Pritika Swarup: “No such thing as spare time. No such thing as free time. No such thing as down time. All you got is life time. Go”

Be comfortable with yourself, take the positive and negative of every experience, be kind to everyone, commit fully to your craft, and be fearless in your pursuits. As part of our series about the 5 things you need to succeed in the fashion industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing​ Pritika Swarup.​ Born and raised […]

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Be comfortable with yourself, take the positive and negative of every experience, be kind to everyone, commit fully to your craft, and be fearless in your pursuits.

As part of our series about the 5 things you need to succeed in the fashion industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pritika Swarup.​

Born and raised in Virginia Beach, Pritika Swarup is one of the fashion industry’s brightest rising stars. Her flourishing modeling career has included campaigns for MAC Cosmetics, Clinique, and Fenty Beauty. She has graced the covers and been featured in top international magazines including Vogue, Elle, L’Officiel, and Harper’s Bazaar. Pritika’s versatility in both commercial and high fashion work has continued to gain her eminence around the world.

Pritika is currently enrolled at Columbia University, where she is completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Financial Economics. She is the Founder and President of Praetorian Management LLC, a secondary market investment fund run by Columbia University students, which has become the largest fund in the history of the university. In addition to her pursuits in academia, Pritika joined New Legacy in 2019 as an Investment Analyst focusing on direct investments and supporting due diligence on companies of interest. Her most recent venture is an international beauty and wellness startup, which is set to launch next year.

Pritika is immensely passionate about her involvement in humanitarian causes. Her philanthropic work with Operation Smile is especially important to her. As a Smile Ambassador for the international non-profit, which provides free corrective surgeries and support to children and adults who were born with a cleft lip or cleft palate, Pritika represents the organization and shares its mission through speaking at press conferences, leading fundraising initiatives globally, and participating in the organization’s medical mission trips. Most recently, she had the honor of speaking at the United Nations GA 2019 United Voices of Peace event. Her humanitarian efforts have taken her all around the world from India to South Africa, and Mozambique.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve had a non-traditional path which has led me to where I am currently and the direction I’m heading towards. I was scouted as a model while I was on vacation with my family at Disney World; soon thereafter, I was living in New York at the age of 17, pursuing a career in the fashion industry while finishing my senior year of high school. Modeling has opened up a wealth of opportunities for me as I have traveled the world, gained exposure to various cultures and individuals, and learned quickly in a fast-paced competitive environment. As I built my career in the industry, I also began attending Columbia University where my interest in finance grew. Modeling allowed me to build a platform from which I can pursue other passions such as my work with Operation Smile. I’m very grateful for every step of the way as every experience has shaped and brought me to where I am meant to be.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started?

There hasn’t been one experience specifically, but a myriad of experiences. Quite often when I showed up on set, I had to quickly adjust and become immersed in the vision of the shoot about the situation I was being introduced to; I soon realized modeling is about adapting to any situation with which you are faced.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Early on in my career, I attended a major event in which I was dressed by a new designer I was working with, so I was very excited. Of course, makeup, hair, and styling was rushed as I was racing to make it to the carpet on time. A mild wardrobe malfunction later, I learned the importance of double-sided tape and doing a full check before walking out the door.

What do you think makes your personal brand stand out?

I have never put limits on myself or my abilities. I decided to pursue all of my passions including education, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and modeling. I strive to be a good example for others, especially young women. I’ve used this philosophy in my current startup business in the beauty and wellness space.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

These recommendations are not specific to the fashion industry — they can go across all industries. I would say not to underestimate your abilities, but do not spread yourself too thin as there is a careful balance. Focus on what you are truly passionate about and pace yourself.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Philanthropy has been important to me since I was very young. More recently during the past two years, I have been an ambassador for Operation Smile. My role as a Smile Ambassador is all-encompassing; I represent the nonprofit organization and its mission through various outlets such as the media and my personal platforms, lead fundraising initiatives globally, and participate in the organization’s medical mission trips. One of my main involvements and goals is to raise awareness for cleft conditions so individuals can truly understand what it means to live with such a condition.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

“No such thing as spare time. No such thing as free time. No such thing as down time. All you got is life time. Go.” — Henry Rollins

I carry this principle with me and apply it to many different facets of my life so I don’t waste a single moment.

Do you see any fascinating developments emerging over the next few years in the fashion industry that you are excited about? Can you tell us about that?

I’m excited that the fashion industry, which has always been seen as an exclusive and elusive industry, is now becoming one for all. As people used to aspire to be like the models they saw on billboards, they can accept themselves and aspire to be the best version of that. This is exciting to me because it adds more depth and diversity to the industry as a whole.

What are your “Top 5 Things Needed to Succeed in the Fashion Industry”.

Be comfortable with yourself, take the positive and negative of every experience, be kind to everyone, commit fully to your craft, and be fearless in your pursuits.

Every industry constantly evolves and seeks improvement. How do you think the fashion industry can improve itself? Can you give an example?

I don’t believe there is a single way that the fashion industry can improve itself. The industry is already working toward improving its social and environmental impact from exploring new ways to remain fully sustainable and set a better example for others.

Are you working on any exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?

It has been a year of transition for me as I am completing my studies at Columbia, and have committed to a startup in the beauty and wellness space. During my due diligence and research this past Fall, I discovered what I believe is a significant opportunity in addressing the beauty concerns of women. I’m building this company from the ground up to address these concerns, and am excited about what we are doing, and you will be hearing about it very soon!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would inspire a movement of fearlessness. I want individuals to be fearless in the pursuit of multidimensional and fulfilling lives, and not let anything stand in the way of their own passions.

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