Fashion is much more than just looking beautiful and trendy. It is a medium to express your identity and define your individuality. It can also be a means to make a statement, express your opinion, and bring a change in society and people’s mindset. Yes, fashion can be a means for social change and when it is used for this purpose, it is known as fashion activism.
In fashion activism, trending styles, from clothing to accessories to headgears, are blended and used to voice dissent or extend support towards a subject related to social issues, or to create an awareness to bring about a social change.
Today, we are going to talk about an Indian ‘fashionist’ or fashion activist, and the founder of Figuramoda, Aishwarya Sharma. Aishwarya uses fashion to promote awareness about important social issues. Recently, in an interview with Techstory, she talked about fashion activism, her journey as a fashion activist, and how she uses fashion to create social awareness and change. Here’s what Aishwarya Sharma has to say to all of us.
What inspired you to become a ‘Fashionist’ (fashion + activist)? Would you like to throw some light on your journey so far?
At a very early age, I was exposed to the world of fashion. Through fashion magazines and entertainment media, fashion was so accessible that I was consuming fashion at a faster rate than anything around me. However, over the years, I started questioning the purpose of the same.
I wanted to know if it serves the right audience or spreads the right message. If people around are benefited and so much more. I think that’s exactly where the idea of activism through fashion hit the ground for me and since then, there’s no looking back.
My journey so far, has been about people and fashion. From stories of one of the most secluded ones to the conditioning of women in the society, we have it all.
Tell us how you are using blogging to promote awareness about key issues in the society? What has been the impact so far?
One phrase that never faded for me goes like ”The pen is mightier than the sword” and by far, that has always worked in my favor.
When I first started out by posting pictures of my #ootds, I
Realizing the power of social media and its impact in no time, I started talking about the real issues in the society today. When you are someone a lot of people follow and look up to, the responsibility to deliver the right thing is significant.
One after the other, I started talking about acid attacks, racism in the fashion industry, brown skin, and the struggles, especially of women and the impact is doubled.
I started receiving bundles of emails from men and women talking about their struggles and connecting to each part of my blog posts and thoughts. This is an ongoing process and I wish to do it, every day.
Who have been your inspiration and how they have motivated you to forge ahead?
I think all the strong women in my life. Be it my mother who always taught me how to stand up for what’s right and never hide to my friends who kept pushing me to do the right thing for myself and for every woman.
Some people that I absolutely adore are Princess Diana, Meryl Streep, and Anna Dello Russo. These are the women who taught me that fashion can never hold you back. It’s the key to your freedom and that your heels should not only lift your world up but everyone else’s around you.
What challenges did you face as a fashion activist and a blogger? Would you like to share your thoughts on the importance of work-life balance?
A lot of them. I still face more challenges than anything on an everyday basis. You see, when someone is talking about change and wants to initiate that, there’s always repulsion from society. It’s universal.
To have a balance is the key for every individual. However, in my case, my work life has been a priority since forever. That’s maybe because I have an understanding with my family and friends who realize the importance of continuity and spontaneity of the career that I have chosen, where I am not fighting for one but for many women.
Would you like to talk about the projects you are currently working on?
Currently, all my attention is to take forward the movement #takethepowerback, initiated by Monica Singh, Founder (Mahendra Singh Organisation) in my own country as I have been recently appointed as the Brand Ambassador from India. That’s all I am looking forward to for now with obviously a few brand engagements.
What are your Future Plans?
Oh, I have a list of things and projects planned which also includes getting my own fashion line up by the end of next year. That’s all I can say for now!
Do you have any message for the people in India?
“Learn to let go and accept change.”
Well, this simple, yet sincere message underlines the importance of change for the progress of society. We hope that Aishwarya Sharma will continue to use the powerful media of fashion to create social awareness about crucial issues and also to empower the weaker and the discriminated sections of