"My highlights were meeting the other Kingfisher models and making such close friends."
Ishika Sharma has embarked on a wonderful journey in modelling. Hailing from London, the British Indian model has pursued the field from a young age.
Her passion began as a child when she was spotted outside London Fashion Week. Taking part in her first photoshoot just a week later, it sparked the beginning of an amazing career.
Throughout the years, Ishika has graced the covers of Asiana, Shon Magazine and Oddity Magazine. She has also worked with top beauty brands such as Ghd Hair, SportFX makeup and Chrisanne Clover.
Recently, the model took our breaths away when she featured on the Kingfisher Calendar 2018. Taking place in the luxurious location of Croatia, Ishika stunned fans with her gorgeous bikini looks!
In an exclusive interview with DESIblitz, Ishika Sharma reveals more about the calendar shoot, life as a British Indian model and her all-time favourite Bollywood film!
Tell us about your upbringing and family background. Does your family support you for your career choice? Any challenges?
I was brought up in Wimbledon in London. My Grandma looked after me as a child as she lives with us and I believe I have gained a lot of my good traits from her. Both my parents are Indian, originally from Punjab, and work full time.
My family haven’t always supported my career choice as a model. Coming from an Indian background, the expectation was that I would finish school and go to University with modelling being perceived as only a ‘hobby’.
I value education a lot, as it gives people so many opportunities and broadens our minds, this is a strong value that my parents have instilled in me.
I have managed to finish my A-Levels and am currently attending King’s College University while modelling full time, which is not without its challenges. However, I am very proud of what I have achieved so far in balancing both.
When did you realise you wanted to be a model?
I realised when I was scouted outside London Fashion Week when I was 12. I attended a photo shoot the following week and enjoyed every minute of it.
The photographer and his assistant told me I was a natural and it gave me an immense sense of fulfilment as I realised I could have a career at such a young age.
I have always wanted to be independent and modelling gave me that opportunity as I started going to castings at the age of 16. Constantly meeting different people every day really boosts your people skills and confidence, something I am reaping the rewards of now that I am 20!
How hard is it for you to get work as a British Indian model?
It is not hard at all. I am backed by a great agency in London, and being in such a diverse city there is always a demand for models of different ethnicities and backgrounds.
How do you deal with rejection, not being selected when you feel you were the best candidate?
I have learnt to deal with rejection well over the years. I always think to myself that the client has a brief – this may be a certain height or even hair or eye colour. If you did not fit the brief this time there is always next time.
I also believe that you can always improve on yourself through eating well, exercising and keeping hydrated. These are all aspects of a healthy, balanced lifestyle that everyone should acquire. This makes all the difference when making first impressions.
Adopting a positive attitude is also key, as positivity is infectious!
How did you get selected for the Kingfisher calendar shoot?
I was recommended by a magazine editor that I work a lot for in London, and then my images were forwarded to Kingfisher through my agent in India. Before I knew it I was confirmed for the job.
What were your highlights of the Kingfisher shoot?
My highlights were meeting the other Kingfisher models and making such close friends. It was crazy how close we got over just the 7 days that I was there.
Our singing sessions in the back of the bus on the way to the location were definitely a highlight and also shooting in the beautiful Croatian sunsets.
Do you have a specific health/eating routines to keep in great shape?
I try and eat clean during the week. As a Nutrition and Dietetics student, I have learnt a lot about which foods are good for your skin and completion and this helps me a lot when making food choices.
I always eat brown rice instead of white, and try and keep my carbs complex rather than simple. This way you stay fuller for longer and it prevents you from snacking on processed foods which are top beauty betrayers.
What is your favourite Bollywood movie and/or actor?
My favourite Bollywood movie has to be Devdas, and Aishwarya Rai is definitely my favourite Bollywood actress. She is such a timeless beauty and carries herself with elegance and class. The movie is such a classic and so memorable.
Who is your favourite food/dish and why?
My favourite food has to be truffle pasta, it is such a comfort food and is something I first tried in Croatia as a teenager with my friends. I guess it is all the amazing memories that I associate with it that makes it my favourite!
What would’ve you have done if you were not a model?
I would definitely work as a dietitian. I love working with others and helping people, and with my mother working in healthcare, it has always been a sector I have wanted to go into.
With the incidence of obesity and diabetes growing in the UK, I would love to help people change their life around for the better and focus on a healthier lifestyle.
Even if I was to prevent one person from developing heart disease this would be extremely rewarding and something that would really give me a sense of fulfilment.
What would say to other girls wanting to do what you do?
I would say go for it! But go into it with the right frame of mind and attitude. You have to be resilient to criticism and take it in your stride and move forward with a positive attitude. Even the most stunning girls have to have a cooperative attitude and be hard working.
Be expected to work for free at the beginning and invest your time in building your experience as a model.
Prioritise school until you are 18 and try not to compare too much with others. After all, we are all unique and that’s what makes you special.
But most of all have fun with it and take every day as it comes, modelling is full of surprises!
Ishika Sharma is truly an inspiration for all young British Asians who are keen to pursue the world of modelling. While she stuns in photo shoots and on the runway, the British Indian also realises how her education is still important.
With her appearance on the Kingfisher Calendar, this will undoubtedly lead to new, exciting heights for the model. The future looks set to be bright and positive for the 20-year old!
Don’t forget to check out our previous interviews with Kingfisher models Mitali Rannorey and Priyanka Moodley. Find out more about the Kingfisher Calendar 2018 here and follow Ishika Sharma on her Instagram.