Style Icon: Sushmita Sen

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When you hear the words, Miss Universe, what do you think of? Do you envision a stately judge asking an enthusiastic, nervous young woman, “How do you plan to change the world?” Do you picture of the awe-inspiring Miss Universe crown, bejeweled by hundreds of diamonds and precious pearls?

Keep reading to learn what Sushmita Sen has to do with the Miss Universe Pageant…


The very first Miss Universe Pageant was held in Long Beach, California in 1952. In 1977, twenty-five years after the pageant’s inception, the first woman of color, Janelle Commissiong, was crowned Miss Universe. Forty-two years after the pageant began, in 1994, Sushmita Sen became the first Indian woman to win the competition.


Sushmita Sen, or simply “Sush,” is not your typical beauty queen-turned-actress. As the daughter of a former Indian Air Force Wing Commander and a fashion and jewelry designer, Sushmita was bound to possess sophisticated style. After studying at the Air Force Golden Jubilee Institute in Delhi Cantonment, the Hyderbad, India-born starlet made her debut in 1994 as a fresh faced model and aspiring beauty queen with a penchant for writing poetry. Not only was Sush the first Indian woman to be crowned Miss Universe – she was also the second youngest woman to earn that title, at the tender age of eighteen!


During the 1994 Miss Universe competition, Sush placed second in the swimsuit competition, fifth in the interview competition, and third in the evening gown competition. As a final contestant, odds were stacked against Sush’ victory. However, her dazzling smile, bubbly personality, inspiring intelligence, and overwhelming personable nature won the judges’ votes!


At one point in the competition, Sushmita was asked what she would do if she had the time and money to embark on a great adventure. Sush expressed her desire to “do something for the children.” Today, Sushmita is a loving single mother of two adopted daughters, Renee and Alisah.


In addition to raising two children, Sush is a prominent Bollywood actress. She won a Filmfare Award in 2000 for her leading role in Biwi No. 1. She’s also the proud recipient of a Star Screen Award, an IIFA Award, and a Zee Cine Award. Sush’s polished panache stems from her effortless confidence. Whether she’s wearing a traditional sari, or donning an edgy ensemble of all-black, Sushmita Sen never fails to inspire millions with her savvy style, hardworking attitude, and loving personality.

7 Responses to Style Icon: Sushmita Sen

  1. kristar 03/04/2010 at 3:20 pm #

    hey! i know her!!! she’s a bollywood actress! she was in main hoon na with shah rukh khan!

  2. Dee 03/04/2010 at 5:28 pm #


    (kristar: I love Main Hoon Na!)

  3. M 03/05/2010 at 2:00 am #

    She’s not my fav BW actress but she’s always gorgeous and poised. And I’m a fan of MHN too (I think, besides Biwi No. 1, that’s her most well-known movie).

    Here’s a song with her from MHN – Tumhe Jo Maine Dekha

  4. Katie 03/05/2010 at 7:48 am #

    Wow, what an amazing woman! A single mother with such talent is a fantastic role model, in my opinion. She does it all, and she does it well!

  5. Natasha (ModCloth) 03/05/2010 at 11:17 am #

    woah! How did I miss this post. This is why I love ModCloth. 🙂

  6. Nistha 03/05/2010 at 2:49 pm #

    As an Indian, I’m so proud that she is featured on here!

  7. prarth 05/18/2010 at 12:27 pm #

    she is my style icon, and the role model also.

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