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“A huge obstacle in our industry is the cancel culture” | fashion trends

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With 1.3 million Instagram followers, new mum-to-be, Masoom Minawala is a well-known fashion influencer/blogger, entrepreneur and women’s activist. One of the first Indian content creators to walk the Cannes Film Festival red carpet, the first to be a showstopper at Milan Fashion Week for designer Vaishali S, and a true representative of Indian fashion on global platforms , Minawala has done it all! In a candid conversation with us, she opened up about her background, accomplishments and upcoming projects.

With 1.3 million Instagram followers, new mum-to-be, Masoom Minawala is a well-known fashion influencer/blogger, entrepreneur and women’s activist. One of the first Indian content creators to walk the Cannes Film Festival red carpet, the first to be a showstopper at Milan Fashion Week for designer Vaishali S, and a true representative of Indian fashion on global platforms , Minawala has done it all! In a candid conversation with us, she opened up about her background, accomplishments and upcoming projects.

1. Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Mumbai.

2. What kind of student were you in school?

I was not very academic at school, although I liked to play football.

3. Tell us a bit about your family.

I am very close to them. They have been very supportive from the start. We make it a point to travel as a family at least once a year.

4. What did you study at university and what was your experience?

I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from HR College Bombay and continued my studies at the University of the Arts, London, where I completed six fashion diploma courses. My post-graduation in London shaped me personally and professionally.

5. When did your interest in fashion pique?

I have always been interested in fashion, but my interest was piqued in the early 1920s. By the time I finished my fashion studies at the University of the Arts London, I was certain that my work should be in this area.

6. Who did you admire then?

I loved the style of Olivia Palermo (an American influencer); it was classy, ​​smart and powerful.

7. How did your journey start?

My journey in the industry started with an internship at a fashion house, where I discovered blogging and fell in love with it. This led to the creation of Style Fiesta, my fashion blog, and really fueled my ambition. It was my first way to explore fashion. Little did I know it would inspire me to pursue a career in this industry.

8. When did you first realize you had become an influencer?

I realized this when I could actually generate revenue for businesses through my platform and when brands were willing to invest in me.

9. Were there early failures and lessons to be learned?

Failures are part of growth and what success is really based on. So, yes, there have been multiple failures in my career and there are sometimes still some. My Style Fiesta e-commerce startup failed. I was first fired as an influencer when I moved to Belgium. But that didn’t stop me from diving deep into a career I loved and knew could revolutionize. I saw my failures as learning lessons that helped me improve, an incredibly powerful motivating force, and a sign to do things differently.

10. What don’t people realize about an influencer?

People don’t realize that even the individuals in the spotlight only present a limited and finest part of their lives. Many aspects are kept private and not necessarily as joyous as they seem on social media.

11. What was your goal when you started in this field vs now?

Short-term goals have and will continue to evolve over time, but my goal has always been to influence change with my content. Be it with #IndiaILove, #SupportIndianDesigners, Empower– my long term goal is to empower women and bring India to light.

12. Who is your favorite designer(s) in India?

I have always loved Anamika Khanna’s work and even wore one of her designs for my wedding. Although delightfully traditional, I think his designs exude a sense of modern heritage, which also complements my personal style.

13. What are the challenges in this space?

A huge barrier in our industry is the cancel culture because it doesn’t allow for second chances. In my opinion, people should be allowed to learn from their mistakes instead of being stripped of everything they’ve spent their whole lives building. It’s not morally correct to take people’s entire careers away without giving them a chance to redeem themselves.

14. What have been some of your greatest accomplishments?

Two years ago, my team and I launched a non-profit campaign #SupportIndianDesigners with the aim of shining a light on small and medium-sized businesses that have been affected by the tremors of COVID-19. The impact I was able to have with this property was beyond my belief. I still get DMs from several brands thanking me for #MasoomMagic. Many have shared how my support has forever changed their businesses, sales and income and even helped them truly establish their businesses.

On a personal level, being on the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list and being an ally of the United Nations Generation Equality is something I am extremely proud of.

15. What do you think of sustainable and genderless fashion?

I think genderless clothing is the future of sustainable fashion. Removing gender constructs around clothing paves the way for limited production, inclusive fashion, less and less conscious consumption and, above all, the sharing of clothing without gender barriers.

16. You have been an active advocate for local labels and often promote them on international platforms. Please explain.

The Indian market is full of exquisite handicrafts exclusive to India, and it is important that we shine a light on these small but vibrant businesses nationally and globally. In return, these businesses not only create lucrative jobs for local karigars and preserve our heritage craftsmanship, but also inject revenue back into our economy and leave a reduced carbon footprint.

17. What social cause are you most attached to?

Empowering women is something close to my heart. This has also been the driving force behind my professional choices. Considering that 48% of India’s population is female, we must recognize and value women’s contributions in the workforce, economy, domestic life, everywhere!

18. What do you think of Indian fashion going global?

It’s time for the world to witness the exceptional talent and craftsmanship that India brings to the table! Our country has access to extraordinarily talented artisans, the most complex techniques and the richest textiles. So it’s an honor to see Indian designers using this and making their mark internationally.

19. How do you think Indian karigars and artisans can be promoted nationally and internationally?

Our country is endowed with an extraordinary heritage of craftsmanship and recognizing the companies that draw on it and supporting local artisans is the only way forward. Raising awareness of these businesses through the resources and platforms available to us will not only generate jobs for our Indian karigars and reintroduce income into our economy, but will also keep Indian handicrafts alive for the next generation.

20. What is your style statement?

My personal style statement is definitely minimalist glam. A few trends that I think will always be in style are: power suits, elevated basics, chunky silhouettes, and monochromatic clothing.

21. What Gen Z styles do you like the most?

I don’t single out trends based on Gen Z/X categories, but a few trends I’m currently liking are tie-up sandals and cut-outs.

22. What is your favorite cuisine and where is your favorite place to travel?

As for the cuisine, nothing is more delicious than Indian cuisine. I don’t have a favorite travel spot. I love discovering new places and new cultures, but next on my bucket list is the Grand Canyon. I’ve only seen pictures but the flowing movements of the sand seem unreal and I can’t wait to witness its magic in real life.

23. You announced your pregnancy much later. What was the thought behind it?

I wanted to save the news for a while and share it when I felt ready. I definitely couldn’t hide it from my community anymore.

24. What style advice would you like to give to new moms-to-be?

I don’t plan on making any major styling changes. I will continue to wear what matches my personal style. I would share the same advice with new mums/mums-to-be: wear what resonates with your personal style and is comfortable.

25. What advice would you like to give to future fashion influencers?

I would emphasize the importance of staying true to your voice, your vision and your long-term goals, as this has been the common thread of my journey and what sets me apart.

26. What are you currently working on and what are your big future plans?

We currently have our hands full preparing for the holiday season. Beyond that, there are plenty of exciting projects unfolding in the coming months, so stay tuned!

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