Kiran Shergill is a model, stylist and a proud Punjabi girl who moved to the UK knowing what she wanted to do and is leaving no stone unturned to make her dreams a reality. She learned to express herself and her personality through her clothes at a very young age. She is a model and a stylist who is keen to proudly represent Indian fashion on the streets of the UK.
Kiran talks to Storiyaan about the drastic changes in her life after moving to the UK and gives hassle-free Indian styling tips and provides a sneak-peek into her future plans as a model and a stylist. Even though she currently resides in the UK, she is a proud Indian who aims to showcase Indian fashion to the rest of the world. Read more as Kiran unravels some amazing fashion tips for us all.
Questions and answers
When you first moved from Punjab to the UK, how did the cultural transition affect you and how did you adapt to it?
Moving to the UK was a very big step especially because it was the first time I had been this far from home. It is exciting but also very hard because it takes time to adapt to the culture and lifestyle. It’s been two years and I’m still adapting but I have somewhat got used to this new lifestyle. I still miss Punjab; that will always be my home.
Having studied both fashion and make-up, do you plan on starting your own product line in the near future? If yes, what are some of the things we can expect from it?
My dream is to have an amazing lifestyle brand that brings together my passion for clothing and my desire for organic, sustainable, and natural beauty products. Through my modelling and styling, I want to help keep fashion interesting and make sure that our traditional Indian crafts and skills are not lost but are reinvented for future modern generations. I am very interested in using organic nature-based beauty treatments and I want to teach others about the benefits.
When modelling for another brand, what are the things that you look for in it before assenting for collaboration?
I am keen to collaborate and work with as many designers, stylists and producers because each of them has something unique to offer and you get to learn a lot from them. My main concern before collaborating with someone is that I like to know how the brand and their clothing makes me feel, whether I will be happy modelling for them or not.
Indian fashion is not usually hassle-free and most of the time it is highly elaborate, which makes it a difficult choice to wear it to work daily. What changes do you think you can bring as a designer to that field?
There are so many different types of Indian fashion. There are heavy embroidery and rich silks, and fancy outfits but, there are also beautiful light simple print fabrics that can be made into blouses, shirts, dresses. In the UK I often admire western women who wear beautiful Indian shawls or scarves to work and carry it so elegantly. For work-wear most of all, you need to be comfortable and sometimes you might need to look super smart for meetings or events. So, I would advise you to dress accordingly.
How has the lockdown affected you and your work and how do you manage to keep the lock-down blues away?
Lockdown was tough for everyone and I have kept myself sane by reminding myself that we are all in this together. Yes, it feels like life is on hold, but you have to think about the positives and remain grateful that you and your family are safe and well.
You made major contributions towards providing hot meals for the vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic and your efforts were adorned with a Certificate of appreciation. What moved you towards contributing towards the cause in the first place and what did you take back from it?
As Sikhs, we are taught to do Seva – which is selfless service – particularly for those who need our help. The opportunity came up at my local Gurdwara and because I had free time I offered to help out. I think everyone should do some kind of community volunteering or help people in need.
When you were initially starting off with your career, what are the challenges that you had to overcome, and what were some of the initial strategies you adopted to build a customer base in a foreign land?
Setting up a customer base takes time, but I am using social media and networking constantly to make sure people know that they can come to me if they are looking for the latest Indian fashion, styles, and outfits which I can create and source. When you start something new there are always going to be challenges that you need to overcome. It can be very difficult but you need to believe in yourself and work hard. I am still at the early stage of my career and I am just seeing it as a learning journey