"I didn’t even know I was the first."
Karanjee Gaba made history in 2022 by becoming the first Sikh model to walk the runway for Louis Vuitton.
On this first for the Sikh community, social media and publications alike were strong with the commentary of support.
Karanjee continues to have a strong modelling career and was recently highlighted in several magazines.
After working with photographer Shahfaq Shabbaz on a photoshoot, he spoke with GUAP Magazine to discuss the highlights of his journey so far.
The interviewer asked: “You were Louis Vuitton’s first Sikh model. How do you feel about that and what was the experience like?”
Karanjee replied: “When I first got the call for the shoot I was in shock. I think anyone who would confirm a shoot for LV, would be in shock. I couldn’t believe it.
“And, I didn’t even know I was the first.
“I remember two months before, my friend was showing me the book of Tim Walker, the greatest photographer in fashion.
“Then, two months later I was grateful to be working with him on set and for Louis Vuitton.
“It felt like a dream, but it was real.”
When asked if he enjoys modelling, Karanjee replied:
“I enjoy modelling a lot. It allows me to meet people from different ethnicities, cultures and experiences.
“It is a place where you can represent and tell your story through fashion.
“It is fun and exciting as it is always a brand new day in fashion.
“It is unexpected as you do not know who you will meet and who you will work with. Together you are creating art.”
Reflecting on his beginnings in the modelling world, the model was asked how he got started in the profession.
Karanjee Gaba said: “In my teenage years, I was always the tall one amongst my friends and family.
“I always loved being stylish and colour-coordinating my clothes.
“I used to do photography and at some point, I was teaching my friends how to shoot with me as the subject.
“Unknowingly, I had made my own portfolio, and that is when the journey of modelling began.
“I was approached on one of my social media accounts by a stylist who asked me to shoot for Lurve Magazine.
“Two weeks later, I walked in the Nicholas Daley show. Since then I haven’t looked back.”
However, the Louis Vuitton starlet understands the lack of diversity in the modelling industry.
He said: “I am glad that the industry is learning more about other cultures and giving them the platform to represent and tell their story.
“Fashion was very dominant in the Director’s vision and still is, but now it has an element where the director is able to tell their vision with others who also have a story.
“It was much needed for a long time and the time has come to change the perception of fashion.”
Karanjee’s advice to young aspiring models would be to stick to their roots.
He said: “I would say to each and everyone out there trying to make it like myself to not change for anyone.
“Stick to your roots, keep trying and pushing in fashion.
“Work with different designers and artists who you think represent you.
“Everything has its own time and pace; nothing happens overnight.
“I remember entering fashion nearly 7 years ago – I had no clue where to go and who to meet.
“Gradually as you grow, the right people will come to you and eventually you will make it. Never give up and be patient.”