#You Are Not Just A Label

“My mom has been the biggest inspiration as she was always creative and quirky with her sense of style so since I was a child I’ve always been fascinated with make up, quirky accessories, layering things and putting different items of clothing together. Admiring that from such a young age I also started dressing up like that, where I used to own hippie sling bags, chunky jewellery, rainbow coloured platform floaters, very boho in my sense of style. Thats when kids in my brand conscious school started saying ‘she’s so weird’ or ‘thats such a strange looking bag’ and back then that really affected me as I couldn’t afford a nike or an adidas. So I would make do with my fashion resources at home and style myself in every fun way possible. It was in the 7th grade where I thought, let me try to be more like the other girls which lasted for two minutes as I thought to myself I don’t need to change myself and who I am. So I started being a ‘loner’ till I met people who I was more comfortable with in school, who accepted me the way I was, as a bunch of us were ‘misfits’. But I soon realised being a misfit is where my comfort zone lies. I was always different and then in college found my own niche. Thats where I got my confidence where I literally stopped giving a fuck, I did what I wanted and wore what I wanted and started noticing other people in college that would dress equally ‘weirdly’ as I did. People with their own sense of style. Thats when my fashion journey began. I found myself in the ‘weirdness’ and the ‘offbeat’ and now when I dress up normally people ask me ‘are you feeling okay?’ 'are you sick?

I've always had my insecurities. I’ve never felt beautiful enough, talented enough, creative enough, etc; despite hearing the contrary. Even when good things or compliments happen, I have to tell myself "don't get carried away, this won't last. This is just style over substance" So my entire funda since college was always ‘fake it till you make it!’ So even though I am so under confident on the inside, nobody could question it. Fashion was innate but I never thought I could make a career out of it. I could never think commercially, and asked myself if I could actually design for ‘normal’ people? But here I am, a senior designer at one of India's biggest commercial fashion houses in India doing very well with a lot of bestsellers selling not just commercial clothes, but also adding my signature on it. I have been labelled, but not just me everyone has been labelled - you’re either a slut, a prude, a bitch, a whore, dark, ugly, fat, too skinny, not good enough, too pretty, not pretty enough, sexy, not sexy enough, dumb, not smart enough, too smart for her own good, overconfident, style over substance, etc. But finally there are certain labels that I have just embraced and made a part of my personality, ‘Screw you, Yes I’m weird (or limited edition) and I fucking LOVE it!’”