Arshu Maharjan: A Journey into Fashion and Choreography
Arshu Maharajan is a prominent fashion model and choreographer based in Nepal. He has been involved in the fashion world for the past six years and has worked on numerous fashion shows, events, and campaigns.
What first inspired you to pursue a career in fashion?
Choosing the modeling field as my career was not my plan, or you could even say that it was not my cup of tea… I never imagined I would take a few steps up here. There’s a saying that says what’s meant to happen will happen anyhow).So this might be the fate destined to happen.
How did you first get started in the fashion industry?
To be honest, I never thought to secure my career or keep going in the modeling industry… I just wanted to have an experience in modeling, so I took part in a beauty pageant, but slowly and gradually, my interest for this field kept on growing as I kept getting the opportunities, and within no time, choreography became my passion and a career.
How would you describe your personal style?
My style might differ as per the time, situation, events, or my priorities, but mostly wearing formal has been my style. But whatever my style might be, the least thing that I check in myself is my personality, because styles keep changing, but your personality should not, because your personality shows the real you.
Can you describe your typical process for choreographing a fashion show?
Choreography is mainly affected by three things: who, where, and why. Who is the targeted audience? Where will the event take place? Why do you want to put on the show? Beside this, the typical process for choreographing is to select some good models, train them for a couple of days, and fully instruct them about showcasing the dresses, accessories, make-up, and other gadgets given by the event….After all these things, I make sure that nothing goes wrong on stage or on the final day because a show is not declared grand by its decorations; it is declared grand and successful when models carry the dresses and all the properties as per instructions.
Can you tell us about a particularly challenging fashion show you worked on and how you overcome those challenges?
I won’t say the specific event was challenging, but fashion shows that are held outside of the Kathmandu Valley are challenging because, comparatively, other cities lack the technical sources, budgeting, ideas, proper models, qualified designers, accessories, and, talking about the most important thing, people have a negative and inappropriate understanding of the fashion world. So, dealing with all these challenges, we are able to do fashion shows, but sometimes the results do not match expectations.
What do you consider to be the most important qualities for a successful fashion show choreographer?
A fashion choreographer must have the ability to understand the models properly, point out their mistakes at first glance, and improve them in a short period of time. This is one of the best qualities. Most have a creative imagination and excellent problem-solving skills, and the ability to work under pressure. They must be able to communicate effectively with the models and the team to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Attention to detail and the ability to plan and organize the show effectively are also crucial. Additionally, a successful fashion show choreographer must have a strong work ethic and be willing to put in long hours to ensure that the event is a success.
Can you describe a particularly memorable modeling experience you’ve had?
One of the most unforgettable moments in my modeling career was when I was crowned Mr. Sagarmatha Nepal 2017. This experience holds a special place in my heart because it marked the beginning of my journey in the industry. The entire training period leading up to the event was also an incredibly memorable time for me. I had the opportunity to bond with my fellow contestants, choreographers, and organizing team, creating fond memories that I still cherish to this day. Recalling those moments brings a smile to my face and fills me with joy.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of being a model?
One of the most challenging aspects of being a model is the difficulty of sustaining oneself in this field due to the limited availability of opportunities. The modeling industry is relatively small, and it is not easy for everyone to become a supermodel. Many models struggle to find consistent work, and some organizations may expect them to work for very low pay or even without any payment at all. Additionally, female models often face harassment and may not feel safe in their workplace. These are some of the key challenges that models encounter in their careers.
How do you handle the competitiveness in the modeling industry?
As a model, I handle the competitiveness in the industry by embodying qualities such as humility, supportiveness, creativity, and versatility. These traits help me stand out among my peers and make me competitive on the field.
Additionally, I continuously learn from and observe my seniors in the industry, study more about the fashion industry, and strive to update and grow every day. By doing so, I am able to stay one step ahead and maintain a competitive edge in the modeling world.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about the modeling industry?
I believe the biggest misconception about the modeling industry is that it’s all about wearing revealing clothing like short, transparent bikinis. However, that’s far from the truth. The modeling industry is diverse and offers opportunities for people of all genders and backgrounds. Modeling is a means of self-expression and a platform to showcase your unique personality to the world. Through modeling, I have been able to establish myself, gain recognition, and achieve a certain status. Moreover, it has helped me become independent, confident, and bold in my approach to life.
What do you think sets the Nepalese fashion industry apart from other countries?
The Nepalese fashion industry is still in its developing phase, but we have a unique and diverse culture that sets us apart from other countries. We have traditional attire and textiles that are not found in any other part of the world, and designers have been incorporating these elements into modern designs, creating a unique fusion. Furthermore, Nepalese designers and models have been gaining recognition and success globally, showcasing our talent and potential in the international fashion industry. Despite the challenges and limitations, the Nepalese fashion industry is growing and has a promising future.
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion show choreographers?
My advice to aspiring fashion show choreographers is to stay passionate, creative, and determined. Always be willing to learn and improve your skills. Attend fashion shows and events to observe and gain inspiration from experienced choreographers. Practice and develop your own style and unique way of choreographing. And most importantly, never give up on your dreams, and always stay positive and focused on your goals. With hard work, dedication, and perseverance, anything is possible.