It feels like yesterday when I was asked to take over ELLE India and blink blink it’s already been a year! Honestly, I don’t know where time has flown by. But what I do know is that it’s been the busiest and the craziest year of my life. And obviously, the pandemic hasn’t made things easy. To take over a brand in the middle of a global crisis, rebuild a new team and reformulate its strategies – it has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. And it still continues to be. But I have to admit, that in spite of all the madness, there is a part of me that absolutely loves the adrenaline rush that comes along with my job. And I wouldn’t want to change that for anything, not at the moment at least 😉
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Coming to this month’s issue – it’s ELLE’s Fashion Special edition. From the latest accessories that are hot in the market, power-packed features to immersive fashion editorials and the best of international brands – the issue has something for every fashion lover. Our cover star, the very beautiful Pooja Mor, lets us into her world and shows us a raw, authentic side, which probably is a first-time-ever for her as well. I still have vivid memories of the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2016 runway show where she made her international debut and I remember how proud I felt seeing an Indian model walk the ramp for LV. Since then, Pooja has only been on a rise and I don’t think I could have asked for a better cover star for ELLE’s fashion issue.
Heritage and culture via the fashion lens make for an important narrative in this issue. We’ve got Anita Dongre talking to us about her Pichhwai collection that pays an Ode to Bhuj, Tiffany celebrating its 184-year-old legacy, Ladakhi artisans finding their voices via Namza Couture and FENDI sharing its rare weaving Italian techniques and embroideries through the iconic Baguette. That’s not all, we also have 6 powerful women showing us what it takes to be beauty with brains…do check out our special feature with Noelle Kadar, Rana Ayyub, Roohi Jaikishan, Fariha Javed Ansari, Samyukta Nair and Akansha Ranjan Kapoor while they raise a toast to Gucci’s centennial anniversary. The issue also explores the power of the sari in a unique way. Whether it is the Japanese sari enthusiast Yori Yamamura exploring varied versions of the nine-yards or ELLE’s Digital Editor, Ainee Nizami Ahmedi, talking about the relationship between Indian women politicians and their power saris; this garment continues to command a niche of its own.
With travel around India opening up slowly, the issue also features some amazing getaways – for the mountain and the wilderness lover, there’s Mary Budden Estate in Binsar, Johri for the heritage and city-lovers and Vana for the ones seeking some wellness refuge. We also embark on a ‘travel through brands’ journey. Do check out our very special illustrated story where we explore India through some niche and homegrown fashion brands. These brands reflect the country’s ever-evolving fashion sensibilities and also showcase our culture in a completely new light. Driven by local artisans and craftsmen, each brand has a story to share and a USP that is rare to find.
Before I sign off, I just want to end with one of Alexander McQueen’s iconic quotes, “Fashion should be a form of escapism, and not a form of imprisonment.” With the rapidly changing fashion world, social media dictating the norms and the rise of toxic cancel culture, I feel it’s time to probably take a pause and simply enjoy and celebrate the fashion we have around us. I hope you enjoy reading this edition as much as we have enjoyed putting it together. I would love to know your thoughts on the issue, ELLE India’s overall content or anything else that you may want to share with me as feedback. Please feel free to drop in an email or DM me on Instagram. Until the next one…stay safe and stay happy.
Download your digital copy of ELLE’s April 2021 issue here.