“I would love to model in India to help break down the dark-skinned stigma. I think India is still years away from that, though.” – Sirisha Reddy
Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series goes beyond the runways and picture-perfect shoots to get to know top Dallas models on a personal level. Why?
Boasting top tier agencies, producers, retailers, and shows, the Dallas market is emerging as a fashion force to be reckoned with on the national scene. And, as our interviews with Carlotta Lennox, Myles Crosby, Donny Boaz, Lexi Russell, Cameron Phan, and many more prove, Dallas-based models are among the most fascinating and accomplished in the country.
Today’s model citizen is no exception to the rule. Sirisha Reddy is a Fort Worth native with striking looks and striking views on a few industry stereotypes. Read on for the scoop and click here for more DFW Style Daily Face Time model interviews!
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Tell us about your first job.
Sirisha Reddy: “When I was 13 or 14 I did an informal fashion show for an Indian clothing line called Silk Threads. Funnily enough, I now work for that same company producing their fashion shows and photo shoots when I’m not modeling.”
You are known in the Dallas market for your striking, exotic look. Tell us about your family background.
“I was brought up in a conservative Indian household. My parents moved from India to America, so that one day their children could be doctors. Needless to say, I broke their hearts by choosing a career in fashion. I kept it a secret from them for many years, and it took even longer for them to accept it. I would come home from photo shoots or fashion shows with crazy hair or makeup, and my mother would just look at me and ask, ‘How did I raise you to do this stripping thing?’
“Thankfully, they have come around. It took my mother seeing me in a JCPenney ad for it to happen. JCPenney is a store she knows and respects, plus it helped that I was fully clothed. It took my father realizing that I was actually getting paid for modeling, and that I wasn’t just asking people to take pictures of me in pretty dresses!”
What do you think is the biggest misconception about the modeling industry?
“It’s funny to me that people think all models are chic or glamorous people. In high school, the tall and svelte models you see today were considered lanky, and they towered over boys. That dorky mentality doesn’t go away easily.”
What is the most unusual thing you have done on a job?
“I did a fashion show at the Dallas Contemporary for an artist named K8 Hardy. Her art installment actually made fun of models and the fashion industry, so I was booked to walk down a runway awkwardly, in order to make fun of myself.”
It is important to you to maintain a somewhat conservative image through your work. Can you explain your motivation? In this area, are there any “deal breakers” for you when it comes to job requirements?
“Considering my conservative Indian background, I want to make sure that I don’t do anything to embarrass my family. That basically rules out all nudes, implied or otherwise.”
Do you believe that conservative values might ever cost you a high-profile or lucrative modeling job?
“At this point, not really. It may have cost me some jobs in the past, but the older you get, the more people want you to keep your clothes on.”
What is your dream assignment, or who would be your dream client?
“A few years ago, Vogue India featured a cover story trying to dispel the Indian belief that lighter skinned women are considered more attractive. The problem with the article, though, was that all of the women looked mildly sun kissed – they were not actually dark. I would love to model in India to help break down the dark skinned stigma. I think India is still years away from that, though.”
In your personal opinion, what is the biggest difference between the modeling industry here in Dallas and elsewhere in the country?
“Dallas is filled with beautiful ‘girl next door’ models, and as much as it’s intrigued by a more exotic look, Dallas doesn’t do a lot with them. Dallas prefers to stick to what it knows by booking the blonde bombshell.”
How do you prepare for an assignment?
“I try to look up previous shoots to see what the client will probably expect. I also make sure to pick out a good book to take with me, because there’s a lot of sitting and waiting in modeling.”
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
“Egg whites with mushrooms, a bowl of berries, and my favorite strawberry, champagne, and peach tea mix from Teavana.”
When you’re not working, how might you spend a free afternoon or evening in Big D?
“I’m a pretty big book worm. I love heading to a coffee shop with my boyfriend, and spending the day reading with a hot cup of tea. Or, I’ll spend the day in the kitchen learning how to bake something new. I’m going to tackle croissants next!”
All images, courtesy of Sirisha Reddy.