Power Model: Neelam Gill (Nee Johal)
Prior to September 2013, Coventry was known vaguely to most Indians as a past centre of trade and industry, and little else. All that changed when Brit icon Burberry sent a certain distinctive missy down the catwalk. Suddenly Coventry was being lauded for a kind of engineering that had nothing to do with sturdy automobiles – the slender, heavy-lidded Neelam Johal, who was signed as a global exclusive for the runway show went on to star in the label’s spring 2014 campaign, changing her surname along the way, to honour the man who raised her. Gill displays the kind of clear thinking that is characteristic of the most successful women – at the age of 14 she made sure she signed with the best agency in Europe, and waited till completing school to give the job a full year of her time.
Highlights of the past year: Giving her A-levels, shooting with Mario Testino.
Downtime activities: Cooking a Sunday roast.
Early ambition: Armed herself for becoming a fashion journalist by ordering books and educating herself.