Model and former Miss India Neha Kapur — who recently launched her own collection, Hensely — remembers a photo shoot of Bollywood proportions.

Kapur photographed by Daniela Federici

When I was 24 years old, I appeared on the cover of Vogue India’s third issue, which came out in December 2007. The magazine was Condé Nast’s first to launch in the country.

When the stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania, who is now Vogue India’s Fashion Director, called me to book the job, I nearly fell off my chair.

The industry in India at the time consisted of a small fraternity of models, designers, and stylists, and being recognized on this international level was incredibly validating.

Kapur (far left) and fellow models photographed by Farrokh Chothia for Vogue India, December 2007

The cover had three panels featuring ten of the country’s top models — including 15-year veteran Sheetal Mallar, whom I stood next to — wearing all the top Indian designers.

The day of the shoot, Vogue India flew the us, photographer Farrokh Chothia, and the hair, makeup and styling teams to the location in Rajasthan: the Umaid Bhawan Palace, a very old palace that’s been converted to a hotel.

Marwar Hall in the Umaid Bhawan Palace, the location of Kapur’s Vogue India cover shoot, photo: Handout/Getty Images

That night, Condé Nast International hosted a big fashion show there — with 50 designers and 38 models — to celebrate.

It was an honor being granted the opportunity to participate in all of it.

— as told to The Thick

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Kapur and husband Kunal Nayyar photographed by Chris Craymer for Vogue India, February 2013