Harnaaz Sandhu’s Miss Universe Gown Was Designed By A Transwoman, A Look At Her Journey

Breaking the 21-year-old wait, India’s Harnaaz Sandhu was crowned ‘Miss Universe’ leaving the entire country in awe of her winning moment. She was wearing a gorgeous gown, whose colour was a mix between silver and champagne, which had beaded embellishments and a plunging neckline. The lovely outfit was created by none other than Saisha Shinde, a transwoman and the go-to person for all things pageant, reports News18.

Saisha’s journey is nothing short of an incredible and powerful one. Born as Swapnil Shinde, Saisha came out as a transwoman in January, this year.

Taking to Instagram, she had written, “It was only in my early 20s at NIFT where I found the courage to accept my truth; I truly bloomed. I spent the next few years believing that I was attracted to men because I was gay, but it was only 6 years ago that I finally accepted to myself, and today that I accept to you. I’m not a gay man. I am a Transwoman.”

Saisha Shinde has designed outfits for several Bollywood A-listers including Deepika, Kareena, Anushka, Taapsee, Katrina and others. The 40-year-old designer also designed gowns for Miss India contestants in the past, reports NDTV.

“Every time Miss Universe happens I get very excited and this time knowing that the girl we have sent has so much potential it‚Äôs exciting and extremely nerve-wracking.”

Talking about the outfits she creates, she said, “There is a certain expectation from Miss India at an International pageant. She has to look elegant, exquisite and the gowns need to look delicate and dainty but at the same time powerful, strong, which incidentally my brand has become now after I have transitioned into a woman.”

With every look she creates, Saisha makes sure that they are powerful.


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“Before I used to create, now I create with a purpose. Delicateness is visible in my work now. Is it still powerful? Yes. Is it still modern? Yes.”

Saisha further went on to express how the film industry, for a long time, reduced transwomen into two types of caricatures – sex workers and ‘loud figures’ and she hopes to change this outlook.

“I really hope through me and a lot of other trans women who are leading a ‘normal’ life are able to put forward that we are individuals who are successful, beautiful, and are achieving the best in our respective fields. We are not those ridiculous caricatures that have been created so far in the industry. Also, there is a difference between drag and a transwoman. What we have seen are male actors dressed up as drag, they are not transwomen. But Indians, in general, think that‚Äôs what a transwoman is. No, they are men dressed as women for performances. Because we are a Bollywood centric country and what we see, we believe. So, we really hope in time that changes.”

Massive respect to Saisha for achieving all that she has!

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