Once, while still a student at Baldwin Methodist College, Zacharia Sujith Sebastian was accompanying a friend to a fashion show when he caught Prasad Bidapa’s eye. Sensing a potential model, Bidapa, who is Bangalore’s point person when it comes to grooming careers of aspiring models from the city, asked Zacharia to consider the profession. “Up till that point I was a guy who had been into sports and I knew what I wanted to do in life which is being involved in business development or marketing. So when Prasad suggested I consider modelling and that I should work on my physique I didn’t give it much thought. Later when a lot of my friends started suggesting the same, I thought why not give it a try. The odd thing is growing up I used to be the ugly duckling,” says Zacharia who has now been modelling for eight years.
Clear that it was the runway he was interested in and not print campaigns, Zac, as he is known, has walked the ramp for most designers in India, certainly all in Bangalore from Manoviraj Khosla, Amanda Bachalli to Sanchita Ajjampur.
Despite his reservations he has done the odd ad once in a while, one being for Louis Philippe. “Once I got started, I gave it my 100 per cent. I am competitive like that. Whatever I do, I want to be my best there,” he says. It’s wasn’t easy because Zac was already interning at his father’s business at the time, his mind firm on being a marketing whiz.
In fact, five years ago Zac picked up a job with a US-based medical devices company and today he looks after all of its marketing and business development needs for Karnataka.
“That’s why I prefer doing fashion shows because they happen over the weekends and in the evenings which allows me the flexibility to handle both careers. After all male models have a short shelf life,” he says, adding that walking the ramp is now a passion for him.
Favourite designer: J J Valaya, his intricate detailing in men’s wear is amazing.
On a bad hair day: I have typical Malayalee curly hair. For work, I use gel and comb it back. Otherwise, I don’t do much. On a really bad day, I would simply put on a cap.
Personal style: Comfortable. It sounds cliched but it’s so true when you are comfortable you can carry off things that even others find weird. I am pretty set with what I wear and my cupboard is filled with black, white, grey shirts, T-shirts and blue jeans. I love suiting up too and always wear one to work.
Favourite shopping hangouts: I shop at Zara and also Arrow for my formals, it’s money worth.
Favourite accessories: Watches, I own about 13 to 14 and I wear each depending on the occasion.
Wardrobe must-haves: Black suit. Slim fit paired with good shoes.
Fashion pet peeves: I can’t get my head around wearing socks with sandals. I would not be caught dead in them. Also, people not dressing according to their body type. Like I see many overweight women wearing horizontal stripes. It’s one thing to be confident and another to be dressing all wrong. Overweight and showing skin just don’t work together.