Mehr Jesia turns 49: Models from Mumbai who made it big!

Updated: 30 November, 2019 09:29 IST | Sunny Rodricks
  • Mehr Jesia

    Born and raised in a Parsi family, Mehr Jesia studied at the JB Vachha School, Mumbai and spent her entire life growing up in Dadar Parsi Colony. Mehr Jesia started her career way back in the 1980s and soon tasted success when she won the Femina Miss India in 1986. Soon after winning the coveted trophy, she became a part of the first generation of Indian supermodels that featured models such as Madhu Sapre, Feroze Gujral, Shyamolie Verma and Anna Bredmeyer. Later on, she went on to marry former model and current Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal in 1998, but the couple separated in 2018. Pic/Midday

  • Milind Soman

    Supermodel, actor, film producer and fitness promoter, marathon runner and the list goes on - that's Milind Soman for you. Milind Soman studied at Dr Antonio Da Silva High School and Jr. College of Commerce at Dadar in Mumbai. Later, he pursued a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from M. H. Saboo Siddik Polytechnic, Byculla. Although his Bollywood stint was not successful, Milind Soman grabbed the headlines when he became a Limca Record holder for running 1,500 km in 30 days for Greenathon that aimed to spread environmental awareness. He is known as the Ironman of India. Pic/MilindSoman/Instagram

  • Malaika Arora

    Malaika Arora - Actress, dancer, model, VJ, television presenter and a fitness enthusiast. Words can’t describe this supermodel who went on to become the dancing diva of Bollywood. Malaika Arora spent her childhood days in Thane and Chembur. She completed her education from Swami Vivekanand School in Chembur and pursued her college education from Jai Hind College, Churchgate but did not complete it on account of professional engagements. Malaika Arora started her career as one of the MTV VJs and then went on to co-anchor the show with Cyrus Broacha. After Malaika entered the world of modelling, she was seen appearing in many advertisements, for album songs like Bally Sagoo's "Gur Naalo Ishq Mitha" opposite Jas Arora and item numbers such as "Chaiyya Chaiyya" in the 1998 Bollywood film Dil Se. She has grooved to many item songs in movies such as Om Shanti Om, Housefull and its sequel, Dabangg and its sequel. Pic/MalaikaArora/Instagram

  • Diandra Soares

    Supermodel, reality TV star, professional make-up artist, shoe designer, stylist, now an actor and mentor to aspiring models is how Diandra Soares describes herself on Twitter. Diandra has been active in the field of modelling since the age of 16. Her first assignment was for Tips and Toes and her first show was for McDowell's. Back in 1995, Diandra was crowned Miss Bombay which paved her way into modelling and eventually the entertainment industry. A true model and showstopper Diandra is well noted for her bald looks on the ramp. Often designers at Lakme Fashion Week open and close their shows with Soares. Diandra Soares was born and raised in Bandra and is the eldest among her siblings. She completed her schooling from St Xavier’s High School, Fort and used to often take part in dancing and modelling competitions. Her sole inspiration behind becoming a model was former India model Madhu Sapre. Pic/DiandraSoares/Twitter

  • Purab Kohli

    Purab Kohli grew up in Mumbai and did his schooling from St. Stanislaus High School in Bandra, and also at the Bishop's School, Pune. An actor, model, and former video jockey Purab Kohli started his career as an actor with the television show Hip Hip Hurray on Zee TV and earned recognition through video jockeying on Channel V. He then went on to feature in television ads for Colgate, Pizza Hut, Compaq Presario, Amaron Batteries and Castrol to name a few. Bus Yuhin (2003), Supari (2003), Vastu Shastra (2004), 13th Floor (2005) are a few of his movies. His most notable performance was in Rock On which garnered him a Special Jury Mention at the 2009 Filmfare Awards. Pic/PurabKohli/Twitter

  • Erica Fernandes

    Erica Fernandes is an Indian film actress and model who has appeared in Kannada, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu films. Before the acting bug bit her, Erica was a model and took part in the Femina Miss India 2012 beauty pageant where she finished in the top 10. A model, an actor, a vlogger are a few of the facets of her life. Modelling was in her genes since her father was a former model as well. Erica finished her schooling from Holy Cross High School, Kurla and completed her pre-degree course from SIES College, Sion. She even enrolled for a BA degree but discontinued the same to pursue a career in modelling. Pic/EricaFernandes/Facebook

  • Karishma Tanna

    The first runner-up of Big Boss 2014, Karishma Tanna is widely known for her role in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Naagarjuna – Ek Yodha and for her brief cameo in the film Sanju. An actress, model, and anchor, Karishma studied at Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics before starting her career in acting and modelling. Born in a middle-class Gujarati family, Karishma always had a knack for acting and dancing and made her debut at 17. In 2015, she won the title of ‘Stylish female in a reality show’ in the house of ‘Bigg Boss 8′. In 2016, she won Zee Gold Awards for being the ‘Most Fit Actress’. Pic/KarishmaTanna/Twitter

  • Karan Singh Grover

    Former model Karan Singh Grover is known for his work in television series such as Dill Mill Gayye and Qubool Hai. He later made his way into Bollywood with movies like Alone and Hate Story 3. Karan Singh Grover was born in a Punjabi Sikh family. Although he did his schooling in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, he came back to Mumbai to pursue a degree in Hotel Management from IHM Mumbai. Back in 2004 Karan participated in Gladrags Manhunt Contest and won the "Most Popular model title. This paved his way into the Indian Television industry and later into Bollywood. Karan Singh Grover is the brand ambassador of designer Rocky's signature brand along with his wife Bipasha Basu. During the 2018 Lakme Fashion Week he walked the ramp. Pic/KaranSinghGrover/Twitter

  • Candice Pinto

    A regular at premier fashion events like the Lakme Fashion Week and India Fashion, supermodel Candice Pinto shot to fame after winning the Miss Tourism International in 2001. Candice was born in Mumbai into a Catholic family. Half-Goan, half-Mangalorean Candice grew up with her three siblings. She attended Holy Cross High School (Kurla) and graduated from South Indian Education Society (SIES) College in Sion, Mumbai, where she was awarded a Master's degree in Economics. Candice was successful at a very young age and went on to represent India at international contests like the International Mega Model Contest and the Miss Intercontinental pageant which was held in Germany. Candice finished in the top ten and won 'best body' at the Top Model of the World contest, held in Munich, Germany in 2001. Pic/CandicePinto/Twitter

  • Sheetal Mallar

    Supermodel Sheetal Mallar was born and raised in Mumbai and went on to win the Elite Look of the year and Femina Look of the year in 1994. Sheetal studied at Canossa Convent and went on to pursue her B.Com degree from Sydenham College, Mumbai, which she discontinued in her third year. She was placed among the top 12 finalists in the Elite Supermodel Contest held in 1994 and worked for brands such as Armani and Fendi. After dominating 1990s and early 2000s as a supermodel, Sheetal Mallar took up photography and worked as a photographer at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week where she shot a series of backstage photographs. After missing from the fashion scene for a while, Sheetal in an interview stated that she can't pursue modelling forever. Pic/SheetalMallar/Twitter

  • Genelia Deshmukh

    Genelia Deshmukh, a popular actor from Bollywood pursued modelling before becoming an actor. Born and brought up in Bandra, Genelia studied at the Apostolic Carmel High School in Bandra and later joined St Andrew’s College to pursue her Bachelor's Degree in Management Studies. Genelia got her first modelling assignment at 15 after being spotted as a bridesmaid at a wedding. She went on to shoot for a pen commercial with Amitabh Bachchan and thereafter a fairness ad during the 2003 Cricket world cup with cricketer Krishnamachari Srikkanth. Genelia is also a state-level athlete, sprinter, and a national level football player. Genelia D'Souza is married to Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh. Pic/GeneliaDsouza/Twitter

  • Sarah Jane Dias

    Miss India Oman (1997) and Winner of Femina Miss India (2007), Sarah Jane Dias needs no introduction. A well-known face in the glamour industry, Sarah Jane Dias was born in Muscat. After which she came to Mumbai and completed her graduation from Bandra’s St Andrew’s College. At the age of 21, she won a talent hunt competition and since then, there has been no turning back. She went on to work in films like Theeradha Vilaiyattu Pillai (Tamil), Game (Hindi), Panjaa Sandhya (Telegu) and Kyaa Super Kool Hai Hum. Pic/SarahJaneDias/Twitter

  • Carol Gracias

    Carol Gracias is an Indian supermodel who is born and brought up in Mumbai. A winner of coveted India's L'Oreal/Elite Look of the Year title and a runner-up of the reality show Bigg Boss in 2006, Carol finished her graduation from St Andrew’s College in Bandra. Known as the queen of the ramp, Carol rose to fame due to her unique style of modelling and a vibrant personality. Her friends more often than not describe her as a funny, predictable, crazy and naive person! After a brief stint in modelling, Carol went on to act in movies such as Being Cyrus (2005), Bluffmaster! (2005) and Aisa Yeh Jahaan (2015). In 2016, during the Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort fashion show in Mumbai, Carol walked the ramp while being pregnant. She pulled off the ramp walk with ease flaunting her baby bump. She was hailed for celebrating her pregnancy on a platform. Pic/CarolGracias/Twitter

  • Diana Penty

    Diana Penty began her modelling career in 2005 when she was first signed up by Elite Models India. Penty made her acting debut in 2012 with the romantic comedy film Cocktail. Her performance garnered praise and earned her a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut in the same year. Diana Penty was born and raised in Mumbai by her Parsi father and Christian mother. She attended St Agnes High School in Mumbai and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Media from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. She started her career in modelling as a part-timer and thereby went on to create a name for herself. In 2005, she started working for Elite Models India. She walked the ramp for designers like Wendell Rodricks, Rohit Bal, and Rina Dhaka and thereby went on to be a successful model after appearing in print campaigns as well as featuring on the covers of a few Indian fashion magazines. She was even awarded the Grazia Face of the Year in 2013 and Times of India's Most Desirable Woman of 2012 to name a few. Pic/DianaPenty/Twitter

  • John Abraham

    An actor, a producer and a former model, John Abraham, was born and raised in Mumbai into a family of mixed religious and ethnic heritage. He studied at Bombay Scottish School in Mahim and completed his Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Jai Hind College. He then went on to pursue an MBA from Mumbai Educational Trust. John Abraham started his modelling career by appearing in the music video of the song of Punjabi singer Jazzy B. He then went on to win Gladrags Manhunt Contest in 1999 and went to the Philippines for Manhunt International, where he came second. Later on, he did a few modelling assignments in Hong Kong, London and New York. In between his modelling career, he enrolled himself at the Kishore Namit Kapoor acting laboratory in order to improve his acting skills. He then went on to feature in Bollywood movies such as Jism (2003), Garam Masala (2005), Taxi No. 9211 (2006), Dostana (2008), New York (2009), Force (2011), Housefull 2 (2012), Race 2 (2013), Shootout at Wadala (2013), Welcome Back (2015) to name a few. Pic/JohnAbraham.Twitter

  • Alesia Raut

    A model, VJ, and a fashion choreographer, Alesia Raut needs no introduction to the modelling and entertainment industry. Alesia was born in Russia and did her schooling at the Bombay Cambridge Gurukul (Andheri E) and graduated in Commerce from Mithibai College. Her sister Anjali Raut is a former model too. Alesia is well known for her item songs Meri Beri Ber and Ek Aankh Maro. After a rough patch, she restarted her modelling career and was soon walking the ramp for the prestigious Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) shows and Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) Shows. Alesia also essayed the role of a model in Madhur Bhandarkar's Movie Fashion (2008 film) which starred Priyanka Chopra-Jonas, Kangana Ranaut, Mugdha Godse and Arjan Bajwa. She also participated in Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi (season 4) hosted by Akshay Kumar. Pic/AlesiaRaut/Twitter

  • Tara Sharma

    Soon after finishing her graduation, Tara Sharma appeared in advertisements for Lakme, Garnier, and Pepsi, that proved to be a stepping stone for her into Bollywood movies. An actress, an entrepreneur, a creator, co-producer, and host are few of the facets of her life. Tara was born and raised in Mumbai where she studied at the Bombay International School after which she bagged a scholarship to the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy to pursue her International Baccalaureate (IB). Thereafter, she did her Bsc in Management at the London School of Economics. She is widely known as the host of The Tara Sharma Show, a platform that discussed topical family, parenting, women's and children's issues on Star World India. Pic/TaraSharma/Twitter

  • Shweta Salve

    Shweta Salve is well-known and widely popular as the runner-up of the dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa season 1. Born and brought up in Chembur, Shweta studied at Loreto Convent School in Chembur and graduated with a B.A. Degree from Sophia College. She never missed an opportunity to display her talents be it at school or college. Dramas and dance were always an integral and inseparable part of her life since childhood. During her college days, Shweta won the title of Miss Kaleidoscope. Shweta has worked in films like Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi (1999), Na Ghar Ke Na Ghaat Ke (2010), Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji (2011), Lanka (2011)and Kurukshetra (2013). Pic/ShwetaSalve/Insatgram

  • Nina Manuel

    Nina Manuel was born and raised in Mumbai and did her schooling from Kuwait, Bahrain, and Dubai. She returned to Mumbai to complete her graduation in Commerce from Mithibai College. She participated in the Femina Look of the Year contest in 1995. Although she didn't win at Femina Look of the Year, she started her career in modelling. After this, she went on to work as an MTV VJ, a television host, walk ramps for designers and shot music videos as well. Later she married businessman Luv Shah from NYC in a Church wedding at St. Peter's Church, Bandra in early 2010 besides a Hindu wedding. She currently shifts between New York and Mumbai. Pic/NinaManuel/Twitter

  • Juhi Chawla

    Model, actress, film producer, and entrepreneur are few of the facets of the winner of 1984 Miss India beauty pageant, Juhi Chawla. Two-time Filmfare award winner, Juhi Chawla is well known for her comic timing and animated on-screen persona. Juhi was born and raised in a Punjabi family. She completed her schooling from Fort Convent School and graduated from Sydenham College with a specialised degree in Human Resources. She won the Femina Miss India India title in 1984 and also won the Best Costume Award in the Miss Universe Contest as well. Juhi went on to work as a leading lady of Hindi cinema and thereby carved a name for herself in the Bollywood industry. Pic/JuhiChawla/Twitter

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About The Gallery

Former model Mehr Jesia, Milind Soman, Diandra Soares, Purab Kohli, Sarah Jane Dias, Candice Pinto all have one thing in common. They all are from Mumbai and share a unique and inseparable bond with the city. As Mehr turns a year older, we showcase 20 supermodels from Mumbai who have made it big!

First Published: 13 August, 2019 09:30 IST