Model Varsha Thapa with fashion designer Prabal Gurung at the designer’s studio in New York. Varsha will be making her international runway debut at his show in New York Fashion Week on Saturday.
WHEN PRABAL MET VARSHA
Varsha, a graduate of Hospitality Management, arrived in New York as a model represented by Wilhelmina Modeling Agency two months ago. She immediately became the first Nepali model represented by a major agency in America. On August 4, her agency set up an appointment for her with Prabal. Within minutes after the meeting ended, Prabal wrote on his Facebook account: “Just met Varsha Thapa…She’s stunning, smart, sweet [and] humble.”
She was also confirmed to walk Prabal’s show, he announced online.
Since having arrived in New York, Varsha has been mentored by her scout, Roman Young. It was Roman who discovered Selita Ebanks and helped her become a Victoria’s Secret Angels.
“He has helped me with everything from my walk to advising me on what to wear when I go for casting calls,” Varsha said, beaming with excitement.
Earlier this week, on a single day, Varsha had casting calls scheduled with 19 designers. Impressively, she made it to 18 of them. The grueling nature of the industry is the norm, especially for Fashion Week. But Varsha has also been sent to casting calls at some of the industry’s biggest names like Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, an indication of where her agency thinks her potential lies and looks fit.
In a brief profile in Republica last year, Varsha had said that it was her dream to walk for Roberto Cavalli.
“I still think he’s a good designer, but personally I feel what I really want is to be the face of a brand like Calvin Klein,” she said of her evolved view on her career trajectory. “And Victoria’s Secret is definitely a dream.”
Right now, Varsha is literally walking to realizing those dreams. While at press time, it wasn’t certain what shows she might be walking this Fashion Week. She could only gush with excitement about the one show that’s been confirmed for a month.
On Saturday, Varsha will be sharing the runway on Prabal’s show with models such as Karlie Kloss whose dramatic opening of Prabal’s show last season was one of the Fashion Week highlights. Karlie has also been the face of major brands like Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, and appeared in ad campaigns for Donna Karan as well as in several Vogue editorials, and at least one cover.
The sense of opportunity and possibility is not lost on Varsha.
“I mean, these were people I used to see on TV, and now I’m seeing them in real life, working with them,” she said. “I know that if I continue to work hard, I can achieve what I’ve set out to do.”
It was this sense of dedicated drive towards a clear goal that impressed Prabal early on.