dino morea
October 2023
#Bombay (1995) - Mumbai (1996) , 9701 Views
The Era of Supermodels

By: Dino Morea

Born and raised in Bangalore, Dino Morea moved to Mumbai in the 90s to pursue a career in modelling after he won the Gladrags Manhunt Contest in 1995. Dino walks us through the city, it's parties, people and his own cultural escapades of the time.

My memories of Mumbai around that time are fantastic because I had just started modelling and doing videos. It was a time when the modelling industry was blossoming and models were treated like demigods. We were the highlight of the ’90s. It was a wave that was insane and it felt good to be a part of it. What we experienced at that time was massive celebrity status because it was that supermodel era. People never really took of f their shirts back in the day and many didn’t have great physiques so we brought that in. Everywhere we went, we were kind of the toast of town. It was around then when Page 3 started becoming popular. We got a hell of a lot of attention and a lot of work. It was a great time in Mumbai and in India. People don’t get the kind of reverence that we got. There’s nothing special anymore, it is still an industry and of course it is far more organised, but we were treated with so much adulation and I’m not sure if that is still happening.

It was a round that time when the TV series Captain Vyom came to me. It was right after I had won Gladrags in 1995 but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to act. I just jumped into it for a laugh to see what it was all about. Even my first film chanced upon me. Things happened to me rather than me going and searching for it. For us models, to be a part of a film was really easy because we were everywhere. I’ve always been ambitious and I always wanted to be a sportsperson or an entrepreneur. Opportunities came to me and I didn’t say no. Jumping into uncertainties has always paid off for me.

The party scene around that time was also great! I used to club at J49, at a time when there were no fancy cars. I’d take a rickshaw, stop at a bakery and have maska pav on the way back at 4AM. There were so many parties going on, The Ghetto was also an old favourite.

Everything always changes, nothing is constant. I don’t think the name change really made a difference. People still did what they had to do. Mumbai was also a mad, colourful city that was so vibrant and bustling. I came here from Bangalore knowing nobody and then I found a great circle. I think we were working so much at that point, there was a fashion show everywhere, every week. It was a time when fashion, music, television etc., everything was coming together. Live bands were playing and it was a lovely time for creation and creativity so the change didn’t affect me personally.