Ramp-blazer! | Daily News


Posing with other models  for a Debenham fashion house photoshoot
Posing with other models for a Debenham fashion house photoshoot

He believes in controlling one’s own destiny and that life is for living. The youth who is vying to become a successful entrepreneur has made his mark in the UK fashion scene and had worked with many renowned designers there and abroad. He also has walked the ramp and posed for the shutterbugs for renowned fashion brands like Next, Debenhams, Ray Ban and New Look.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Others can show you the way but it is up to you to tread that path. This has been the motto I have strived to live by both in my professional as well as personal life,” says Prabuddha Rangana Thilakawardane.

A past pupil of Kirindivita Gemunu Junior College and Bandaranayake Vidyalaya, Gampaha, Prabuddha won the Model Search 2013 title while he was studying in Cambridge, UK. This turned a new page in his modeling career and opened doors to new and wider opportunities. He also got the chance to expand his horizons.

“I was the only Asian among the contestants and I felt proud to represent Sri Lanka there. Topping the male model category in the event gave me the opportunity to establish contacts with the experts in the UK fashion scene and drew many projects my way,” he enthused adding that the female model category winner of the competition became one of his close allies. She became Miss England for Miss Universe 2014 and was ranked among the top five finalists at Miss Universe 2014.

He notes that it was the glamour and the ‘wow’ factor behind modeling which drew him to the field. His entrance to the subject had happened out of the blue after he was motivated to apply for the pageant which was held to choose a male face to represent the Swedish cosmetics brand Oriflame. He became the winner of Oriflame Male Face of the Year 2010. This was his first break.

“The industry excited me. After I won the Model Search pageant I was faced with the prospect of moving to London to start a career as a professional model. I was at a crossroad because I was keen to follow my studies as well as interested in taking advantage of this golden opportunity. Since I was able to establish a good network with the top professionals in the industry I was able to remain in Cambridge and continue my studies while taking part in fashion shows staged in the region and in London. This was an enlightening experience as it highlighted the differences in culture and how it was expressed through fashion,” he said.

On the flip side it’s one world where the male is in minority. They are paid much less than their female contemporaries. Still the charm is irresistible.

“Today we live in a society that appreciates fashion regardless of gender identity. If you have the right characteristics and are dedicated and ambitious you can make a difference. The industry has progressed a lot in the past five years and new up and coming designers are pushing the boundaries of male fashion and modeling. Male models are making a big impact on the fashion market. We are living in an exciting time for menswear. I look forward to what is to come,” he opined.

Behind the so-called frivolous form there is sweat and toil. Prabuddha explains that becoming a successful male model is no easy accomplishment. He got his initial training from Brain Kerkoven. Rozanne Diaz, Dinesh Chandrasena, Senaka de Silva and Lou Ching Wong too have been giving words of wisdom to the budding young model.

“Ramp modeling is finely choreographed. But in one show I forgot what the choreographer taught me and made an error. I tried to hide my mistake as smoothly and professional as I can. I hope I had not offended the choreographer who worked really hard on the routine!” he elaborated on one of his experiences on the runway.

Being a part of the fashion industry can be very pressurizing too. Prabuddha advises those who are wishing to follow a career in modeling to be true to oneself and to belive that one can succeed.

“You will always come across challenges in life but it is how you deal with them that will shape you as a person. Allow your personality to shine through and don’t let others put you down. Achieve your dreams and most importantly – enjoy your life,” he mused.

Prabuddha hails from Katugasthara, Gampaha. His parents are Micheal Thilakawardane and Rupa Malani Thilakawardane. He has one sibling, Lasith Thilakawardane. His style icons are Bradley Cooper, Hrithik Roshan, and Aamir Khan because they are good role models both in their careers as well as in their fashion sense. He also loves Latin Style dancing, especially Bachata and Salsa.

He wishes to help youth who come from modest backgrounds to follow their dreams in providing them with the necessary training and support in the future. He aspired to become a responsible role model for them.

“Always believe in yourself and follow your passion. You too will find an opportunity even if it isn’t planned just like I did. Life is full of opportunities and you need to be brave enough to grasp them. Simply put in 100 percent of your energy and effort into whatever you do. That is the key to success,” he pointed out.

He is currently involved in some projects. He needs to concentrate on his physique to tailor it to fit the needs of a specific assignment.

“You need to meet such demands. I am very excitied about my upcoming venture and hopefully you will be able to read about it soon in the newspapers,” he added with a mischievous wink. 


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