As part of our Community Series, we’re hoping to connect you with influencers in the South Asian community. Our goal is to share their inspiring stories and helpful guidance with everyone in our LUKH community.
In this interview, we’re getting to know Vandana Iyer, who works at Ogilvy doing Business Development, but her hobbies are her passion! She loves singing with her sister, Vidya Vox, fashion and beauty - from make-up, fashion to pampering herself with at-home skin regimens.
She comes from a household of three women (her, her mom and her sister) who all love to dress up. They love shopping for simple salwars to silk sarees, and they’ve even turned fabrics into their own dresses or lehengas. As a child, she remembers spending her summers in India stitching together salwars. She would bring those back to the US and wear them repeatedly to events, and then do that all over again after her next trip to India.
She’s sharing more about her love for South Asian fashion and her perspective on the industry with all of you.
What’s your favorite part of South Asian culture?
THE FASHION, oh and the food, oh and the music, oh the dancing, and the movies. Basically everything. I am and always have been proud to wave my Indian flag. I love speaking in my mother tongue, tucking into some 3.5 hour bollywood films and playing dress up with the most beautiful clothes (I'm biased).
How do you shop for South Asian styles today?
I love to mix traditional and modern. I think the beauty of fashion in our culture is the traditional piece of it. Whenever I dress up or design my own pieces, I don't like to lose that. I love everything about Indian clothes, but my favorites are probably lehengas and saris.
What do you wish would be different about the Indian retail experience?
Ugh, I wish it wasn't so "hard to get". If you need a sari, or want to design your own piece, you're best taking the car to Jersey or calling your mom's friend (aka Aunty whose name you don't know) who lives in Mumbai to get their tailor to create your piece and ship it to you. Either way, prepare to pay a pretty penny.
However, I think the one thing that's exciting about the Indian garment industry is that there is so much room for change! Companies like Rent the Runway (which I LOVE) have paved the way for awesome companies, like LUKH, to help us ladies look glam for any event without breaking the wallet! :)
What is your process for styling clothes?
I'd like to say I like to keep it simple but I think I am more of a balance type person. While I probably won't wear heavy jewelry with a heavy clothing piece, I still accessorize in a way that's flattering for the outfit and for the look I am going for. With Indian clothes, more is usually more but you never want to be gaudy, so you're always riding a fine line.