One was crowned Miss Universe. The other chose to carve out the woman embodied in her manly self. How are they connected?
Well, 21-year-old Harnaaz Sandhu won the Miss Universe title in a gown designed by transgender woman Saisha Shinde. No newcomer to fame, her sketches have been sashayed down the ramp by celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Deepika Padukone and Madhuri Dixit, among many others.
In fact, the journey from Swapnil to Saisha is the true story of success. Going under the scalpel just earlier this year in January, Saisha was quick to take to her IG handle shortly after the spectacular win. “We did it!” her post read alongside a photo of the newly-crowned diva. Her previous posts, rather candid, also give glimpses into the transition process: Everything that I have done has been going on in Mumbai – my therapist, my endocrinologist, beauty procedures. I am waiting for the pandemic to settle down and I would be going to Belgium for one surgery and Bangkok for another.
“At NIFT, I was in my early 20s and found myself attracted only to men. I thought I was gay. The next few years were rather tumultuous and it took about six years to understand and accept the truth… I was not a gay but a transwoman,” tweeted the 40-year-old designer.
Looking like a princess straight out of the fairytale books, Harnaaz’s gown was crafted with beaded embellishments and had a deep plunging neckline. “The attire has to be dainty but at the same time powerful and strong. In some ways, it resonated with my brand… I have the feminine grace but chose a powerful statement to go ahead.”
The aesthetic gown is embellished with embroidery, stones, and sequins. The newly-titled Miss Universe believes in sustainability and so Saisha stuck to material which “lying around the studio.”
Cheers to both the women!!!