back in 2009, but I have no real issues communicating now. The weather gets really extreme (hot/cold) in Delhi. But I have got used to it.
Indian fashion industry and Indian models… The fashion industry in India has really come a long way, I find that there are more designers willing to explore and try new things either in design or the type of models they work with. There is definitely a lot of prospect in the industry due to the large number of designers doing great, new and different work. Even though there are still some designers who are reluctant to work with a black model, I find that a lot of designers, photographers, co-coordinators and choreographers are really excited at the prospect of working with me. The models over here are nice and exotic, everyone is mostly professional.
India that you have seen…I have not traveled much because I have not had the free time. But I have been to a few places; Goa, Amritsar, Rajasthan, Guwahati and Agra. And I will like to visit Kashmir, Kerala, Shimla, Mumbai etc.
Future plans… As of now, I am a part-time model, so, I plan to go into full time modeling in the middle of this year. Since, I split my time between modeling and interior designing; I have not been able to focus properly on modeling. As a full time model I will be able to achieve more, and be readily available to clients. I will like it when people here will get used to black models in the industry. I am I not trying to replace any views or ideals. I want to show something new and different.
Ugochi Igwilo Stats
Dress size: 4