Growing up in the ‘90s in a small town in India, the one thing that I lacked was representation. I did not grow up seeing strong, opinionated, passionate women in mainstream media. This led me, and I am sure, a multitude of us, to believe that wanting a career and having a mind of your own somehow makes you ‘different’. This is perhaps why one of the first things I wanted to do as an editor is to make space for inclusivity, diversity and ensure that our readers identify with our content, both in the magazine and around the ELLE spaces.
Our cover girl, Harmanpreet Kaur, the captain of the Indian women’s cricket team, perfectly embodies this very spirit. When we look at Kaur, we see not only a strong, record-breaking,globally-renowned player but also an icon for young girls to look up to when they chose to take up the bat. “While growing up, I had a strong fascination for sports but was drawn to cricket simply because it was the most televised and popular sport in the country. I always wished to see myself on the television, but I did not have any idea if women’s cricket even existed because I never saw it on television. For all that I have seen Mithali Raj do for the game, I try my best to provide the right kind of tools and guidance to the young girls who wish to take up cricket as their career choice.”
Our cover feature is a story of five incredible people who are taking up causes and starting conversations that are often ignored in mainstream exchanges. From finding representation in an ableist world, to understanding the struggles of Tamil Nadu’s first trans engineer, I can only hope that our attempt to give these individuals a space in the magazine, leads to bigger and larger dialogues, and eventual change in the way we look at things.
We’ve also looked at Eri Silk, a sustainable fabric, and how it can grow in the coming year. Designer Amit Aggarwal celebrates 10 years in the industry and we’ve sat down with him for a tête-à-tête. Our fashion features hold an India exclusive with the Italian fashion designer Giambattista Valli who gives us a rare insight into his world and a deep dive into the fabric story of Eri silk. Our beauty section features a chat with the beauty guru Huda Kattan who opens up on the world of business, beauty and mental health. And what better way to wrap up an anniversary issue than go nostalgic?! However, we’ve contained the feeling to food. Read Chef Niyati Rao’s piece on how she uses the familiar feel of nostalgia to create dishes and experiences that guarantee to transport you to your childhood.
Our 26th year has been a fantastic one at ELLE India. 2022 saw us taking on some firsts, like the ELLE Beauty Weekender, and going bigger and better with our usuals: The ELLE Beauty Awards, which saw over 400 brands and people come together to celebrate the best in beauty.
As we gear up for 2023, we only look forward and upwards!