Let’s start with a confession. As someone who loves to write about fashion and succumbs to vanity bouts by posting self-styled #OutfitOfTheDay posts on Instagram, I got a call from my ex-boss asking me to share with my two girlfriends, Diypabulakhosla and Rahichadda. I was unashamedly overjoyed when asked if I wanted to interview with. An Indian content creator who continues to make waves throughout the fashion world and continues to grow over 1 million followers. After the voice of Jesus resounded, I set to work.
Check out Amsterdam-based Diipa, who graced the cover of HT branch Lawyer turned fashion creator and beauty entrepreneur, Diipa’s Instagram (1.8 million followers) is her window into the world. It also helps that she’s been vocal about her personal highs and lows. However, her social media presence (1.3 million followers) of her London-based Rahi Chadda didn’t reveal much about the man I was going to interview. Appearing on Forbes’ list of his under-30s earlier this year, and in fact Dior, who is Beauty’s first brown ambassador, there hasn’t been much media buzz around him.
In the interview itself, Dipa and Rahi get along like a burning house.
Rahi is reserved (“I’m a soloist,” he said at one point in an interview) but fails to engage in a simple conversation with Dipa. This is not surprising, as the two millennials have a lot in common. Besides being her creator of proud Indian content, they both studied law and are very passionate about fashion and beauty, launching their own brands.
Rahi clearly remembers meeting Diipa at an event in Dubai four years ago. “We met through a mutual friend. Diipa was already an established content creator. Soon after starting her creative journey, we saw her face in the giant Maybelline hoarding in Piccadilly Circus, London. “It was really amazing to see the same South Asian own their own heritage and do so without any connection to Bollywood,” he recalls.
Deepa is quick to point out that it is an absolute honor to represent India and South Asia within the larger fashion fraternity.
“There was a time when such achievements were not possible. Indeed, Indians today are good in everything: technology, business, fashion. It’s important to note that we always had to fight to be taken seriously.”
She recalls being left out of fashion campaigns because of the color of her skin. “As an Indian from European India, I look and sound different. I haven’t been invited to a fashion show. I haven’t been selected for a fashion campaign. auditioned for and failed to release, I saw everyone who was in it and knew why I wasn’t on board,” she shares.
Rahi, who has modeled for major international brands such as Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dior Beauty, Estée Lauder and Maison Margiela fragrances, sympathized with Diipa’s initial struggle to find her place. In addition to colorism, his creators of content like him also had to deal with a lack of awareness.
Until a few years ago, modeling agencies would tell you that no client appreciated your looks. ?” Today, the field has evolved a lot and there are many of us with our own niches,” he asserts Rahi.
Will this progress lead to a paradigm shift in how Indians are perceived in the West?
Rahi feels that this is just the beginning and there is still a long way to go. Because I still meet people who have preconceived notions about Indians.
“For example, when I tell British people that I am from India, they mention how dangerous and poor it is. The need to educate the West about India beyond these stereotypes is a mistake. There are none,” he says.
In fact, this is one of the reasons Deepa launched her beauty brand. “Inde Wild is Ayurveda and modern dermatology in a bottle. It is aimed at today’s ambitious, educated, science-believing and career-minded audience. What India can offer the world I launched it to show and make modern Indians appreciate and benefit from their rich culture and history,” she explains.
Deepa and Rahi come from as much a privileged place in India as they have to contend with stereotypes in Europe. Did it play a role? Deepa expresses her gratitude, acknowledging the education she received thanks to her parents’ sacrifice as the ultimate privilege.
“I come from a middle-class family that prioritizes education above all else. Instead of buying a bigger house or another car, they put money into our education and my mother took out a loan to put jewelry in the bank. , so that we could study abroad.It’s a privilege I don’t take lightly,” she replies.
Coming from a family of businessmen, Rahi isn’t very aggressive about finances, but he stresses the role his team has played in getting him where he is today.
“Thanks to the modeling agency for getting me this far. They guided me, directed me each step of the way and helped me add to my work profile. Just 21 in London What I learned from my early experiences starting a beauty clinic also taught me a lot about naivety and growing up.
Advice for aspirants
Based on past experience, Rahi, now 29, has a lot of advice for aspiring models, especially young men. The fashion industry is notorious for wage discrimination. “Like it or not, you can’t have it all, so I think you have to be smart about your decisions. You have to work hard and be disciplined. There are no shortcuts.” he says.
Deepa, on the other hand, cautions against reading too much criticism. “Constructive feedback is welcome. But if motherhood has taught me one thing, it’s that I have thick skin. I’m an aspiring person,” she says bluntly.
As the interview drew to a close, I gave in to the urge to ask them about a career in Bollywood, a highly sought-after goal among fashion and lifestyle content creators today.
But neither wants it. Diipa immediately comes out and says: “I want to pursue what I am good at and what I am passionate about. Fashion and beauty are the languages I speak, so when it comes to launching a brand, my thirst for knowledge drives me to work with inventory, marketing, PR, and venture capitalists. I learned about conversations, fundraising.Soon.At 32, I don’t think I’m going to be the best Bollywood actress.Something can happen on the big screen, but it’s not Bollywood.But Rahi I know you’ve taken acting lessons!”
Rahi explains acting lessons well and Bollywood is not featured. “On my creative journey, I spend a lot of time learning how to master the art of aesthetics. They help me become a different version of myself,” he reveals just before the interview ends.
The biggest lesson I learned from the exchanges when I started writing this article is that fashion content creators’ jobs aren’t for the faint of heart. It’s a lot of work, especially for those who couldn’t make it to the first wave. So, I’m going to stick to this side of the camera, even as I’m rooting for Dipa and Rahi to leave their mark on the global fashion landscape…
September 3, 2022 from HT branch
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