Kean Alvares: India’s androgynous model
Kean Alvares is a 23 year old makeup artist and androgynous model based in Mumbai. He shares his story with Pink Pages. Pictures by Punit Reddy.
On Modelling as a career
At the age of eighteen I met an Indian Fashion photographer Vikram Bawa through a mutual friend. The moment our meeting was set up and I met him, I was smitten when I entered his Peddar Road studio. I agreed to being photographed by him and then it all began. I was featured in the August 2010 issue of Better Photography, as Vikram had won the first prize for our image which he submitted at an international photography festival. That’s when I decided to be a model.
What it means to be an androgynous model
I realized during my stint as a model that I can be as much as the woman I want to be inspite of being a man, and truly the pictures translated what was going on in my mind. I evolved to be more confident, graceful and began to embrace the person I am. I’ve never really faced any challenges mainly because I haven’t gone commercial yet. The market is very niche here for people like us. The main challenge here today is, to get people to like a man emasculating a woman in all his glory, it’s very difficult.
People who have influenced me
I was most influenced by my mother, she was always particular about how she looked, and show she dressed up. It was simple yet it had class and character. I was also highly inspired by her strength and courage. My father was a model me for his disciplined lifestyle and hardworking nature. Cory Wallia- who till today I am so grateful to, was the leading force to my career. He helped me understand my dream, he showed me how to nurture them and he helped me to value who I was.
My dreams for the future
I hope to see my dream to be an Androgynous Model here in India materialize. I also plan to continue with my ultimate passion, that is makeup. It’s a long road for everyone, I saw the light a little earlier, and I am glad to have pushed myself so much to have reached where I am today.
A message for those who are struggling
I am not going to say just go and do what you want. I know there is a family, I know there is a neighborhood and I know there are too many people who will judge you. I went through it all. You need to start building yourself, you need to start realizing where your dreams lie and need to find ways to establish yourself. And there will be a lot of rejection, take it in your stride.