New Delhi: India's biggest fashion event denied permission to Miss Afghanistan Vida Samadzai, whose bikini walk at the Miss Earth pageant three years ago earned her expulsion from her country, to walk on the ramp at a show inspired by her courageous life.
Samadzai, who was the lead model of Bangalore-based Deepika Govind, was told to get off the ramp a few minutes before the show at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week on Saturday evening, according to fashion industry sources.
An official of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) told the designer that the US-based model would not be allowed to walk, the sources said. Govind's latest collection was inspired by the story of Samadzai, who is torn between her homeland, family and her own individual rights.
The FDCI stopped the model as she was not holding a valid work permit issued by the Home Ministry to take part in the fashion week, the sources said, adding the apex body of fashion designers in the country had, however, allowed two foreign male models to walk the ramp earlier in the event.
The model, who holds an American passport with a business visa till November first week, too, had sent a letter to FDCI seeking permission to take part in the Govind show.
Govind had written a letter to the council on Saturday morning, informing about Zamadzai's participation saying she was included because of her courage and commitment to stand up for a cause and not on any monetary considerations because she was a 'guest'.
"I don't know why I was not allowed to walk. No money was exchanged and it's not fair to have exception for some people and not to me,'' said Samadzai.
"Why should she (Samadzai) be allowed to walk without a work permit," said FDCI Director-General Rathi Vinay Jha. "You know that the permission of the Indian Government is needed for a foreign model or choreographer to work on a ramp," she said.
Govind said she sought permission for Samadzai to work for her because "she represented the courage and spirit I believe in."
Samadzai, however, came as the show-stopper at the Govind show, walking with the designer to the middle of the ramp. Govind's collection, 'Tears of the Muses', is the tale of contradiction between a complex muse and a true muse, Samadzai representing the true muse.