Jeenu Mahadevan was discovered on a bus in Oslo by a designer. Then he was signed to a modeling agency. And since then, the Oslo-born model of Sri Lankan origin has been sizzling on the ramps — London Paris, Milan and New York — for fashion powerhouses including Versace, Givenchy Alexander McQueen and Burberry.
The 20-year-old who was planning a career in computer science or astrophysics told BBC that modeling was never an option. But now, apart from being a staple at Men’s Fashion Weeks, Mahadevan uses his platform to speak against color prejudice.
And the most criticism he’s faced for his skin color is from Asians. “I think Europe now has a different view of fashion and beauty than people in India, Sri Lanka,” he told BBC.
“[The] most of the support I’ve got has been from European brands.” Mahadevan told BBC he hopes he inspires other Asians to pursue modeling. “The more the world progresses, the more ethnicities you’ll see in fashion. Now it’s South Asia’s turn to break into fashion.”