Having grown up with two bigger brothers, she was a complete tomboy in her early teens. Being daddy’s princess meant that she was very spoilt. She enjoys being the centre of attention, whether it be dancing, modelling or a petition. It’s no surprise that Singh has built a name for herself on the international runway. She chats to us about the modelling industry and appearing on some of the industry’s top runways.
When did you start modelling?
My mother enrolled me into modelling school at the age of 10. It’s all I have ever wanted as a child. She has told me that when I was younger I insisted that she didn't buy me dolls. Instead, I persuaded her to use the money to send me to modelling school. I participated in my first beauty pageant at the age of 12. It was called Miss Teen India SA. And the rest is history!
Supermodel, Nateesha Singh. Picture: Supplied.
How was your first international modelling gig?
I was invited to India Couture week by designer Varun Bahl. That was my first international fashion show held in New Delhi. At the time, I had the opportunity to model for India’s most prestigious fashion designers which was a pivotal foundation phase for my career. They adored that I had brown skin and that I have Indian heritage. The diversity that comes from being South African Indian has always had a positive impact on my career on various different platforms throughout the world.
You’re doing Milan Fashion Week. What does that mean to you?
This is a dream come true! In the modelling industry, Milan Fashion Week is the most sought-after fashion week in the entire world and I am so grateful and humbled for such an enormous opportunity. I was scouted in London last November, while modelling at India Fashion Week. I attended the casting for Milan Fashion Week while I was in the United Kingdom and received confirmation in December. Growing up I always felt unrepresented, knowing that nobody on international ramps looked like me and now I hope to change that.
What are your biggest highlights in your career?
Every international fashion show I am booked for is a highlight for me. Having the privilege to represent South Africa I hold with great pride. I am an extremely proud South African. And I carry my history and culture everywhere I go.
Being a model can be a strain. What keeps you going - your biggest motivator?
My biggest motivation is my own life and my success. I remember at my matric dance being asked what I wanted to be when I finished school. And I confidently replied “an international supermodel". Years later I have fulfilled this childhood dream. Many thought it would be impossible, but it is my determination and perseverance that has fueled my success. I Just don’t take "NO" for an answer. I think attitude is everything. With passion, humility, focus, resilience and hard work, one’s dreams can come true. You have to keep trying until you get that "YES".
Nateesha Singh looking exquisite. Picture: Supplied.
If you weren’t a model, what would you be doing?
Having a degree in accounting has equipped me with the knowledge and tools to drive my brand into a successful business. So I would definitely have become a chartered accountant had I chosen another career.
Now that you’ve unlocked MFW, what’s next?
The only catwalk that I have not graced as yet is New York Fashion Week. I think that is the ultimate next goal. I’m also in talks about a new exciting broadcasting venture and you should keep an eye out for me on your television screens coming soon.
What words of wisdom would you give to young aspiring models?
A lot of young girls want to become models, because it is glamorous and lucrative. They first need to understand modelling is extremely competitive and the industry is filled with rejection. Knowing what to expect when entering the world of modelling can help prepare you when pursuing a career in the fashion industry.
To be a model you need to be educated and extremely street smart. Being a model does not make you a muse or hanger, you need to understand the industry well, the do's and the don’ts. How to brand yourself, how to take your talent and build a business out of it. You need to educate yourself on the best designers, photographs, make-up artists, the best agents to grow your career. There are days that I fly into a country and go straight into a rehearsal, so you have to be willing to work hard.
Stunning in white. Picture: Supplied.
In modelling you have to keep applying, researching, practising. But ultimately you need to wholeheartedly, without a shadow of doubt, believe in yourself and in your talent. Your willpower must be unshakeable. Your determination is everything!