Jini Sundarraj is a remarkable fashion icon and a style blogger. She is currently based in London but holds her roots close to her heart. In an interview with Storiyaan, Jini Sundarraj talks about the fashion industry, her process of shooting, her unique co-ord and the WWE series. She strongly believes that,” Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.” Her ideas about sustainable fashion and her target audience will surely get you to introspect.
Read below to learn what Jini Sundarraj has to say about her life and the fashion industry.
Questions and answers
How did the outfit boundaries at home pave the way for the fashionista in you?
I’ve been using social media for almost two years now, and it’s been a few months since I started blogging. It has always been my goal to do something new and unique. Living with my family constituted of having a disciplinarian way of living with blockage and barriers of outfits, so I never really had the opportunity to try out dresses with distinctive designs and to explore that niche of fashion. Once I started getting out of my bubble on account of my work, I unlocked this whole new world of design. I never knew I had it in me to be a fashion monger, but when I started dressing up for social media, presented myself to the world, I gradually developed this new side of myself.
What intrigued you the most about being a part of the fashion industry on a digital platform?
I could say that the best thing about the digital platform is the interdependence of the inspired and the one who inspires and how these roles can be switched so easily. Creators can learn a lot from the other creators, their followers and their inspirations too. I believe fashion is a space where you can truly explore and be true to yourself and the world while you portray yourself in the best possible way.
What was the inspiration behind the WWE series?
All thanks go to my brother for this one. When I was a kid, he used to wake me up at the crack of dawn and make me run, and this would make my blood boil. When I started immersing myself into fashion, my only goal was to bring something unique to the table. I first started with the cartoon series, and then I went for the WWE series. Post this; I gained confidence that I could excel in this industry.
What was the initial public response towards your blog?
It was really hard to be honest. When I started out, the bad and negative vibes hit me hard, I even considered quitting at times, but then I realized that I’m good at this, so why should I quit something merely for others who don’t understand my perspective? I believed that I should keep doing it and not take a step back. I want to look back at my younger self and thank myself for never stopping as they say,” Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
What according to you is your preferred audience base that comes to your mind when you create a look?
Whenever I create something, it is always look back and create something for my past self. You could say that my preferred audience for initiation is me, and then I base my designs on women who go to colleges, higher secondary grades, teenagers and those in their late twenties. More specifically, I focus my work on the younger generations and there is a quote which says,” The best marketing does not feel like marketing,” and I heavily rely on this statement.
What is your take on sustainable fashion, and what is the reason it has failed to become mainstream even today?
My point of view is sustainable fashion is solely meant for everyone and I believe,” Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.”Nowadays, brands are becoming more eco-friendly with each passing day. People are also endorsing crafty ways to spend money less money on clothing and to work off the materials they have at home, thus making reuse, regenerate and recycle the whole point of sustainable fashion. The main thing is it’s not just about brands; it’s about people and their attitude towards this concept.
Co-ord fashion is being adopted by quite a few brands now. How feasible do you think it is for college students who want to try a similar look in a short period of time?
When I was in college, I had no idea about what clothes match and complement each other. The co-ord fashion really helped me a lot because you don’t have to match a lot with this style, as it is in-built. Being able to wear it depends on the region or the community one belongs to. If your institution or workplace allows you, you can easily incorporate it into your everyday style. I’d say, Co-ords would be the best thing a girl can wear.
Jini, can you tell us about the research that goes into the development of your content?
It is a very time-consuming process. If I’m making a video today, I’ll start making arrangements 2-3 days prior, to ensure everything runs seamlessly. From editing to shooting and preparing captions, I do everything myself. I take my time, plan the outfits, research about it in such a manner that the girl who tries to apply my idea is able to wear it outside. If there is a dress restriction at her home or locality, she should be able to modify the dress accordingly- that is my motive. After taking different kinds of the audience into consideration and researching for 2-3 days, I begin my shoot.
How successfully have brands metamorphosed and adapted to the need of the hour with passing time, according to you?
Brands are definitely metamorphosing but at a slow pace. It is the brands that create trends, and we were adopting the brand. Earlier, all the brands indulged in what was trendy. Now, they are also investing in comfort wear which is a great transformation in my eyes, as people now gravitate towards comfort wear over trendy wear and the brands want their customers to feel that comfort.
We all know the cons of fast-fashion. Do you believe that there is an urgent need to curb that? If yes, how do you think we can do it?
I acknowledge that fast-fashion is not good for the environment, but it is a necessary evil because we do not have a second choice yet. But, we can still have some limitations if we are up to it. Everything depends on the consumers, so if we are willing to take a step towards a change, only then is it possible to bring about a revolution in this particular area.
The fashion industry is ever-evolving; what strategies do you adopt to remain relevant?
As a habit, I read up on everything going on in the fashion industry and keep myself updated on new brands and styles. I flip through the pages of all kinds of fashion books and magazines of all kinds of brands and even Pinterest before creating a look. You have to take inspiration from everything to enable the fashion industry to grow. I love the ideas of Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid and take inspiration from them. My goal is to remain trendy while also adaptive to any place/region.
A lot of models fall back on surgery to attain the "perfect Kylie Jenner" look. What would you like to say about it?
I do not believe in the “perfect look”, as we all have our flaws. It is all about the confidence you need to accept yourself the way you are. If I think something is good for me, I’ll do it for myself. Something I truly believe is that it is not about perfection; it is about confidence. You don’t need surgery to look your best; it’s all about feeling good and confident in our heart. Our heart is what makes us beautiful.
Jini do you plan to start your brand anytime soon? If yes, what are the main objectives of it?
Comfort will always be my first objective, which is what I always go for. Apart from that, I also wish to make comfort-wear trendy. I want my customers to feel that the outfit has been crafted especially for them, in terms of its fit, style and perfection. My brand would cater to all types of audience. I do not believe in stereotypes, and that is what I want my brand to stand for!
a. One classic fashion statement you would love to bring back in trend – Velvet.
b. Greatest fashion faux pas according to you – Thinking that tight dresses make you look slim.
c. Biggest lesson learnt in life – Be yourself.
d. One brand you’d love to work for – Versace
e. Biggest sacrifice made for your career – To come to the UK for my career