Supermodel Ashika Pratt Swims with Sharks

Isabel Evans

International model Ashika Pratt was discovered at age 15, walking down the street in her hometown city of Auckland, New Zealand.

She couldn’t have known then that her future would be an international adventure, filled with daredevil shoots and global glamor.

She’s graced the cover of Indian Vogue multiple times. Those covers have taken her to South Africa on safari and even to a shark tank in Dubai, where she shot a now famous series of photos underwater. Recently she filmed out of a helicopter in Hawaii. She’s been more scared of her mother’s reactions to these shoots than she has been of the stunts themselves.

“My mom was very mad at me about the shark tank one,” she says. “I didn’t tell her till afterwards ... she probably would’ve shut it down.”

Ashika has showed no signs of stopping. In between planning her own wedding and finishing her sociology degree, she’s got other international shoots already lined up for early 2019. It’s not lost on her that she’s also a role model for other Southeast Asian women who often don’t see as much representation on magazine covers or feel they fit into one neat box.

“Growing up, I had a complicated relationship with my identity,” she says. “I look Indian, but when I open my mouth I have a kiwi accent.”

Now she embraces it. “There’s enough room for everyone.”

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Photographer: Andrew Day. Stylist: Danny Morales. Hair: Walton Nunez. Makeup: Carmindy. Creative Director: Khirma Eliazov.