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Scouted at 15 in her hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, Ashika Pratt’s career has snowballed into magazine covers, fashion week shows, major campaigns and jet setting around the world in the past 10 years.

Now based in New York, her Indian origins have set her apart but her future wish for the industry is to see more diversity in fashion.

What made you get into modeling?

It’s something that just happened to me. I didn’t actively pursue it at first but I didn’t want to ignore the opportunity of modeling, and I’m glad I didn’t. I love being able to travel constantly for work and go to beautiful places.

What do you consider to be your proudest accomplishment to date?

Walking in the Chanel show was one of the most exciting and proudest modeling moments for me. I was flown to Paris from New Zealand and I got to meet Karl.

What makes you stand out in your field?

I think looking different has worked to my advantage as well as against me during my modeling career, but I wouldn’t change that. Right now is a good time to be different, and there are a lot of new diverse models out there now doing great things.

What have been the key things you’ve learnt since starting out?

I’ve learnt to be a much stronger person since modeling. I don’t take things people say personally, and it takes a lot to offend me. It’s important to be a confident person in this industry and know who you are.

What does it take to be a good model?

Confidence, expression of your personality and hard work.

If you could work with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why?

I would love to shoot for a major beauty brand or a fragrance in the next year. I admire the work of Mario Testino, Mario Sorrenti and Steven Meisel, as well as many more. Being the face of a beauty brand would be the ultimate goal.

What are your hopes for your future?

I’m very happy where I am right now, but I’ll always be striving for better. I hope to continue my career in New York and possibly be able to spend more time in Paris over the next year just because I love it there. I’d love to see more diversity in the fashion industry in the future, and overall more opportunities for models of color and different ethnicities. It would be nice to see more than one token brown, black or Asian girl per show.

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