Every time I open up Instagram or TikTok, I’m captivated by a flurry of fashionable and inspiring new posts by South Asian influencers. It seems like sheltering in place for many people has allowed us all to go back to our roots and focus on what makes us happy and what energizes us, which brings me to these inspiring influencers.
Being an Indian woman in fashion, I’ve personally been so excited to discover a diverse group of talented South Asian influencers who have been making me feel less alone at this time and embrace our culture even more. While I know what it feels like to be “othered” in the media industry, my mission has always been to shed some light on both my culture and its rich history in both fashion and beauty. I want people to feel like they can see a bit of themselves in an industry that hasn’t necessarily celebrated people who look like us up until recently. There’s nothing more important than feeling represented and being proud of what makes you different from the rest of the crowd. That’s what motivated me to speak with these women and men who have been inspiring me during this time to get a better understanding of what their culture means to them and learn more about their style.
“I am excited to be seen. To feel represented.”
I spoke with Bangladeshi influencer Nabela Noor, who is extremely endearing and just about as real as it gets. In case you’re not aware, Nabela, who has more than 1.6m followers, is the founder and CEO of Zeba, a clothing label that promotes self-love. I talked with her to learn more about what style means to her in 2020 and what she hopes to see in the future.
“I am looking forward to more access for plus bodies in the future. It still makes no sense to me why we are living in 2020 and the average size of a woman in America is 16/18, yet most brands do not even carry those sizes. I am excited to be seen. To feel represented. I am excited at the prospect of being able to explore trends and feel stylish as a plus-size woman. It’s about time and I am so glad the industry is ready to see and hear us. More representation, inclusivity, and access for all people. More brands holding themselves accountable and truly being the change they wish to see. More WOC winning!” Nabela’s words ring true for so many other South Asians in the field who are paving the way for future generations with the mission to make the community feel seen.
Keep reading to check out 50 South Asian influencers who should be on your radar; learn what being South Asian means to them and how they define their style ahead.