SPOTLIGHT: Mr Tarun Nijjer
You may have noticed that we at The Rakish Gent are big fans of Tarun Nijjer. We recently got the chance to work with him on our recent Apartmento editorial. After many months of trying to work together, we found him to be well worth the wait. Quiet, intelligent and one of the nicest (and best) male models that we have ever worked with he was something of a joy.
He got us to thinking about a number of things. We are led to believe that male modeling has become more inclusive than ever before. Whilst this may be true, it is still woefully neglectful of many races with Tarun being the only South Asian model of note in the country (and how many British Asian boys are there in the UK right now?) We also found out that male models are not dumb – Tarun has just graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in English Literature.
Here’s what else we found out about Tarun when we sat down for sushi …
What has been the career highlights so far in your work as a model?
That would have to be the Burberry campaign that I did with Cara Delevingne and Suki Waterhouse. Cara was one of the biggest models in the world at the time and the campaign was shot by Mario Testino, one of the worlds most renowned photographers.
How did Burberry come about?
Quite simply, I had a casting for them. When the show came about, it was my first ever show and when I arrived at the venue I was told that I would be opening and closing the show. The show went well and then I got booked for the campaign too. Neelam Gill (the British Asian female model) had walked for them the season before and I think that helped.
Do you feel a pressure as a singular face in an industry?
Yes definitely. I think people can see me as this one Indian guy and I’m unsure whether I should push myself into being “that Indian model” or whether I should direct myself into being a mix of more British Asian.
Do you think that the industry has changed/ is changing?
Yeah I think it will. In the three years since I started it has already changed so much especially with the rise of Instagram. I remember when Instagram was not really a thing and now models are booked on the back of their social media. When I went to New York to walk in some shows over the summer, I got to castings and models were being asked to write down their name, agency and number of Instagram followers and models were being booked on the basis of the number of followers that they had.
So many models have moved into different areas (acting, designing, personal training). Is there anything else that you want to do?
I kind of have an idea of what I want to do and essentially that’s to save the world and make it a better place. I have been thinking of going into charity work in some way, working on ways to alleviate poverty. I would love to be involved in politics and work with the UN.
What are the downsides of being a male model?
We definitely get paid less than girls even though we do exactly the same job.
And finally, for you, what makes a rakish gent?
Someone that has enough confidence to border on arrogance. He’s the sultry, mysterious guy in the corner of the room.
Quick fire questions
Ideal travel destination – South America
Best store in the world – Waitrose for the food.
Gadget of choice – Go Pro
Your go to pair of shoes – I have a pair of Burberry brogues that I wore in the first show and they are my favourite pair.
Designer/ brand of choice – Richard James
Favourite fragrance – Issey Miyake
Best place to go out in London – Egg
Essential grooming product – For my skin I use Biotherm.
Recommended app – The Score
Icon – John Terry. I love strong leaders and for me he embodies what a leader should be.