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MTV enters fashion genre with ‘India’s Next Top Model’

MUMBAI: Over the years, MTV has focused on being the platform that offers opportunities to the youth. For instance, local show ‘Coke Studio’ offers young musicians to showcase their talent. However, the one genre that it never dabbled in has been fashion. Now, that is set to change with the broadcaster making its first format acquisition.

From 19 July, the channel will air the 10-episode ‘India’s Next Top Model’. The show’s presenting sponsor is TRESemmé, while Lakme is a co-presenter and Amazon.in is the powered-by sponsor.

The fashion-based show will air every Sunday at 7 pm. It is a local adaptation of US broadcaster CBS’ ‘America’s Next Top Model’. The Indian version is being launched by licence-holder and producer Bulldog Media and Entertainment.

In a quest to bring the era of the supermodel back, MTV has teamed up with top model and actress Lisa Haydon, who makes her television debut with this show. It has also roped in photographer Dabboo Ratnani to judge 13 fresh faces in the race to win the title of India’s Next Top Model.

The girls will be mentored by MTV VJ and fashionista Anusha Dandekar and grooming expert Neeraj Gaba.

The show will provide the contestants with an opportunity to begin their career in the modelling industry. The winner of India’s Next Top Model will get to be the face of TRESemmé’s media campaign for one year, appear in an extensive feature for Lakme in European style magazine Grazia, and have a modelling contract with Bling. To top it all, she will walk the ramp at Lakme Fashion Week 2015 for a high-profile fashion designer.

Aditya SwamyMTV executive VP, business head Aditya Swamy said that fashion forms a core part of the youth’s identity. “It has taken years for the show to come to fruition. We got a thousand entries. We scouted across the country. Young people aspire to be part of global platforms and when it comes to fashion, the Top Model franchise is as big as it gets. This show will transform the lives of the 13 girls forever. And that’s what MTV is all about—big and bold. This is an exciting partnership that brings together the best of the best—TRESemmé, CBS, Bulldog and MTV. I look forward to the beginning of a long and exciting journey together.”

Like the US version, this version also will not have any audience participation because experts will guide and decide the winner. The judging process for this format cannot be democratic and left to viewers unlike a singing show.

However, the format has been tailored for Indian viewers. It is being done in Hindi. While two of the panellists are friendly, the other two are strict.

Swamy also said that there are plans to have an online presence for the show. “We are also creating exclusive web content for the show. You will see contestants talking about their experiences. While the show will lean more towards female audiences, you cannot have a hit show if just one gender watches it,” he explained.

CBS Studios International VP of international sales and production Roxanne Pompa said, “The America’s Next Top Model format continues to entertain audiences all around the world and we are excited to have the opportunity to see the Indian version make its debut. It is a show that has a great amount of style, glamour and entertainment, and we are confident that Bulldog Media & Entertainment and MTV India will deliver a ground-breaking and enjoyable experience for viewers in India.”

Bulldog Media and Entertainment co-founder, executive producer Akash Sharma said, “We are proud to be associated with CBS Studios International and MTV India to launch the Indian version of ‘Next Top Model’ in the country. The property today is a worldwide phenomenon and viewed in over 100 countries across the globe with more than 20 local versions of the format.

“In the countries where the show has been localised it has managed to strike a chord and go on to ratings and sponsor success; I don’t see it being any different for India.

Swamy, meanwhile, is happy about the brands that have come aboard as they are all related to fashion. More brands will join as the show progresses.

Sharma said that while it took two years, the companies have made it happen. He mentioned that while it is easy to acquire format rights for international shows, the key is to launch them successfully in various markets including India. He also noted that the juice for this show comes from the fact that girls have different personalities and come from different backgrounds.

Haydon said, “‘India’s Next Top Model’ is a show that’s bringing fashion back in style. It’s a show that will see 13 beautiful girls being transformed into professional models. These girls come from various parts of the country and have big dreams in their eyes. This show is their ticket to realising those dreams.”

‘India’s Next Top Model’ will see different sides of both the judges and the mentors as they guide the girls through the glamorous yet gruelling world of modelling. Each girl will be given a makeover and taught skills like walking on the ramp and the art of posing during the course of the show.