10 Q's with Neelakshi Singh of Plump to Pretty

Posted by Abhijin Asher on

Fashion influencers have become powerful drivers of the fashion industry today and a great career choice for many aspiring fashion entrepreneurs in the country. At Bauble Love we love influencers but believe that there is more it than product or brand collaborations and jazzy Instagram uploads. It's great to connect with individuals who go beyond their public persona to bring their life experiences to the table. 

We sat down with our muse Neelakshi Singh from Plump to Pretty for a quick 10 question interview about her life and experience as a fashion blogger & educator. 

1. How did the idea of fashion blogging come to you?

The idea was floating around five or six years back when I started. I was always dressed to my best with wonderful makeup and loved to share the same so I would often upload my looks on my social handles. Fashion blogging came to me as an extension of myself and I realized that this was something people would enjoy, so here we are! :) 
2. While fashion blogging has come a long way in India. It has become a very crowded space. Brands and business are more focused on numbers and reach than the quality of content. This has given rise to a lot of dubious accounts and affects the credibility of quality fashion bloggers.
  • How do you react to such competition and brands
  • How do you identify your own niche in such an environment?

I agree. Fashion blogging is a major occupation for a lot of people these days. I have realized that my job as a blogger is more than just being one, it's about being a fashion educator. Talking about body positive my clothing and wardrobe or even working with brands comes to me as an incentive. I believe that my blog is an extension of my take on fashion, be it education, my styling/branding projects or even my job as a professor it is to take that knowledge and put it out there. My niche is my craft and not my numbers. I have my work to show beyond everything. 

3. One of our many muses, Lady Gaga exclaimed in an interview that social media is the ungrateful of the internet. She said while being extremely helpful it is cruel and judgmental at the same time. Being a public figure also means you are open to criticism and scrutiny. How do you respond to that?

I don't know if I am public figure just yet! So most people who follow me are my friends and my extended family of readers who have now become friends so I am usually know the people following me and I connect with them as well. 
So when people ask me how I deal trolls or fake profiles my move is to simply block them I am not here to entertain or give them the attention they seek. 
4.Your fan base is your biggest source of motivation and love. I’d love to know some of the sweetest or loving comments you might have received during this journey that have motivated you? 
There have been many moments. There was this girl who wore shorts for the first time and she was so excited, she messaged me saying that it happened because of me. In fact her boyfriend drop me a message saying of how happy and confident she was after she bought them and finally tried them on! 
Also I was at fashion enclave recently and this kind lady drove all the way to my part of the city only to meet me and that was really heart full gesture. 
5.Our identity is linked to many factors, our physical appearance being one of them. While Fashion industry is trying it’s best to look inclusive, we have often noticed that this inclusive approach is only used as a marketing ploy than making it more of a routine and thus acceptable. Being one of the very few plus sized fashion bloggers in the industry what is your take on this and do you see this trend changing?
So one of the biggest things that we must accept and appreciate in the moment is that we are finally talking about inclusion. It did start as a marketing gimmick and I thought it wouldn't last long but it has definitely survived and thriving in its own little way. 
I recently came across a report that said that inclusivity was only for paper. So maybe there was one black model or two Asian models walking the runway so a brand could claim to be inclusive but it is still the Caucasian-White beauty standard that rule the ramp. I do feel that we are getting to a point where people have started taking notice. 
6.Continuing with the question above, Identity can be both liberating and act as a discriminatory factor. Do you feel the industry should at best should stop promoting these identified labels in retail fashion? ( for example: Pantaloons having a ALL store or H&M having a plus size section) Many of these styles are the same but are given different sections all together than being considered part of regular retail)

 

As much as a love to talk about you inclusion and hope for a future where we don't have such segregation. I would love to go to a store and find my size in the same rack as others. Even today when you walk into a plus size section eye balls roll and it does get weird. In fact even as a kid when we had handful brands doing plus size fashion I refused to wear it because I will be honest I didn't like the clothes at all, also because it was identified as 'Mote Logon Ki Dukan'. 

I really feel brands need to stop doing this identification and differentiation of their customers. 
7.Your fashion journey is an inspiring one, however in a recent interview you mentioned that your parents had reservations about you swimsuit modelling. How have your friends and family reacted to this half of your active fashion career?
The journey has been exciting but my parents still have reservations about it. My mother tends to point out my outfits some mornings. For instance a short skirt or sightly low neckline on a dress or top. I feel this comes from being a girl. 
I don't share a lot of information about my work and outfits at home, only once the shoot is complete and the work is out in public does my family get to see it. 
I believe this is a slow and gradual process where I try to push the envelope with every single attempt or project they are slowly coming to terms with it and appreciate it too. My friends have been my pillar through this journey. 
8. You are a professor at Pearl Academy of Fashion. How has the journey been for you? Do you also take classroom ideas and discussions and make it part of your blog stories?
Absolutely! Every single day is a day of learning from my students. I teach fashion communication and history. A lot of it is tilted towards social media and PR. One of the reasons I got into fashion education is that it can make a whole lot of difference when you are interacting in a classroom environment. 
You can share view points and understand that fashion actually gets affected by everything around you and not just what you learn at a fashion school. 
9.Is there anything you would like to change about the Indian Fashion Industry? 
The biggest thing I have against the industry is the snob attitude combined with a strange level of professionalism. Even after being in the industry for so long I have experienced this and I wish it changes soon. A table where everyone can sit instead of you can't sit with us. 

10.You have interacted with our brand on quite a few occasion. What would be one of your favorite go to style from our collectives?

I have been incessantly in love with the afghan collection. The design & intricacy is love. It will always remain my favorite thing. I also love the minimal Aztec Brass jewelry that has been done and love how the shoot has been executed.

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