Ambitious Rathi Menon is ready to spread her wings in Milan

25 December 2015 / 10 months 1 day ago

Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
​The New Paper
December 23, 2015

She gained attention earlier this year as one of Singapore’s most promising Miss Universe contestants in recent years.

Since Miss Rathi Menon handed her crown to this year’s Singapore representative, Miss Lisa Marie White, her modelling career has been in full gear.

Next month, the 25-year-old will spread her wings to the fashion capital of Milan to immerse herself in the modelling industry there.

The leggy 1.75m-tall beauty, who will be based there for several months, already has a few fashion shows and photo shoots lined up.


She will also be attending the coveted Milan Fashion Week which takes place in February.

Miss Rathi, who was named one of Singapore’s Most Stylish Women this year by Harper’s Bazaar Singapore, told The New Paper: “It is a great fashion city so I’m looking forward to the new environment and new opportunities. It is going to be freezing and I might miss home so I am a little nervous.”

It is only the beginning of her modelling endeavours in 2016.

The ambitious beauty queen and model, who is signed to Upfront Models Singapore, has big plans to launch her own beauty competition in mid-2016.

And working hand-in-hand with her is French fashion and beauty pageant mogul Ines Ligron, who has had former experience as the Asia-Pacific director of international modelling agency IMG Models and the national director of Miss Universe Japan.

Ms Ligron, 52, had also styled for Miss Rathi when she competed in Miss Universe in January this year.


“It will be different from a traditional beauty pageant, it will be more fun and high fashion. It will focus on how real, intelligent and beautiful women are. We’re so done with the traditional beauty queen format,” said Miss Rathi.

With first-hand experience in an international beauty pageant, she feels it is time to spark changes in the industry here and rally more support for beauty pageant contestants.

“I want the beauty competition image in Singapore to soar to a new level and I want the community to be more involved. When I competed at Miss Universe, everyone screamed so loud for Miss Philippines or Miss Colombia, for example. It’s so nice to have that support from your country and it is something I hope to change here,” she said.

For her, strutting down the Miss Universe stage “feels like yesterday”.


Since she returned home from the pageant in Miami, the first-time beauty queen has been lucky enough to snag many modelling gigs, photo shoots and cover shoots for magazines like Elle Singapore and Nylon Singapore.

She even landed a role in two episodes of local Channel 5 drama Tanglin as the ditsy Priyanka, a love interest of surgeon Arjun (played by local actor James Kumar).

Unfortunately, she had to quit her job as a pharmaceutical technician at Mount Pleasant Vet Centre in order to juggle her rising modelling career and her studies.

She is presently pursuing a part-time degree in human resources management part-time at the Singapore Institute of Management has to defer a semester to go to Milan.

For Miss Rathi, she is game for any new opportunities that come her way.

“Just no singing, please! I can’t sing for nuts,” she said, laughing.


This article was first published on Dec 23, 2015. 
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