Mahendar Mallagoud Gari was declared winner of the recent Bella Unsigned Model Search, supported by Melbourne Fashion Week, which saw over 100 modelling hopefuls vie for a three-year modelling contract with BELLA Management. “It was my dream to walk in the Melbourne Fashion Week and represent Indian-Australians on the runway, and I am glad I got the chance to do it,” says Mahendar, who walked the ramp in a MFW Pop-up runway event on 5 September alongside supermodel Robyn Lawley and other Search winners.
Last month, Bella Management searched for talent from all ethnicities, genders, and body types to showcase the diverse talent that reflects Australia’s cultural fabric as it is today. Up to 200 aspiring models, of all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, attended the BELLA Unsigned Model Search that went beyond the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, or religious or political beliefs.
“Diversity in advertising and fashion is so crucial because it’s about belonging. It’s about feeling like you are a part of the world and you absolutely deserve to be represented,” said executive director of BELLA Management and author of Body Image Warrior, Chelsea Bonner.