AMRIT COVERS JUNE/JULY ISSUE OF VOGUE INDIA LENSED BY ASHISH SHAH - The Industry Model Management
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Amrit Covers June/july Issue Of Vogue India Lensed By Ashish Shah

“MY MOTHERLAND IS A PLACE THAT FEELS CLEANSING—IT’S AS IF I EXPERIENCE A BAPTISM BY HOLY WATER EVERY TIME I’M BACK,”

-Amrit 

Amrit may be the small town Indian girl who has captured the beau monde’s imagination, but that’s far from being the most interesting thing about her. The Punjab-born model admits that she sees herself more as an artist than a muse, despite having made her runway debut in 2020 for Chloé at Paris Fashion Week. But if there’s one thing I learned about her from our conversation, it’s that Amrit is more interested in charting her own path than she is in keeping up with the Joneses.

What sparked the environmental activist within her? 

“I think it comes from my culture,” responds Amrit, “In the days when my grandmother was alive, a piece of cloth had a whole life journey, where it went from being used for its intended purpose to finally becoming a cleaning rag, with six different uses in between. With consumerism, especially here in the United States where I am now, I find it bizarre the way things are used once and then end up in a landfill. I want to work to change that.”

Not one to talk the talk without walking the walk, Amrit has launched the Dharath Foundation, which aims to both implement and spread awareness about the fruits of reforestation. As someone who grew up in a rural community near Punjab’s Kapurthala to a farming family, Amrit feels uniquely poised to address and understand the issues at stake. “Deforestation is a huge problem in India, and I want to stress on the fact that it’s rural communities who suffer the most,” she says, citing her home state’s storied and rich agricultural past and present as the impetus behind her starting the foundation. While she has great respect for the many virtues of keeping time-honoured traditions alive, she is also cognizant of the reality that not all traditions have a place in today’s climate-stricken landscape. “I am committed to educating farmers towards more sustainable agricultural practices,” she says with a flash of passion in her eyes, “There are many old methods that are messing with things like the soil’s pH and fertility. I think it is my duty to spread awareness within my community, and I believe that by taking inspired actions collectively, we can build a more sustainable future.”

If there is one thing that Amrit speaks of with as much fervid enthusiasm as she does environmental conservation, it’s her art. While it wouldn’t be uncommon for someone who has achieved her level of success and acclaim to abandon art or relegate it to a weekend hobby, it’s apparent in the way that she discusses her journey as an artist that she is just as much a creative force today as she was all those years ago when she left her hometown to pursue an art degree in Paris. 

What becomes clear is that modelling will always play second fiddle to her penchant for artistic expression, and that art was, is and will always be her first love: “Art is about communication and dialogue, and everytime I create something I’m both stretching myself further and getting to step outside of myself for a moment. I never want to stop doing it.”

Frida Kahlo, a woman and artist whom Amrit credits as being her primary inspiration—along with contemporaries such as Amrita Sher-gil, whom she teasingly calls her namesake—said, “I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.” There seems to be a thread that unspools across time and connects Amrit to her female artistic ancestors, and it is that woman artists have often used their creativity as a means by which to bring both their sense of self and their understanding of the world into sharper focus. “Whenever I go to museums in India or in Europe,” says the model, “I rarely find any art from female artists of Indian origin.” When I ask if that is something she’s determined to change, Amrit replies, “Being an Indian female artist presents me with different challenges, but it also gives me a unique grounding—one that I hope will continue strengthening itself.”

Admittedly, there is a quiet intensity to 24 year-old Amrit that belies both her age and her profession. Perhaps some of that seriousness can be attributed to the fact that she is much more invested in being a creative multi-hyphenate than a clotheshorse, and does not limit herself solely to the visual arts, as evidenced by her prolific poetry writing. She curates an Instagram account that is dedicated to showcasing her way with words, and that contains snippets of poems that capture slow, somnolent moments from what is otherwise a very fast-paced life. “It’s a spiritual process,” she says of the meditative pleasures of poetry. While the model may have traversed some of the world’s most famous cities for her job, it’s obvious when she cites Amrita Pritam as her favourite poet that her heart continues to reside firmly in Punjab.

Photographer: Ashish Shah Stylist: Nikhil Mansata    Words by: Arushi Sinha Head of Editorial Content: Megha Kapoor    Global Design Director for Vogue: Aurelie Pellissier Roman    Visuals Director: Roxanne Doucet Art Director: Megha Singha 

Born in Punjab, India and raised in a multicultural environment, Amrit moved to Paris in late 2019 to study at "Paris College of Art" at the beginning of her career, balancing early visual practices with an interest in modeling as part of her self-expression. Now at age 24, Amrit finds her sense of inner truth as she goes on to express herself in all the different art mediums: from drawing, painting, sculpturing, music & writing to now studying acting in LA to shape her craft as a performer and transcend her art into a deeper human experience and field of connectivity. Through her engagement with the fashion industry, Amrit has quickly gained international recognition from a list of creative icons including Alasdair McLellan, Jamie Hawkesworth, Karim Sadli, Suzanne Koller, Ezra Petronio, Creig McDean, and Carlos Nazario, among others. Amrit finds nature to help her be more in touch with herself and be grounded in momentum. In December 2021 she started an ecological project Indian based called “Dharath foundation”, which aims to donate and plant more trees in the rural areas of the country and spread more awareness about sustainable living, all while pursuing her honors in “Environmental science” at the same time. This Indian beauty’ s talent for transformation simultaneously can be seen in such magazines as American Vogue, Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Self Service, i-D, W magazine, Document Journal and M le Magazine du Monde. Additionally gracing campaigns for Hermés, Versace Jeans, Louis Vuitton Jewelry, Chanel beauty, Miu Miu and others, Amrit’ s versatility and expressive nature clearly extends across a varied arrange of arenas from fashions’ s highest echelons to her studies in fine art to sustainability activism. 

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AMRIT COVERS JUNE/JULY ISSUE OF VOGUE INDIA LENSED BY ASHISH SHAH