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December 2003 - January 2004


Here Comes The Hot Stepper: Upen Patel

by Rajan Patel

Who said our Boys cannot make it to big in the International Fashion scene. Meet UK born Upen Patel, a computer science graduate, he has already made India proud in being featured in Fashion magazines such as GQ and Vogue. He recently moved to Bombay during the Lakhme India Fashion Week and since has become the latest "must have" for most Indian fashion designers and ofcourse needless to say his fan base is since ever growing. He has done campaigns such as Calvin Klein, Zegna, and Paul Smith. Bollywood offers have been coming in galore too. Rajan Patel in an exclusive with the latest Indian Supermodel.

1. So how does it feel to be India's Hottest Male Model?

Everything has happened so fast that sometimes it feels unreal, But I feel excited about the way my career is shaping out here and to be compared to the likes of Arjun Rampal, Milind Soman, and to be called a supermodel so early in my career is amazing. People have been really nice to me here, which has helped a lot, and I also feel very lucky to have worked with the biggest designers in India at a very early stage. For me this is just the beginning!!

2. Tell us about your "growing up" years?

I was born in the UK and lived most of my life in London. I won the title as 'UK's No1. Indian Male Model' after doing countless international assignments for brands such as Kenzo, Hugo Boss etc. I was also the only Indian male model to have appeared in 4 No.1 British Indian music videos. Once I had completed my computer science degree I decide to head out to India as I was being offered countless assignments.

3. How did modeling happen for you? How did the Lakhme Fashion Week happen?
After modeling in Europe and winning a title, offers started to pour in from India. Once I arrived in India I signed up with one of the biggest modeling agencies in the country, with me being the first and only male they have ever signed which in itself was a big thing. After that I was approached for the Lakme Fashion Week which was a big success for me and as they say the rest is history, here I am today with a diary booked till the end of the year.
4. You think Models (the world over) make good actors?
I don't think it's a question of models being able to act or not. I don't think just because you are a model or a sports man you cannot act, many people are talented and have more then one talent. The only difference being is that you should know what your talent is. I don't think anyone is limited to just one profession in life. For me everyday is an act.
5. Do you aspire to be a part of Bollywood?
I am very happy with my career at the moment, and they have been many offers from bollywood of late but nothing that was worth while. Bollywood is a whole different ball game; I want the right launch, banner, director and script. Only the best for me will do. The kind of person I am, I don't want any half measures. Be it in my modeling career or films that come my way. I'm open to film offers but it has to be something that excites me.
6. What is the real Upen all about? How do you chill?
I love sports!!! When I have free time I love to do water sports from jet skiing to wind rafting. Im also a film and gym fanatic and love to spend time with my friends and family. Im just a fun guy who likes to live life on the edge.
7. Where do you look at yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself being on top, in whichever profession I am in,it could films, the modeling world who knows. I don't like to plan the future; I live for the moment.
8. Im sure all the women want to know more about what you like in them. So what's your dream date made up of?
Hmm…. My dream date… I see myself as a romantic. I like to wine and dine my women and make them feel like a princesses. I like confident women who know what they want in life, I like my women to be simple in life, someone who can laugh at them self, who can blend in with people, no hang ups and no issues. Someone who is like me and just goes with the flow and wants to be happy in life.
9. Are you popular back home in the UK? How do people react to you now that you have become a famous face?
My family and friends are my biggest fans, they know before I do when an article or picture appears in a magazine. Which is a great feeling. I get mail from people I don't even know which is amazing and I would have never expected that. I get lots of calls from family and friends to see what im up to or to let me know that they saw me on tv or in a paper.

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