Model, VJ, and cricket presenter, Archana Vijaya embarked on her entrepreneurial journey with Label Kiss, an ecommerce website. Label Kiss offers fashion accessories and caters to men and women of all ages. Its offerings include jewellery, sunglasses, scarves, bags, cufflinks, ties, tie pins, pocket squares, among others.
Experienced at juggling tasks and tasting success in multiple roles, Archana decided to venture into the fashion space as the world of startups fascinated her. Bitten by the fashion bug since her childhood, she has been a trendsetter in more ways than one.
Besides hand picking products for her brand, fans and consumers can get access to Archana’s fashion mantras via AV DAILY, a magazine-style blog on labelkiss.com. Customers can also chat and seek fashion advice directly from Archana on this forum.
“I had the privilege of having a personal stylist right through my career. Through labelkiss.com, I want to reach out to people who find it difficult to put outfits together,” she says during an exclusive interview with YourStory.
AV: My idea of fashion has always been about maintaining a sense of individuality, being confident, and comfortable in your own skin. I’m not a blind follower of trends; they need to suit my own aesthetic. I think one develops their own sense of style and fashion over time. For me, it is always about keeping it simple and sexy.
AV: I have been surrounded by fashion since the time I started my career. After I won Get Gorgeous season 1 on MTV, I was fortunate to have worked with the best and most talented people in the business. My stylists have helped me create my own sense of style. With my fashion venture, I wanted to give people easy access to global trends at affordable prices. So my team and I curated fashion accessories which cater to everyone‘s needs - 'stylists on call for everyone'.
AV: It’s extremely important. As I mentioned earlier, one has to be comfortable in order to carry off any look. Physical comfort is one aspect, which one should look into, but more importantly a particular style should appeal to your sensibilities, so you don’t come across as someone who tries too hard to look stylish. Nothing is worse than seeing people doing that. I often say being “cool” is a state of mind and no amount of money or designer clothes can bring in that 'cool' factor.
AV: My mother keeps telling me that as a child I used to love her bangles, earrings and high heeled shoes, so I think it stems from that. But, in my own journey through fashion I realised how a bag, a pair of stunning shoes or just a statement neckpiece can totally up the ante where an outfit is concerned. Being able to do multiple things with accessories is what really excites me.
AV: I guess the process started when I was a child and continues till today. We wore only school uniforms, but I would fold up the sleeves in a particular way or fix the hem of my skirt to the correct length in an effort to look more stylish. I remember my first pair of Levi’s jeans too, which was a 23 waist size. Felt amazing.
AV: I won a modelling contract with Elite Model Management and was flown to Rome for the Fashion Week to walk for designer Suneet Varma. That was my first fashion show ever and it changed my life by 360 degrees. It was the first door that opened for me and it has helped open so many more doors since then. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity and everyone who helped shape my career the way it has!
It’s taken years of hard work to make the audience and my colleagues go beyond my physical appearance and say okay -- she knows what she is talking about. It has been extremely challenging to create a body of work where one deserves equal importance or respect as your male counterparts. I think women everywhere and in every job experiences this, and it is up to you to take this challenge head on. Sometimes it will make you unpopular, but hey - that’s a small price to pay for respect.
AV: I enjoy wearing bright colours in the monsoon to brighten things up. A pair of gum boots to wade through water does the job too. Adding a fun, bright umbrella or raincoat can look stylish and become a great accessory for the season.