Nina was born on 24th April in Mumbai and did her schooling in Kuwait, Bahrain and Trivandrum. She came back to Mumbai to complete her graduation in commerce and was on her way to becoming a lawyer (she finished two years in Law College) when her mother saw an ad in the newspaper for the Femina Look of the Year contest in 1995. Her mother encouraged her to participate and so she did. She didn't win eventually but did get spotted by Mehr Jessia. Taking on from there, she never looked back. She kicked off with a show for Ensemble, the haute couture store, and got picked up by India's top designers. " I never really had to struggle and I have never planned anything in my life, I just take each day as it comes," she says.
Initially, she did a lot of ramp shows and consequently got modelling contracts with San Miguel, Lawman jeans, Bausch & Lomb, Levi's, Coke, Indian Express and Kodak. She has also done shoots for designers and music videos with Baba Sehgal, Remo and Anaida but ramp modelling remains her personal favourite. Being on the ramp gives her the ultimate high and it's a great feeling. " It's like I'm there and nobody can touch me," she exults. She does admit that it is stressful backstage before the commencement of the show but once it starts its fun. There have been times when she and her companions have cracked up laughing on the ramp on seeing people sleeping in the audience. " Fashion shows can get boring at times and I don't blame them for doing that," she reveals. She has done ramp shows for designers like Suneet Varma, J. J. Vallaya, Raghvendra Rathod and Ravi Bajaj.
Currently, she is the hot VJ with channel V and hosts "Late Night V". She enjoys this work and is looking forward to doing many more shows with them. On being asked about how she relaxes she replies, " I have no time to relax, I must be the most stressed out person in the world!" She likes hanging around with her friends, going for drives and movies. She doesn't like to party too much and does it only when it is for professional reasons. She had had her share of partying until she realised that she kept meeting the same people who talked about the same things everytime. " I work with the models, I don't want to party with them too," she complains. She prefers partying abroad and her favourite party destination is New York City from where she has recently returned after a holiday.
She counts computers, TV, reading and exercising amongst her hobbies. She is especially passionate about computers and likes surfing apart from keeping in touch with her friends on chat. On the fitness front, she confesses that she is not too regular but resolves to improve. She does weights to tone her body and keep herself fit. She doesn't diet at all and eats "everything", as she is a food person. Thankfully, she doesn't have a sweet tooth so she doesn't have to worry about putting on weight.
As she has dry skin pimples don't bother her but she is concerned about getting wrinkles at an early age. She doesn't take particular care of her skin but is careful when it comes to removing make-up. She starts with removing the eye make-up then the rest of the face with a cream followed by an astringent and soap. She likes to put very little make-up on outings and carries lipstick, lip gloss, mascara and an eyelash folder in her handbag. For her hair, she uses deep-conditioning treatment and tries to oil, massage and steam it as and when she finds the time.
Though she is not very sure about her future plans she is certain that she wants to travel extensively, anywhere from Vietnam to China to Australia. She would like to travel for four months and work eight months of the year. As for work, she wants to be associated with the entertainment industry for as long as she can. She's definitely not trying for films but if she gets a good offer in terms of money and script, she would consider it.
Her reaction on the current fashion scenario in India is very much positive and she thinks it is fast growing. Although she complains that the quality of designers coming out of fashion schools is not good enough and for that, she has the schools to blame. According to her, they are not severe enough with the students and consequently they come out with nothing artistic or distinct. "Designers in the west are more successful than their Indian counterparts because the schools there are very strict when it comes to the quality of their students," she opines. "The already established designers need to use more Indian materials as India is big in the west and they need to concentrate more on the cut of the garment than the pattern," she adds. Out of the Indian designers, her favourites are Rahul Khanna and Rohit Gandhi of H2O, Rohit Bal, Reena Dhaka, Tarun Tahiliani, Hemant Trivedi and Wendell Rodricks.
The advice she has to give to aspiring models is " look before you leap" and "don't get lured by the money". She feels that upcoming models must have the confidence and they should realise that looks and money is not everything. As a model, she feels that she has developed tremendous confidence to make it in the real world and has grown as a person. She is more aware of herself and knows that there is something special about her. Well, she definitely doesn't need to have any doubts on that front!
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