CHENNAI: Prathamesh Maulingkar is hot property in the modeling world these days. The footballer, who decided to give the industry a shot a couple of months ago, had never stepped on a ramp in his life. That was until, he made a rather scorching debut for the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week that took place in Delhi recently. That’s not all, the 23-year-old was a showstopper for uber famous designer Wendell Rodricks, who just earlier this year was recognised with a Padma Shri.
We got talking with the Goan model who sported some serious oomph at Rodricks’ showcase in Chennai last weekend. How does someone who’s never modelled before suddenly get to be managed by one of the top designers in the country? The answer according to the footballer: “I refused to shave my beard.”
Apparently, the Goan footballer took a road trip to Mumbai to try his luck at an audition for Elite Model Management, an agency there. “I was on a break from the field for a while, as I had just got my appendix removed,” he recalls. Given that friends had repeatedly suggested in the past that he try his luck in front of a camera, Prathamesh decided this was the perfect time to find out whether they were right.
After going through the initial formalities however, the newcomer got a chance to meet with supermodel Marc Robinson (some might remember his role with Shabana Azmi in Bada Din) — who had one request. “He pointed to a poster on the wall, of a clean shaven model and told me, if I wanted to be serious, I had to get rid of my beard,” Prathamesh recalls. Ten minutes later, the sportsman with a six-pack was in his car, driving back home to Goa. “I’d been growing my beard for six years. I wasn’t about to shave it!” he tells us.
Two days later, Prathamesh was introduced to Wendell Rodricks. And the rest is fashion history. “I did the Wills Fashion Week, right after that I got on the cover of Men’s Health India,” he says, flashing a handsome smile. “And this Chennai show has actually only been my second time on the ramp!”
With a body like that, the youngster who has previously played in national tournaments as well as for Kolkata’s Pailan Arrows club, tells us he’s never been shy to flaunt it. “You saw me on the ramp in my boxers, I’m perfectly comfortable,” he states, leaving one a little weak in the knees. As for the future, Prathamesh stresses, “I’m playing the ISL next year, no matter what.” That’s as long as the team captain has no issues with his beard, of course.