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From M’sia To Milan: How KL Based Vanizha Vasantha Blazed Her Way To The Fashion Capital Of The World


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Source: Provided to WOB

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Rarely in Asia, do you see dark-skinned models gracing magazine covers and high-end billboards, though the times are slowly changing now.

More and more people are proudly speaking out for and celebrating their dark skin tones, and finding success in fields that normally steer away from those with brown skin.

Which is why it is amazing to see how local KL-based model, Vanizha Vasantha Nathan, who describes herself as ‘ordinary, dark-skinned and belonging to an ethnic minority‘, has gone from Malaysia to Milan in the span of 7 years.


Vanizha recently walked the world-renowned Milan Fashion Week, and shared with WORLD OF BUZZ just how amazing it felt.

“Being in a prestigious event as such, I really felt proud of myself that I finally walked on one of the world’s biggest fashion events. At the same time, I did feel a bit nervous but I was confident in myself as this was the dream I was working towards,” she said.


But, where did it all begin? 

She most probably gets her elegance and poise from her roots as a traditional Indian dancer!

“Being a traditional Indian dancer for the past 13 years or so, dance and performance has always played an important role in my life. The idea to be graceful enough on stage and showcase it to the world is a feeling that cannot be explained.”

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Vanizha started her modelling career in 2015, with a few small-scaled photoshoots. She was soon discovered by a make-up artist who introduced her to a photographer that pushed her towards runway.

“With the support and encouragement from the photographer and also my college lecturers at the time, I decided to try out for KL Fashion Week 2015. That experience was an eye opener for me and it was at that time I knew that I can pursue this career for the long run.”

“After the fashion week, I began to get noticed by a few designers, photographers and brands per say, and was also asked to do photoshoots and features.”


Vanizha goes international

In 2016 and 2017, she walked the prominent Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai, India, making her the 1st Malaysian to walk the show.

“It was a really overwhelming experience as I had worked hard to go through numerous castings and was finally being selected. It felt really good as at that time, all the hard work of going through the whole process by myself was slowly starting to pay off,” she said.

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Then, in 2018, she was invited to work China Fashion Week.

“This was really huge to me as China Fashion Week is one or if not the biggest fashion events in Asia. At that time, I was once again the 1st Malaysian to ever walk on the runway of China Fashion Week.”

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She was invited to walk China Fashion Week again in 2019, the same year she had also walked Jakarta
Fashion Week.

And 2019 brought more good news! 


The face of Sephora

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Leading the way for dark-skinned girls to be seen, Vanizha became the 1st dark-skinned Malaysians to become the face of Sephora, where she was featured on billboards and advertisements.

“I was so proud of myself that not only have I taken myself to new heights, but I have also made my nation proud as well.”


The day the earth stood still

The Covid-19 pandemic caused 2020 to become a fruitless year but Vanizha managed to salvage 2021 by doing social media content for brands ranging from M.A.C and Tresemme to Charles & Keith, ZALORA and even Warner Music Malaysia!

That kept me going and also, in a way, helped me stay relevant in the industry,”

In 2021 also, I managed to land my 1st solo magazine cover. I was featured on the cover of Options, The Edge Malaysia,” she shared.

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That same year, her agency managed to set up online castings for international agencies in Berlin, Spain and Italy.

“During that tie, I was doing my best to land a good deal as my biggest dream was to be able to do modelling in Europe. I managed to sign a contract with agencies in Berlin and Spain, but was still waiting for the right time and opportunity to go over there with this whole pandemic thing in consideration,” she added.


2022, a year to remember

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“In late January, I finally had a big break. My mother agency had informed me that an agency in Milan, Italy, was very keen on getting me to go over there as soon as possible. The agency wanted me to be in Milan by mid February as the Milan Fashion Week was about to take place,”

“I was super stoked and really excited. It felt surreal but at the same time, I was also very worried as it was all happening in such a short span of time. I decided to take that leap of faith and wanted to grab this opportunity of a lifetime as this would be really good exposure for me and will further enhance my repertoire,” Vanizha shared.

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She walked for both Marco Rambaldi and Act N°1! 

“This being my 1st time ever trying out for Milan Fashion Week and I managed to walk for 2 designers! I believe it is something really huge especially for a small town girl from Malaysia.”


So, what’s next for Vanizha? 

She’s currently checking out her options in Milan, by attending castings and shoots now that the prestigious event has come to an end.

“At the same time, my mother agency is also trying to work things out for me to get a stint over in Berlin, Spain and with other agencies in Europe,”

“The dream doesn’t end here. I want to give it my best in all that I can and I am feeling as confident as every to make my mark in Europe as well as all over the world.”


And she has a message for all dark-skinned aspiring models out there!

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“I always believed in this motto, ‘When you want to change something, YOU have to be the change’. Growing up, I did not see any models who had dark skin tones on major brand billboards and such. There were times even I doubted myself, if I could really do this and make it,”

“But I never gave up. I always believed in myself and worked even harder to achieve some of the thing I have achieved today. So, if you have the dream and vision, believe in yourself. Don’t give up and always push yourself to the limit. Eventually, you will see the success that you have been longing for,” Vanizha said.


We couldn’t be prouder to see how Vanizha has persevered through the cut-throat world of fashion and to see her shine as she works international runways. And we can’t wait to see her take her modelling pedestal to the next level!

You go takeover the fashion world, Vanizha!


Also read: This Inspiring Project Wants to Change the Malaysian’s Perception on Dark Skin and Showcase Its Beauty

- World Of Buzz

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