“Fashion is a mirror that shows how well you know your body and yourself not only from inside but also outside.” – Prabhakar Kumar
Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series goes beyond the runways to get to know top models on a personal level. Through the years, dozens of fascinating men and women have captured the attention of thousands. They’ve also proved, beyond a doubt, that Texas-based models are among the most talented and accomplished in the country.
Born in in a small village by the Ganges River in Northern India, Prabhakar Kumar moved to Dallas in 2011 to pursue his MBA. After living here for five years, this Dallas transplant considers the Big D his second home. Kumar has been seen on the famous DIFFA Dallas runway in 2015, modeling for Silk Threads and Prashe, strutting his stuff at Men’s Fashion Week Dallas in 2015, and many more. He recently appeared in a TV commercial for Moneygram after deciding to pursue acting as well, landing him spots in a number of commercials in India for MTV India, WPC cologne, and LG Mobile.
While he enjoys his career in modeling, his newest passion is acting. He started to take acting classes in Dallas, and even he co- produced and acted in a short film called “Kumar and Jen Go to Dinner”, which was highly acclaimed at Dallas’ RackFocus Film Competition at the Granada Theater last December. Kumar has been turning heads on the runway and on the small screen, winning Best Actor at Dallas’ Off the Rack Film Competition at the historic Texas Theatre in January 2015.
Name: Prabhakar Kumar
Hometown: Barh, India
Notable Clients: LG Mobile, WPC Perfume Gold’s Gym, Channel V, Holiday Inn Express, Coca-Cola, Calvin Klein
DFW Style Daily: What is that you enjoy the most about modeling and why?
Prabhakar Kumar: “I enjoy how creative one can get with wearing any clothes, shoes, accessories, and colors, [while at the] same time pushing the boundaries in order to create your own [signature] style. I did not start modeling until the age of 24, as a matter of fact I did not even know that I could be a model, but when I pursued it wholeheartedly it gave me the confidence that I can do anything at any age as long as I fully commit to it.”
Tell us how you started your modeling career in India.
“I started modeling at the age of 24, which is considered pretty late according to fashion industry standards. Like many other men from my country, I started my career as a software engineer, but one day I decided to quit my full-time job in the quest of finding my passion. I saw a newspaper ad for a pageant that I found very interesting. I auditioned for multiple rounds and finally went on and won the completion. This experience introduced me to my passion that I still continue to enjoy today.”
Do you find any similarities and differences when it comes to modeling industry in the U.S versus in India?
“I find more differences than similarities when I compare my experiences working in [the] modeling industry in both countries. In India, the majority of the people in this industry work as freelancers, whereas in the U.S. it’s agency-driven. Even the casting process is substantially different; I feel the US market is more open to diversity because there are so many people living here from all parts of the world. One big similarity is the production, whether it is commercial or runway, I’m glad I could leverage that part of my experience here.”
What is the most unusual or crazy thing you have done on a job?
“For my recent commercial shoot, I was asked to do an impromptu dance right by the intersection of two busy streets during rush hour. I’ve always enjoyed dancing but I did not know that one day I would be entertaining a live audience driving by in their cars and watching me dance while waiting for the light to turn green. Watching someone dance would now be my favorite thing to pass time while waiting to cross the street.”
What would be your dream assignment?
“My dream assignment would be to work for a UN campaign while spreading awareness of third world issues such as education, poverty, lack of clean drinking water, sanitation, and electricity.”
What does an education mean to you? Did you take modeling or acting courses in college?
“I believe education is the solution to most of today’s world problems including poverty, racism, and terrorism, just to name a few. I went to school for an undergraduate degree in Computer Science Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration. I did not take any modeling classes, but I’ve been taking acting classes for almost two years now.”
Let’s talk about your future plans. Are you planning to fully transition into acting or continuing to work in both industries?
“I started acting about a year and a half ago, and for me the most important thing about acting is I can live so many different lives in one lifetime. My plan is to fully transition into acting, but if given a chance I would definitely love to continue my relationship with my first love, modeling, and work in both worlds.”
Tell us about your idea of a perfect day off in Dallas.
“Cooking breakfast with chai and eating in my backyard. Then, going for a run by a beautiful river trail in my neighborhood, shopping, more eating, watching movies with friends, reading a book, and catching up on news and sleep.”
Do you have a personal role model? What did you learn from them?
“My father – he is the living epitome of the saying ‘tough times never last, but tough people do’ which I truly believe in.”
How do you see yourself progressing as a model and actor?
“My goals as a model are to embrace what we have both physically and mentally and then make the most of it. I feel I don’t have to be in a perfect shape or own expensive name-brand clothes, shoes, accessories in order to look stylish and feel great. I just have to be myself and create my own style. As an actor, I want to challenge myself again both physically and mentally to be able to not only play but also become as many different characters as possible. I believe acting is a craft that every actor keeps working on throughout his/her lifetime and I feel I’ve just begun my journey on that path. To sum it up two lines from a famous poem come to mind: ‘I have miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.'”
Images courtesy of Prabhakar Kumar.