HomeLifestyleHT Brunch Cover Story: The evolution of influence

HT Brunch Cover Story: The evolution of influence


Nivedita Saboo
Santoshi says, “I was thanking people after every 100 followers, but I wasn’t feeling it after I hit 500k. I am grateful to everyone who follows me, but it’s not about the numbers”; Outfit by Huemn;Shoes by Zara (Tushar Bhardwaj)
Santoshi says, “I used to be thanking folks after each 100 followers, however I wasn’t feeling it after I hit 500k. I’m grateful to everybody who follows me, but it surely’s not in regards to the numbers”; Outfit by Huemn;Sneakers by Zara (Tushar Bhardwaj)

The debut

“Again then, manufacturers had simply began searching for collaborations with individuals who had fashion-oriented profiles. I began with quite a lot of barters for cellphone covers and so on. I’d inform my mom, ‘Yay! I get free covers simply to put up about it on IG’,” she remembers on the HT Brunch cowl shoot, the place we not solely get her to model herself, but in addition do yoga strikes, a pandemic ardour that has turn out to be a career and dominates her Instagram feed at the moment.

Nevertheless, Santoshi had had no intention of entering into the style house, although she loved styling herself. “I by no means repeated an outfit in school. I’d model it in another way. I used to be choreographing trend reveals, and so was often known as the style particular person in school,” she explains.   

She was truly finding out structure and was a scholar on the IS School of Structure, Bandra. “It was a enjoyable artistic experiment that enabled me to go for research journeys,” says Santoshi, who credit her travels for serving to her experiment along with her model and evolve an intuitive understanding of world traits trickling into India.

(Left to right) Santoshi and her partner, Anti; on vacation in Puducherry; yoga is now an essential part of her life; feeding cows on her birthday, in Goa
(Left to proper) Santoshi and her associate, Anti; on trip in Puducherry; yoga is now an important a part of her life; feeding cows on her birthday, in Goa

In case your shoulders are narrower than your hips, your prime half and bust are petite, your waist is outlined, and your hips and thighs are full, then you will have a pear-shaped determine.

Professional’s opinion 

Santoshi on her social media journey
Santoshi on her social media journey

In reality, it was her father who prompt that she go away structure. “I used to be the one who was all, ‘are you mad?’ as a result of I wished to get my diploma!” she says. “At the moment, they hold telling folks about me and my mother nonetheless helps me out by managing quite a lot of issues.”   

One of many pioneers of content material creation in India, Santoshi reminisces in regards to the first batch of content material creators who all had one another’s backs.

“We creators have been simply attending to know one another, apart from studying in regards to the trade. We’d focus on price playing cards and media kits and assist one another. I had no thought in regards to the enterprise side of all of it and I couldn’t deal with the funds, however I met individuals who helped me study and perceive it. I didn’t know I wanted a supervisor until my dad prompt I get one,” she smiles.

The scary half was assembly skilled folks from the style trade. “We have been doing this out of sheer ardour whereas they’d studied trend and have been skilled. It was intimidating initially, however with time, I realised that they appreciated what I dropped at the desk, and that I too had one thing to provide,” Santoshi nods.    

Santoshi recently modelled for designer Siddartha Tytler and posted this picture from the shoot on Instagram (Karishma Bedi)
Santoshi just lately modelled for designer Siddartha Tytler and posted this image from the shoot on Instagram (Karishma Bedi)

The numbers recreation  

Issues have modified within the final close to eight years: Santoshi has slowly however absolutely moved away from chasing numbers.  

“I’ve reached a stage the place there isn’t a stress to get numbers. At one level, I used to be thanking folks after each 100 followers and so on, however I wasn’t feeling it after I hit 500k. I’m grateful to everybody who follows me, but it surely’s not in regards to the numbers,” she shakes her head.  

This realisation sank in when Santoshi mingled with worldwide influencers at trend occasions. “I’m grateful to have labored with manufacturers like Louis Vuitton and H&M at such huge occasions. These occasions made me realise that manufacturers don’t care about your numbers, solely your content material—how fascinating you might be, how approachable you might be. Should you go to an occasion, it’s about your persona, not social media. If you wish to stand out, you must present your uniqueness,” she explains.  

Lack of differentiation is an issue she’s observed with some Indian manufacturers. They’re explicit about what they need however give the identical transient to all creators, no matter their personalities, she says. “However how is that distinctive to the creator? The creator’s followers observe them to see their persona. You’ve the facility to say no, after a degree,” she says.  

Santoshi on her peers
Santoshi on her friends

However even with this lack of discernment amongst Indian manufacturers, Santoshi discovered that manufacturers don’t essentially choose you to your numbers.

“I don’t have the utmost numbers and types by no means picked me due to it,” she says. “Should you rely on numbers a lot, you’ll cry over dropping followers, which is, truthfully, part of the method. I unfollow folks I can’t relate to. I’m okay if somebody unfollows me. In addition to, Instagram retains altering its algorithm, so what’s the purpose in worrying anyway?” she shrugs.  

A change is right here 

Through the years, not solely has Santoshi stopped worrying about numbers, she’s additionally been in a position to understand social media as her work house reasonably than her entire life.

Santoshi says, “If you depend on numbers so much, you will cry over losing followers, which is, honestly, a part of the process”; Outfit by Huemn; Shoes by Zara (Tushar Bhardwaj)
Santoshi says, “Should you rely on numbers a lot, you’ll cry over dropping followers, which is, truthfully, part of the method”; Outfit by Huemn; Sneakers by Zara (Tushar Bhardwaj)

“Once I was youthful, it was all enjoyable,” says the millennial who has grown up on social media not simply professionally however personally, mentally and spiritually. “However you hit a saturation level and don’t need to present a lot of your private life on social media.”

Not that she ever cared in regards to the judgmental lot you discover on social media and in society at giant. Residing your life on-line within the public eye has its professionals and cons. “Should you’ve been via relationships and break-ups, folks need solutions. They are saying they want closure. I don’t blame them. It’s pure, as they’ve been part of your journey and are curious to know,” she explains.

Then there are additionally instances when your intent doesn’t translate for a viewer, who could then troll you. “You possibly can’t go and clarify issues to them particularly as a result of everyone seems to be totally different. I’d reasonably simply apologise and say stay and let stay,” Santoshi says.  

It hasn’t all the time been clean crusing. She nonetheless remembers getting upset when a YouTube video received a thumbs down when she was 21. “Social media is overwhelming. However finally, a damaging remark turns into your energy,” says the creator who additionally received flak through the pandemic for opening up her DMs to followers, providing remedy classes for 1,500.  

Santoshi says, “If you’ve been through relationships and break-ups, people want answers. I don’t blame them. It’s natural, as they have been a part of your journey”; Outfit and shoes by Zara; Earrings by Unfettered Adornment (Tushar Bhardwaj)
Santoshi says, “Should you’ve been via relationships and break-ups, folks need solutions. I don’t blame them. It’s pure, as they’ve been part of your journey”; Outfit and sneakers by Zara; Earrings by Unfettered Adornment (Tushar Bhardwaj)

“Regardless of the hate you could get, it is advisable to maintain your psychological well being and power. Ask your self: Are you feeling misplaced and insecure and have anxiousness? Or, do you probably not care as a result of folks will discuss and you’ve got accepted that?” she says.

Pandemic studying 

The pandemic was a transformative interval for Santoshi, who took to yoga, and now conducts classes along with her associate and instructor, Anti.  

“I used to be all the time into health. Investing in my physique is akin to investing in my job. If I’m all the time in entrance of the digital camera, I need to really feel good as that’s once I ship my finest. If I’m not engaged on my physique, I gained’t really feel assured. However it wasn’t simply the bodily side of health. There was a interval once I was wanting match, however not feeling sturdy,” she says.   

That’s when she met her associate Anti, and explored Ashtanga, which made her concentrate on the meals she was consuming, her sleeping patterns and being extra in concord with nature.

“An natural shift occurred, personally and professionally. Now, I’m sporting totally different garments and posting, however I’m doing extra than simply posing. It’s serving to my work. I don’t need to simply preach about wellness on social media,” she says. 

Fashion content creators on a future after and beyond social media
Style content material creators on a future after and past social media

Santoshi has additionally the realised the worth of placing your psychological well being first. “I really like working, however I’ll by no means do it to some extent the place I’m compromising on my well being. Once I was finding out structure, we needed to pull all-nighters. However now, if an structure scholar involves me, I inform them it’s not price it,” she shrugs.

Her relationship along with her followers is friendlier too, on condition that being a content material creator has misplaced its “movie star” standing. “There isn’t any ‘fan’ vibe. It’s extra refined and intimate now,” Santoshi claims.

Any plans for the longer term? “At one level, I wished to talk with folks on social media to share my experiences. That didn’t work out and all of it translated to at the present time at the moment the place I’ve the identical intention with my present work: of permitting folks to connect with themselves. I’m doing that via yoga and chakra dance and life and love,” says Santoshi.  

Comply with @kkuenzang on Instagram and Twitter

From HT Brunch, September 24, 2022

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