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Fashion Talk

Niki Mehra Madan

Fashion Influencer / Blogger
Niki Mehra

I am my own style inspiration

Niki Mehra is a well-known Indian model; fashion, beauty, and travel blogger; and social media influencer who has made a name for herself in the country’s fast-growing fashion sector. She gained popularity for her lifestyle hacks, which she routinely shares on her social media channels and in blog articles under the hashtags #NMRethinks and #hacksbyniki. In an interview with Fibre2Fashion, the influencer talks about her journey, challenges, and the pros and cons of the fashion Industry.

Fibre2Fashion: What attracted you towards the fashion industry?

Niki Mehra Madan:

I stumbled upon fashion blogging when I was pursuing my master’s degree in economics. I found my studies tough and wanted a creative outlet. At that time, the fashion blogging industry was very new and not as established as it is now. We just had a couple of bloggers who were posting about their fashion choices or their daily lives. So, fashion blogging seemed something that I could do along with my studies.


F2F: But why fashion in particular?


I’ve always loved fashion, even as a kid. My mother was a designer. My father was into garment exporting. So, I was kind of born into it and I knew that I always wanted to be a fashion entrepreneur. But yes, blogging in particular just happened by chance.

F2F: How was your journey to becoming one of the top bloggers in the fashion industry?


Oh well, it’s been eight years now. I think this is something you hear from everyone that “we’ve had our share of ups and downs”—the highest of highs as well as the lowest of lows. But that’s basically the journey of any entrepreneur, not just that of a fashion blogger. I believe that I have definitely grown as a person because of my journey. In order to reach a certain level, you just have to keep going and be consistent.

F2F: What were the problems that you faced along your journey and how did you overcome them?


There are different kinds of problems that you may face. In my case, I think the biggest hurdle that I faced was that there was nobody around me in this industry. So, I didn’t have a friend who was a stylist, nor did I know any blogger. I didn’t know any PR (public relations) person. I didn’t know about navigating my way through this sector either. So, whatever I learnt was on the job, and I think that’s the case with every hurdle. Everyone makes mistakes or wrong choices, but then you will definitely learn on the job.

When you start out, you will obviously not have the means or the resources to build a team. If you see established influencers today, you will find that they have some ten people working under them. One has to understand that it took a decade for them to reach where they are. Similarly, when I started, I didn’t have any resources. Obviously, designers didn’t know me and neither did I have any friends in the industry. It was not like everyone was sending me outfits or I had my own stylist, photographer, or makeup artist.

The only way to overcome my hurdles was to not aim for perfection. Even if you’re just starting out, focus on doing your best and being consistent. Over time, you will surely reap the benefits of your efforts. That’s when you can start investing just like any other business.

F2F: Could you tell us about your few favourite projects?


The first project always holds a special place. The one that I did with Swarovski was when I was just one month into blogging, and that is something I am super grateful for. Then, of course, some really cool things have happened. My work took me to meet Rihanna, which I think is really cool. It was a project that Myntra and Puma were doing at that time for her Fenty debut collection launch.

I feel that every project is special because it validates your work. So, it would be unfair for me to say that this one was more special than the other. For every PR/brand that gets in touch with us, we do give our 100 per cent. They are reaching out to us because they think we are good at what we do.

F2F: With so many fashion-based bloggers in the industry, what do you think makes your content stand out and resonate with your followers?


Well, like you said, there are definitely amazingly talented influencers with great audiences and communities out there. But I do think that our biggest USP is that we’re relatable. Also, we are very versatile. That’s something that we hear all the time. We can be very glam and can also experiment with different kinds of clothes. And luckily, everything suits me, and I am able to carry off different styles. I think that is our biggest USP because that’s not a common thing in the industry.

F2F: How do you think ‘fashion blogging’ has evolved in India?


I feel very proud to say that the industry in the past 10 years has become way more structured. Now people consider ‘fashion blogging’ as a proper career option. Back then, it was very offbeat, and people didn’t really take it seriously. But now, even more so in the last year, it has become more structured because the government has come out with guidelines for our industry. We are becoming an ‘influencer economy’ as people are taking us seriously. Even celebrities are talking about it. You can say, we’ve kind of carved our own universe, and that’s commendable. Our industry has grown by leaps and bounds, and there’s so much more potential to grow.

F2F: What are the benefits and drawbacks of working as a fashion blogger?


Just like any other job, there are pros and cons to this one as well. Yes, there are a lot of benefits if you’re able to reach a certain level. Obviously, the love that you get from everyone is great. You realise this when you go out in public, and somebody comes forward and says ‘Hi!’ to you or has nice things to say about you. That’s a good feeling because technically it is a stranger who connects with you so much that they’ve made the effort to get up and come to you and compliment you, which I think is great. And obviously, there are other benefits too. For example, you get to work with so many amazing brands. Prior to being a blogger, I was a consumer of these very brands, and I would purchase their products, and today these brands are paying me to use their products! It feels like a dream come true for sure.

But there are cons as well. When you are exposing yourself to an online community, you also have to be ready for everybody’s opinion on what you do, and not everybody is going to like you. So, you have to be really thick-skinned. Secondly, we don’t have regular working hours. We’re constantly working, even while on vacations.

F2F: How do you manage to balance your personal as well as professional life?


My husband has a big role to play in this because he is not from this industry. I think that is my biggest blessing because he grounds me a lot. And even though I have friends from the industry as well, I make sure that my closest circle is not from the industry. The reason for this is that when I finish my job and go to them, they make me realise that there’s a world outside of the internet. I can keep my phone down and have some real moments. The conversations we have are not about what is that person doing or what is happening in the industry because they don’t really care. That’s good because it helps me strike a good balance.

F2F: Which top five fashion trends are you forecasting for the year 2023?


I’ll be repeating myself now as I recently did a post on the same topic. We put together a list of seven winter trends. These trends are not only the rage online but are also among my favourites. For me, the biggest trend to watch out for is experimenting with colours in one’s outfit.

The cut-out trend is also something I really like because it breaks away from the bulkiness of one’s outfits. Next, suits are definitely in as they are powerful and make a strong style statement. Colourful quirky winter boots and bomber jackets are also going to be popular.

F2F: Any style tip that you would like to share?


Well, I have one. This is something I’ve followed even during my wedding. When somebody asked me about the inspiration behind my style and everything, I said I was my own inspiration. Once when I was interviewing a well-known designer, I asked what he thought would trend that wedding season, and he said the exact same thing: “You are going to trend this season, you know.” So, the biggest style tip is that you do you because the fashion industry globally has reached a stage where people now accept fashion as an expression, an extension of who you are, and in that sense it’s very accepting. So, for your personal style, one style tip would be to do you.

F2F: What is the one thing your followers would be surprised to know about you?


I’ve never had coffee in my life.

What is the one thing your followers would be surprised to know about you?

Interviewer: Kiran Sahija
Published on: 29/11/2022
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