By Chris Bavender
A Fishers teen recently participated in New York Fashion Week, modeling for Marc Defang, the head designer of Marc Defang New York.
“I had always wanted to be a part of Fashion Week,” said Vani Sharma, a sophomore at Fishers High School. “While I was a reigning queen as the International United Miss Preteen (2020-21), I decided to take the next step forward and was super excited to get the opportunity to walk at the NYFW.”
Sharma participated in one show during Fashion Week, a week she said was “fun-filled with bustling activities and shows.”
“I loved all of Marc Defang’s collections. However, I modeled for his active wear collection,” she said. “In addition to the signature model robe, I was also given the Marc Defang NYFW rhinestone bag, heels and active wear that I used during the show.”
But the excitement didn’t end there. Defang named a shoe in his collection after Sharma
“This was another exciting moment in my life to have been selected as a style spokesmodel and have platform heels named after me,” she said. “I am truly honored and humbled for this opportunity.”
Sharma also keeps busy outside of the modeling world. She is a member of the Cultural Connections and Orchestra Club at her school and plays the clarinet. For the last three years, she’s been involved with the speech and debate team. Since kindergarten, Sharma has participated in community service activities, and that passion led her to create E.A.S.E., which stands Educated Achieve Smile & Empower. It is focused on spreading kindness by empowering youth.
“My school and after-school activities keep me super busy, and to pursue my passions I rely completely on my family support and encouragement,” she said. “My parents and my sister always support me with all my passions, and this support structure keeps me going and prevents me from getting overwhelmed easily.
“To balance my school and passions, I get organized and prioritize my activities so that I can give my 100 percent to everything I do.”
Sharma has also been nominated for the 2021 Serve Indiana Youth Volunteerism Award which honors individuals in Indiana communities that volunteer or serve. The winner will be announced Nov. 4.
Sharma’s message to other teen girls is simple.
“N ever emulate someone else who you are not,” she said. “Instead, notice and embrace your qualities that make you different as those are the things that make you unique, strong and confident.”