March 25, 2020 Asmita Aggarwal

Bank on her

A former banker armed with an engineering degree and an MBA, Pavitra admits fashions charms were irresistible

By Asmita Aggarwal

It doesn’t matter if you have studied engineering and topped in it or also equipped yourself with an MBA degree to make sure your job prospects are high if you give it all up to be a catwalk princess. That’s just the story of Pavitra Malaiappan, a new face at LMIFW, an army kid who grew up with progressive parents, who rather than holding her back and forcing her to continue a job at a leading bank gave her the wings to fly. “I had this insane love for clothes, styling, and fashion, and if you look at it, this is something that you just can’t wish away, it stays with you. Honestly, I came into my own when I began modelling,” she says.

With her father, a mechanical engineer and older brother an IT professional, belonging to a Tamilian family, academics was always encouraged with a mom, who is an educationist. “Modelling has changed in its dynamics as the acceptance of it as a profession has grown due to social media, which has helped aspiring girls,” she explains. However, Pavitra believes it is a tough space to operate as you need the most important ingredient “drive” to reach the summit. Having faced intense criticism, she kept her chin up and always found strength in her family. “I kept my sanity by doing things that I love—painting;  Thanjavurs and I rescue pets, as animals have been my first love. Though I am an avid reader and writer, it is something I hope to develop further in my spare time,” she informs. She admits she gets her creativity from her mother who teaches kids in the most unconventional ways, opening up their minds rather them pressurising them to perform for grades.

Though, professionally she would like to do something that combines her two areas of interest—fashion and management. “I was a really shy person and fashion helped me embrace my body and let go of my inhibitions. The challenges made me grow into a strong, bold person and to be on the catwalk where you are open to scrutiny,” she says.

Meeting former Ms. Universe Sushmita Sen changed her life, and among those who she has admired on the catwalk include, Noami Campbell and in India, it was Sonalika Sahay, who during a show made her feel part of the contingent. “I’ve worked in a bank and I would say that it taught me many useful things—time management above all and quick decision making. But I am an artistic person and I can’t see myself doing an am to pm job for the rest of my life,” she concludes.

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