Real world – real women: Sports marketing director Deepthi Bopaiah

Real world – real women: Sports marketing director Deepthi Bopaiah
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As part of the Real World – Real Women series we present to you –
‘Deepthi Bopaiah- Marketing Director @ Go Sports Foundation (Bangalore), who oozes dynamism and passion for what she does.

One up for ‘Sisterhood’ as Deepthi spreads the vibe.

Conscious Fashion to you?
Being comfortable and wearing what suits and compliments my personality

Your work does not feel like work because…  
I completely believe in the saying by Confucius: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
I believe my team and me are putting professionalism, structure and positivity into Indian Sport and ensuring we create a legacy to create champions in the future.

As Marketing Director for ‘Go Sports Foundation’ what are your challenges especially in a male dominated sphere when it comes to sports in India?
I don’t think there are any specific challenges only because you are a woman. But yes, they are quite shocked when they see a woman who quit a high paying bank job talking passionately about our sport system in federation meetings.

What can be done at the grass root level for younger girls to take up Sports actively?
Sports should be compulsory and part of the curriculum in school and colleges and it should be mandatory that everybody plays a sport. Usually when the girl child is 9- 10 years they need to be encouraged by parents and school authorities to play sport rather than only excelling in Studies.

What is that one thing in a day that you do for yourself ?
I try to workout everyday – Maybe hit the gym 3 times a week or play a game of tennis.

I believe you are what you eat.
Yes, we are what we eat but I am not somebody who follows that. I am a total foodie and enjoy trying and tasting different cuisines.

Your favourite style of dressing that acts as a pick up on those difficult days?
I am comfortable wearing formal shirts and jeans or even kurtas on jeans.

Timeless Beauty-Fashion Icon?
I really like the way Princess Kate dresses for every occasion. She has an easy but classy style, which works, so well for her personality. In India I like how Sridevi has been keeping up with her style over the years and I also really like Deepika Padukone’s iconic look.

Unconventional Beauty means…
Not to be a high fashion runway model. Yet look and feel good to be yourself.

Are you a high maintenance or low-maintenance Sister when it comes to grooming?
I am somewhere in between both. I do believe the first thing people notice about an individual is what you wear and how you look hence it is important to wear the right outfit for the right occasion. I do like certain big brands but would also pick up something off a smaller store if I really like it.

Indian women and emancipation- What do you feel is the one crucial aspect that can be done?
I feel we should communicate through various media that it is absolutely fine for women to pamper themselves and spend money and time on themselves to feel and look good. Every woman whether a school/college student or homemaker or business woman needs to believe that they are individuals first and then a mother,wife, daughter in law…and all the various roles we play in our society.

How do you juggle busy work schedules and personal commitments?
I have extremely helpful and supportive family members and allow me to pursue my dreams and ambitions. Hence, I am able to manage both my commitments.

After a long 9-12 hour work day I…
Unwind!! I love watching TV and listening to old Hindi songs.

Khadi as fashionable clothing- what do you feel?
I used to always wonder why do I need to wear only Khadi kurtas. It’s so light and comfortable and the colors are gorgeous. Why can’t somebody make more formal/casual wearable stuff. I am glad that the need was identified and Red Sister Blue as a brand has brought this forth to Indian women.

How do you spread the Sisterhood Vibe in your daily life?
Post a six-year stint in banking where I was extremely comfortable and doing pretty well for myself, there came a point when I felt I was not learning anything new not really contributing and using my skill sets to the best of my ability. Having played sport in my childhood days, I always wanted to have a career in sports, so when this opportunity came along – though it was a difficult decision to make – I jumped into it. Having said that, once I have made that decision, my last two years have opened up so many new avenues and interests, which I could have never done and been part of, if I continued in the bank. Hence, I try and actively talk and encourage a lot of my girl friends and family to take up jobs where they truly feel like they are contributing and also get a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for working hard, smart and sincerely.

 

Deepthi Bopaiah

Deepthi Bopaiah

Real world – real women spread the vibe of sisterhood

Real world – real women spread the vibe of sisterhood
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‘Our Brand is all about Khadi and Women thus embodying the Spirit of Sisterhood in all its hues and colours. Being an Interactive and Conscious brand, we now bring to you a regular Q&A session with some very cool and dynamic women across various walks of life. From Bollywood, to Glam business, to Sports, Corporate and everything in between. Women who are independent, women who love Khadi and women who inspire.’

The dynamic Puja Agarwal – MD @ Pearl Events and Entertainment in a tete a tete with Team Red Sister Blue.

Conscious Fashion to you?
I wear clothes that make me feel comfortable and confident. I don’t let fashion own me. This to me is ‘Conscious Fashion’

Your work does not feel like work because…
I enjoy my work and I have the liberty to take my decisions in my own way.

As MD for ‘Pearl Entertainment what are your challenges especially in a male dominated sphere when it comes to Celeb/Talent management in India?
Showing one’s value and worth is the best way to be treated better. Don’t complain. Just do it.
Typically, you have to stand your ground, and you have to be assertive and persistent to be able to set and establish your place in this competitive industry.
“It’s not so much about being ‘tough’ as it is about being focused, being direct, and staying firm in one’s position. And yes, it’s much harder to get away with this when you are younger, and you don’t have as much credibility. As you age, it gets much easier but you still can’t let your guard down.

What can be done to bring in more awareness for younger girls who aspire to make Glamor business their profession? (so that they are aware of the the Do’s & Don’ts)
DON’T: Get carried away with the glam factor.
DO: Wear that fits you perfectly, be bold and confident.
DON’T be afraid to break the “fashion rules.” Remember…rules are meant to be broken.
DON’T let fear get the best of your outfits. Fashion is supposed to be fun.
DO: wear bright colors and bold prints. Be daring! There’s nothing to be scared of.
DO wear whatever you want. You are a fashionista and true fashion is for those who wish to express themselves through their clothing.

What is that one thing in a day that you do for yourself- ? (can be health/beauty/lifestyle related)
I make sure that I spend some quality time with ‘myself’ despite my hectic schedules. I have learnt to take better care of myself now when I travel extensively.

I believe you are what you eat…
It’s definitely true! Food plays a very pivotal role in our spiritual growth, mental well being along with our physical health.

Your favorite style of dressing that acts as a pick up on those difficult days?
In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous. I wear a harem and a top with a pair of sneakers.

Timeless Beauty-Fashion Icon (Any woman who motivates or you look up to and why)?
Undoubtedly Rekhaji!! Because she knows how to carry herself in any era.

Unconventional beauty means…
Unconventional beauty means someone who is beautiful in their own way and is not a slave to the dictates of society’s definition of beauty.

Are you a high maintenance or low-maintenance Sister when it comes to grooming?
Low Maintenance.

Indian women and emancipation (What do you feel is the one crucial aspect that can be done?)…
Self-belief and self independent are the main aspects for not just Indian women but any woman anywhere.

How do you juggle busy work schedules and personal commitments?
I finish my work on time, everytime. So it doesn’t hamper my personal commitments and vice versa.

After a long 9-12 hour work day – I unwind…
Try to Do Something I Enjoy.

Khadi as fashionable clothing – what do you feel?
I find Khadi very fashionable and I feel comfortable when I wear Khadi.  Khadi has played an immense role in our country’s Independence. To me ‘Khadi’ stands for simplicity, not shoddiness.

How do you spread the Sisterhood Vibe in your daily life? (relating to other women)
Khadi is a way to say who you are without having to speak. I try to make sure that the women feel good about themselves and have fun with fashion.

Fashion Change Maker

Fashion Change Maker
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The Fashion Change Maker- is that you?

It’s easy to throw a lot of flak and criticism at an industry that we all love to hate and yet love. The world surely would not be a very interesting place to be in if not for ‘fashion’ and the stalwarts of this multi-billions dollar industry.
Often tagged as ‘excess’, ‘hedonistic’, ‘overtly sexual’ and at times ‘inhumane’ and the media that follow clothing/fashion brands/founders all across the globe, who are constantly mired in lawsuits of various kind; the fashion industry is a full blown theatrical, dramatic and evoking masterpiece.

Conscious collections and Corporate social responsibilities have now become the main leads in this play of negative publicities that seem to follow ‘fashion’ far greater than its twitter fans.
But what does this all mean to the ‘Conscious consumer’ living in a world of image-driven fashion culture? What must you know if you want to be a fashion ‘change maker’ rather than just one of the million or so followers and worshipers of this industry? What must you avoid, what must you be aware of?
1-  The ‘out of trend’ Fast Fashion- The fashion industry is now moving so fast, versus the classic fashion seasons that used to be evident and clear a decade ago. This means that what you are wearing to work on Monday morning or on a Friday night is already on it’s way out of fashion.  It’s hard to keep up! This is what the big boys of high street fashion across the world want you to believe. Topshop, for instance, introduces 400 styles each week online. Welcome to the world of Fast Fashion where they keep on churning out style after style to keep us buying and buying!   (A recommend good read on this- ‘Overdressed:The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion’ by Elizabeth Cline.)
However, being a ‘Conscious consumer’ does not mean I must not buy that purple-tribal-printed-harem-pants-currently in fashion-which-can-be-teamed-up-with-anything-at-all-and can-be-part-of-my-wardrobe-for-years-to-come.  Experimentation is a fundamental (and fun) part of fashion and expressing oneself, but it’s just good be aware of how the fashion industry’s set up, and yet enjoy all that it has to offer.
2-  Quality first- Can you list 5 fashion items that have made an impact on you and have stood the test of time in your wardrobe? I bet most of you can’t.  Why?  Because sadly these days often quantity is preferred over quality in this world of Fast Fashion. Forgive me for repeating a phrase you must have heard at least once from the older generations, whilst growing up: ‘Buy cheap, buy twice’.  Buying clothes and accessories of a certain quality will always last for years and will always have their own distinctive style that no China-made rip offs can match up to. Parisian women have got it down to a fine art.  They are minimalist in their style, famously known for owning very few clothes and accessories but experts at mixing and matching. Typically, these few clothes are designer and often classics that will never really go out of fashion.  (Another good read- Isabelle Thomas & Frederique Veysset, authors of “Paris Street Style, A Guide to Effortless Chic).
Here’s to Timeless Fashion rather than Fast Fashion.
3- Buy Sustainable/Eco friendly- Buying sustainable and eco-friendly fashion from brands and boutiques rather than mass market is a much more interesting choice.  Nothing worse than buying that new dress on the high street only to find everyone else wearing exactly the same thing!  You will always find there is more character and even a story that goes into the making of each garment. A personal favourite of mine are vintage brands especially when I travel to places like London or NYC. Local artisans from various countries always inspire me greatly, and I love to pick up clothes and accessories which I know are locally sourced and indigenously manufactured through the fashion chain.

Red Sister Blue Handloom
4-  Discounts or Low Quality- If you think you’re getting a great deal when big high street fashion brands are selling you those hugely discounted clothes or you’re buying a label for a fraction of the price from a ‘factory outlet’…then think again. The reality is that these outlets shake hands with designer brands to put their labels on to cheaply manufactured clothing for a percentage of revenue. And the great discounted top you picked up is so low in quality that it is sure to fall apart.
5- Styles made to come undone- These Fast Fashion giants (you know them!), are primarily concerned with their ROI’s and not the quality or the loyalty. Their revenue models are built on the fact that the consumer will pick a new trend next week, so the clothes that you have bought this week are sure to come undone after a few washes or a couple of wears. Haven’t you noticed already? Small markups, and selling tons of quantity is the name of the game here.  Mass market.
6-   Inhumane labour- We all know about the tragic Bangladesh episode that has yet failed to move any of these million dollar fashion brand owners into conscious actions. Millions from some of the poorest parts of the planet live a hand-to-mouth existence under tyrannical laws and they are the ones who have sewn, beaded, and sequined that garment that you just bought from your favourite brand without so much as a thought. These millions are also mostly under-age impoverished children with their wages not even a fraction of your weekly coffee money.

Red Sister Blue Back Beauty
That’s all folks!
As a sign off, I would like to add – do not put undue pressure on ‘you’ to fit or live up to a certain ideal of what it means to be fashionable or stylish.  Nor what it is to be ethical and conscious when it comes to fashion.

This blog post was simply designed to get us all to stop – just stop – for a second and see the bigger picture and not get sucked in or lose ourselves in this industry.  This is the era of change.  Step out from the herd and be a change-maker all you sisters out there~!

An ode to Khadi – Trending Now!

An ode to Khadi – Trending Now!
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Spun by a million hands, hand-woven in cotton, silk or wool, sumptuous to all the senses, elegant and durable, this is ‘Khadi’.
It inspired a generation of Indians with Mahatma Gandhi as its first true brand ambassador. In those times Khadi was more than a garment worn, it was a symbol rooted in the erstwhile fabric of the people. Distinctive and Revolutionary – all coming together with each indigenous weave of Khadi.
But Khadi is far older than this. The mighty Aryans during the  ancient Vedic times produced their own cloth. Khadi in fact is any cloth that is hand spun and / or hand woven. This art also captured the fancy of one of the most powerful Emperors of all times – Alexander The Great when he came to India in 327 BC. Since then many travelers who crossed the globe in search of trade were all enamored by Khadi and it soon became more than just a commodity with its value akin to Gold.
With the passage of time, Khadi took on a different turn; or rather it slipped away from being the clothing of choice in the 1940s to carrying becoming ‘politicians only’ clothing.
But there exists a band of people who live across small towns and big cities even now, the ones who are connected to tradition; the ones who swear by Khadi. And it is slowly steadily making it into mainstream fashion through designers like Rohit Bal and Malini Ramani who have started to use Khadi in the past few years.

According to enfant terrible of the Indian fashion scene Rohit Bal, Khadi is India’s answer to linen and he, along with other designers, are looking at a big and bright future for the fabric.

Woman weaving on handloom

Khadi is taking an international stage, as more and more people around the world are cottoning on to it (Pun intended)
It’s even been making a special appearance in Hollywood movies – Star Wars Trilogy used it in some of their costumes!  It has recently featured in both the New York and Berlin Fashion Weeks and any one with a sense of sustainability the world over has been incorporating this fabulous cloth in their designs/products
We here @ Red Sister Blue have been inspired in our own way to create a range of clothing that blend the expertise of this gorgeously comfortable Indian textile with classic Western designs.
The current collection on offer captures the essence of the modern Indian woman who lives in the big city, but is still connected to tradition.
We wanted to revive Khadi but we also wanted to empower women with the choice of contemporary fashion, fashion that unites us. To take a stand, to celebrate Sisterhood.
In a world which is increasingly fragmented, we at Red Sister Blue proudly proclaim our Independence and our renewed love affair with Khadi.

Fashionably Conscious

Fashionably Conscious
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Statistics vary, but research tells us that most women consider themselves to be fashion forward or fashion conscious to some extent.  But what’s the real meaning of these frequently used terms and what’s the difference between the two?

We’re all very well aware of the word ‘fashionable’: Keeping up to date with new trends, perhaps even being a trend-setter as some of us like to see ourselves. Money of course plays a big part, or does it?  Some people shop for bargains, make their own outfits and/or revamp old ones whilst others simply work hard and earn the money themselves or are supported by their father/boyfriend/husband.

In Europe Charity shops have become increasingly popular for second hand stuff; this goes hand-in-hand with the vintage/retro trend, (but more on that another day.)  Some like to frequent the fashion capitals of the world: London – Paris – Milan.

Ultimately our interpretation of the word is all relative and very personal.

But hang on! What about the new breed of Sisters out there who are not only Fashion Conscious but also ‘Fashionably Conscious’?  The sisters who know how to walk the talk, who live ‘ordinary’ lives extraordinarily well and who are clued in when it comes to what brand they choose to wear and propagate. Conscious Consumerism, one could say. Wearing labels that support the work of local artisans from across the globe – be it clothes, shoes, the bags, your home décor etc.

Taking joy in the responsibility of choice.  Choice of not only what one wears/buys/eats/, but where it’s sourced from and the whole ethical process that goes into bringing it to your door.

Being the woman who understands about balance, effortlessly switching from mother, partner/wife, daughter, sister and friend, without losing herself in the process.

Being open to the world’s views and yet staying aware of the cultural roots that make up the fabric of global societies.

Being aware at all times, and yet embodying the free-spirited woman who makes a difference wherever she goes.

For all you sisters out there wishing to be fashionably conscious you have landed at the right place!

As for those of you that are already there, we salute you all the way.

The good news is that nowadays you don’t have to make a choice between fashion conscious and fashionably conscious, you can be both!  Here at Red Sister Blue, you could say this is our vision that we share with you with the clothes we make and the design sensibility that goes into them. To strengthen the Sisterhood connection by being “Fashionably Conscious”.