Hey Guys, today I am sharing with you my first feature in Moda Magazine. You can click on the link below to access the article.
Moda Magazine (Article on page 35)
I am a fashion, lifestyle, and travel blogger. However, by training, I am a mechanical engineer. Today, I will share with you my journey and life experiences that have molded me in to the person I am. Similarly, I will discuss with you the impact of fashion and how it also continues to change almost on a daily basis, molding millions of people’s lives. I hope, by the end of this piece, I not only leave you with a simple yet deep understanding of my life and fashion but also have a better appreciation for your own journey.
At the age of 14, I moved from India to America with my family. To say this was a drastic change in my life would be an understatement. The first year was extremely difficult being a first generation immigrant with minimal English fluency. I vividly recall taking an acting class that summer with the hopes that I would be better acclimated to my new environment. I have a deep appreciation for that class as it was filled with people from countries around the world. I no longer felt alone in my transition. I also watched Full House along with other daytime shows that provided entertaining insight to American culture.
My high school experience can be best described as an adjustment period. I stood out. I recall having only few outfits that I rotated weekly at school. The clothes I brought from India did not meet the unspoken yet well-known standards of American fashion. So logically, as it was high school, I was made fun of for the way I dressed. Like many, I just wished to fit in. I went through phases from “tom-boy”, “goth”, “preppy” to “surfer.” Looking back at it now, I was not being true to myself. I believe as teenagers we all go through these phases.
With more experience and, more importantly, confidence, Ieventually began to stand up for myself and stopped showing my insecurities, I began to enjoy the culture I was placed in, by embracing fashion and by embracing myself.
One of the many things I truly appreciated about college was the diversity I was exposed to. I became friends with people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. I started to develop deeper friendships and relationships. I began to focus on myself, as well as understand the characteristics I embodied as an individual person. Being raised in a loving home by parents from two different cultures within India made it difficult to even realize my own true identity. After some soul searching, I came to know myself. It did not matter what my ethnicity was, what group of friends I had,what clothing I wore, or what religion I believed in. We all want to be loved, respected and understood. And the only way to achieve that is for us to give love, be respectful and understand our neighbors. Now that you know more about who I am, lets move on to the stuff that we all really care about, fashion!
I started reading fashion blogs in college and was instantly addicted. I wanted to be a part of that world. With young aspirations, I recall searching online “how to work in fashion.” The main point I took away from that hunt was…I needed to live in a big city. I had just accepted a job as a mechanical engineer in a small town of North Florida when I came to this realization. So unfortunately, I had to stallmy dreams of working in fashion for the moment. I had a 9-5 corporate job that became my focus. I worked hard to make a name for myself within the company. Engineering became my temporary passion. I worked on projects from the design phase to the final product. In a sense it became fashion to me. I structured a design and cultivated it until it developed into something real that you can feel and see. However, my own fashion fell to the wayside. My go to outfit was a basic polo shirt, dress pants and boring close-toed shoes. Just as in high school, I repeated this self-chosen uniform on a daily basis. I worked crazy hours with very little downtime; however, when the opportunity presented I would read the fashion blogs that I loved so much. It was my escape from the corporate world.Knowing my underlying passion for fashion (ha it rhymed), my friends encouraged me to pursue social media. I just didn’t know how and what. I had no one around me who was interested in clothes or fashion. I had no one who could guide me. And how do I leave a job that was not only my bread and butter but also my other passion in life. After 2 years in North Florida I knew it was time for a change. I moved to California. Best decision of my life.
Hello California! I finally had access to malls. You read that correctly, I wrote malls, as in pleural, as in more than one, as in I’m in heaven! Also, I had finally found some guidance and inspiration. I started following the blog “@theeverygirl_” that introduced me to so many other bloggers. I saw how all these bloggers had their roots in different fields and how they all from varying backgrounds were able to achieve their dreams. I was inspired. I was motivated. I realized the best way to be in fashion was to live it everyday. I wanted to express my true self through fashion. I started to wear things that expressed who I was as a person and the style I had grown into/developed through my experiences. I learned a few important lessons quickly. I realized that fashion changes faster in bigger cities. The trends that once lasted years are now lasting a mere few months.
No longer are the days where one could say “lets have a 1920s party” for the decade of 2010. Thankfully, affordable and popular clothing lines are changing the game.
No longer are celebrities and magazine editors the only ones sitting at the front row of fashion shows. There is now a niche for fashion bloggers in which they can be active contributors to big brand campaigns and on covers of magazines. Women with such success include Chiara Ferragni of @theblondesalad and Kristina Bazan of @Kayture. Chiara Ferragni not only runs a highly successful blog but also runs her own shoe-line across 300 stores around the world. Today’s younger generation is always looking for inspiration and upcoming trends from such social platforms such as blogs or YouTube.
Politics, economics, social media and technological advances can affect fashion. Examining these factors is called a PEST analysis. For example, the fashion industry is analyzing how 3D printing technology has influenced designers such as Iris Van Herpen and Kimberly Ovitz. These designers have been heavily experimenting and developing 3D printed couture pieces. As the technology grows, the 3D printers will become more accessible to designers and, eventually, consumers. This could potentially shape the fashion industry. With the expansion of social media, bloggers’ voices are being heard and have a significant impact on fashion and trends at any time.
Well known fashion brands are changing trends faster than ever. They turnaround luxury trends quicker and have bigger profitable margins due to changing styles on a weekly basis. Big brands are also strategically changing the way they have worked for decades. They are creating secondary lines which are much more affordable, but givethe consumer a feeling of owning a high-end brand.
Fashion trends are also impacted when affordablecompanies become popular. Self-styling becomes more fun and exciting for fashionistas that don’t complain about items being priced “too low”. But even with affordable pieces, if you are a collector like my self, the price can add up quickly. I believe in signature and classic pieces that I know will support any changes that can be maintained through fluctuating fashion seasons. I have personally invested in what I feel our wardrobe necessities. I own a nice coat, neutral heel, white sneakers, neutral bag, black and blue jeans and a great pair of black sunnies. Followingother popular bloggers like @garypeppergirl, and @songofstyle has surely made changes in my style and lifestyle. I am more aware of how I look. I take care of my body and skin a lot more than before. These girls are empowering others with their blogs and have my deep appreciation and respect. They are a source of motivation and positive encouragement for all those interested in fashion. I hope you leave reading this piece with a reflection upon your own life and it helps to reignite the flame you once had and that it motivates you to follow those dreams.
A special shout out to @hvkapoor, my husband/photographer/editor/partner in fashion crime:
Last year, I got hitched to an amazing man who helped me realize my dreams. He has brought so many positive changes to my life and I feel blessed to call him mine. Despite all the knowledge I had about blogs and fashion, I couldn’t really do anything because I didn’t know if I could be a blogger. He encouraged and supported me to start and follow my first true passion. And I finally did. I am now a happy blogger of @Kapofstyle. He does all of myphotography and supports my blog and collaborations. He is now more focused on his own first passion, photography. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I am glad I was able to share it with you Harsh.