Xia Narain

Xia Narain, left, backstage with Gigi Hadid.
Image via Instagram/@xia_narain

‘Dopamine shot’: Durban model walks in London Fashion Week, features in Vogue

Former ‘Bachelor SA’ contestant Xia Narain models at London Fashion Week, mingles with the glossy posse and features in Vogue.

Xia Narain

Xia Narain, left, backstage with Gigi Hadid.
Image via Instagram/@xia_narain

Durban-born Xia Narain has not only modelled alongside big names in London, she also has featured in two Vogue publications.

Narain featured in Vogue Worldwide and Vogue Runway, and modelled new collections for Supriya Lele and Molly Goddard. 


The high-fashion model was also a Miss South Africa 2019 finalist, and took part in the television reality show The Bachelor SA in 2019. 

Xia Narain in Vogue 

The psychology graduate appeared three times in Vogue this past week.

She collaborated with Lele for Vogue Worldwide which publishes in 13 countries, including the UK, Germany, Japan, India and others.

Narain also appeared twice in Vogue Runway

“I’ve been in Vogue a few times, but after all the depression, anxiety and stress of the coronavirus, it felt so refreshing,” Narain said.

“It definitely gave me a boost of energy and that’s what I really needed. Being in Vogue was definitely like getting a dopamine shot. It was amazing.”

London Fashion Week SS21 

London Fashion Week ran from 17 to 22 September at Somerset House in the United Kingdom’s capital city.

This year women and menswear merged into one gender-neutral showcase. 

The show hosted more than 80 designers, including 40 womenswear, 15 menswear, 20 menswear and womenswear and five accessory brands.

There were 50 digital-only activations, 21 physical and digital, and only a few – seven – ventured on to a physical runway. Very few designers held a live evening event.

This was different due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the British government’s social distancing restrictions.

In other years, about 50 models walk a big ramp in a large venue, and fashion journalists from around the world descend.

Due to social distancing however, there were far fewer models in 2020. This meant that Narain was one of only three models for Supriya Lele, and she was one of nine walking for Molly Goddard.

Supriya Lele 

Lele is a British-Indian, London-based designer who studied architecture and then turned to fashion. She is an alumna of London’s celebrated Fashion East initiative and her designs are a combination of intricate, fluorescent fabrics and saree-inspired mesh dresses and organza utility trousers allude to her heritage.

Lele has been focusing on female sexual confidence in her post-lockdown looks.

“She has the trendiest yet still very classic clothes. This season it was quite sheer, to bring women out of the lockdown blues from us dressing in sweats to a sexier take on fashion,” said Narain. 

Molly Goddard 

Goddard is also based in London and specialises in traditional hand-craft techniques. She brightened LFW with her colourful collection and Narain modelled her tulle dresses.


“Molly’s style was very much fantasy. The dresses I wore were quite fairy-tale like,” said Narain.

“It was fun and interesting and they collaborated with the shoe brand Ugg, so it was colourful and a happy collection.” 

Burberry Autumn/Winter 2020

This was not the first time the model walked the international runway. Narain was the closing model for the Burberry Autumn/Winter 2020 show earlier this year.

Vogue quoted her as saying the exclusive booking was “better than falling in love”. 

She also got to meet some of the biggest model names in the industry, such as Irina Shayk, Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid.