The f Team
Meet the rising digital stars of fashion, who are influencing the world of menswear. By Anoop Menon & Arya P Dinesh
Last time we checked, the picture of Jaden Smith, the new face of Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2016, had gone viral. Wearing a white skirt and matching jacket, Smith took naysayers by surprise, for the positive response has been overwhelming — with his Instagram post gaining over 83,000 likes. Closer home, pictures of Ranveer Singh sporting flared man skirts by designer Anju Modi, during the promotion of Bajirao Mastani, went viral on MensXP, Buzzfeed and Filmfare’s Facebook page, and amassed over 6,000 likes each. With style statements ranging from flowers in their dreadlocks to exquisite jewellery collections that capture the essence of masculine charms—the likes of Kishwear launched by Canadian model Kish Raveendran—this year’s men’s fashion seems like it’s all about the whimsy. But wait, even as gender benders revel in the glory of fluid fashion, street styles have a foot in the door with bold colourful sneakers, blazers and sunglasses. We speak to India’s youngest and most sought-after male fashion bloggers, who are changing the rules of men’s fashion with their trend forecasts.
Blog: purushuarie.com (over 30,000 hits per month)
Essentials: Printed T-shirt paired with jogger pants. Complete this unisex look with sneakers and a baseball cap.
Runway select: Rajesh Pratap Singh’s Autumn/Winter 2015 and Pero by Aneeth Arora.
Outrageous pick: Dhoti trousers and lungi skirts
Inspired by global gender-fluid trends, this NIFT Delhi alumnus is set to change India’s men fashion scene. He’s poised to launch his yet-to-be-titled, gender-neutral fashion label inspired by colonial-era Madras. As the co-founder of Qoive (a popular online fashion magazine) and praised by the likes of Lisa Haydon and Marc Jacobs—who shared the Chennaiite’s review of his Spring/Summer 2016 collection (which went viral)—Arie is one of the official fashion bloggers of FDCI for their shows, including Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, and attributes the recent popularity of street style as a game changing aspect brought in by fashion bloggers. “Japanese fashion designer, Rei Kawakubo, and her artistic designs inspire me the most,” he shares, adding that experimental trousers, like those with flared silhouettes, and dhoti trousers define his personal style.
Blog: fashionmostwanted.com (over 45,000 hits per month)
Essentials: Platinum accessories are the way to go as they are subtle yet convey a lot of panache
Formerly associated with the global brand IMG fashion, Jeremy Cabral ventured into the world of fashion blogging with one purpose: share simple and easy-to-follow style guides for the modern Indian man, devoid of jargon and technical details. This mantra has earned him over 39,000 followers on WordPress alone. “Last year, FashionMostWanted became the platform via which designers like Shilpa Reddy gained entry to the Lakme India Fashion Week—after she wrote a guest blog post regarding last season’s LIFW (which went viral)—as the industry keeps a close eye on my updates,” shares the blogger who is associated with top brands like Diesel and Gas. Cabral’s exclusive styling tips and predictions, including his post about how the lumbersexual look and Indian bandhgalas (Jodhpuri suits) will play a key role in the coming season, has helped him gain over 49,000 followers across social media platforms.
Panjabi, 24, Mumbai
Blog: thesnazzyman.com (over 15,000 hits per month)
Essentials: Dark blue jeans, a lumberjack/plaid shirt, white sneakers and a denim jacket
Runway select: Antar-Agni by Ujjawal Dubey and Huemn by Pranav Mishra & Shyma Shetty
Outrageous pick: A full blue suit in powder blue
Taking the leap from a luxury brand management degree, from London’s European Business School, to the world of fashion blogging wasn’t an easy shift for Mumbai-based Mohnish Panjabi. This PR professional-turned-blogger—who works closely with e-commerce sites like Amazon and Koovs, and brands like Topshop—was recently listed by GQ as one of ‘India’s Best Dressed Men’. Inspired by Tom Ford’s signature line of fragrances and accessories, Panjabi’s blog strives towards everyday fashion for men, with a pronounced streak of individuality. “You may want to hold on to those old pair of boot-cut jeans as the return of 90’s inspired styles is almost certain,” adds this self-confessed shoe addict, who’s known for being one of the most interactive fashion bloggers on Instagram. “I plan on focusing more on vlogging via YouTube, as video conveys the ideas so much better,” he concludes.
Blog: thedapperlabel.com (over 24,000 hits per month)
Essentials: Denims and a different coloured plain tee, coupled with a cardigan
Runway select: Raghavendra Rathore’s 2015 show at the GQ Fashion Night
Outrageous pick: Fully-printed cardigan with chinos
One of the youngest fashion bloggers in India—whose Instagram page is followed by over 19,000 people—Siddique’s photos ooze boyish charm coupled with the best of outfits borne out of his collaborations with industry leaders like Hugo Boss, Flying Machine US and Lee. This stylist-turned-blogger believes that fashion bloggers hold the power to break stereotypes around body image, by curating the right look for the everyman. As for the fashion trends this year, he recommends the colour wine—either as a shirt or a jacket, paired with a couple of cool hand accessories ranging from bracelets to watches.“We don’t have to be models to pull off a designer outfit. My idea is to create styles that everyone can relate to,” says Siddique, who is working on launching a capsule collection for his untitled, made-to-measure label.
Riaan J George,
Blog: urbaneye.in (over 35,000 hits per month)
Essentials: Well-fitting basics in white and grey
Runway select: 2015 shows by Raghavendra Rathore, Shantanu Nikhil and Narendra Kumar Ahmed
A keen interest in fashion is what inspired luxury journalist, Riaan J George, to take up blogging. Committed to bringing luxury fashion trends—think made-to-measure shirts and suits—to the urban, upscale Indian business traveller, this Celio France-backed blogger has a combined social media following of over 18,000 enthusiasts (a vast majority of whom are men). “Fashion blogging has taken me to places like Budapest—for an international travel-fashion campaign by Emirates called ‘Be There’—where I was chosen to represent India,” says the watch aficionado and former culture editor of Parisian magazine L’Officiel India, whose everyday wardrobe consists of slim-fit denims and a tailored shirt with a simple blazer. As a regular contributor to lifestyle publications within the country, including Conde Nast Traveller and The Man, this Twitterholic (over 45,000 tweets so far) also adores preparatory styles put together by American casual chic brands like Ralph Lauren.
Their pick of this season’s most wanted
Sneakers: Love casual wear? Go for this pair of plaid-print sneakers from Christian Louboutin, named Bip Bip Flat. `64,000 onwards. Details: christianlouboutin.com
Watch: If bling is what you are looking for, it doesn’t get any better than the baguette-cut diamond leather watch from Cartier’s Cle de Cartier collection. From `30,14,000. Details: cartier.com
Cologne: Reserve this one for black-tie affairs. Colonia Intensa Oud from Acqua Di Parma combines citrus top notes that meld into agarwood, amyris and musk, creating a warm, richly aromatic fragrance. `52,056. Details: amazon.in
Cufflinks: Heading out? These David Yurman cognac diamond-embedded pave cuff links, crafted in 18k rose gold, is all you need to complete your look. From `8,21,000. Details: davidyurman.com
For the seekers of alternative online platforms, Saarang Patil, the founder of heisgotthestyle.in suggests Behance and Pinterest as two of the best platforms to keep tabs on the latest trends in fashion. “Androgynous clothing, neutral styles and earthy tones will define the future of fashion in India, and I would still strongly recommend Instagram as it is tomorrow’s visual fashion directory,” adds the blogger-cum-celebrity stylist, who is followed by more than 20,000 fashion enthusiasts on social media.