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AROUND THE WORLD—Aanchal Jiwrajka, Mumbai

No matter if our Style Gurus live in Tuscon or Tokyo, Madison or Melbourne, one thing that unifies them is their love for fashion. So it comes as no surprise that post-graduation, many of our Style Gurus become rockstars in the global world of fashion.

This week, we are catching up with four of our former Style Gurus who are all working for fashion publications around the world. From Mumbai to Mexico City, travel the globe with us in style to catch up with these ladies making names for themselves beyond the masthead.

On our last leg of our “world tour,” we are catching up with Aanchal, a former NIFT Style Guru who is currently a fashion writer in Mumbai!

CollegeFashionista: Where are you from and where did you go to school?

Aanchal Jiwrajka: I hail from the city of Bollywood – Mumbai in India. Being a fashion lover, I went to the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Mumbai to study Fashion Design. 

CF: Tell us a little bit about your current role and what a typical day is like for you?

AJ: Currently, I work as a Fashion Writer at an Indian E-commerce startup called Bewakoof.com. The best thing about working for a startup is there’s no such thing as a ‘typical day.’ In the morning, I am writing articles for the blog and by afternoon I am writing content for marketing for the Social Media team. Every day is a different. However, I am constantly brainstorming ideas, researching and writing.

CF: What is your favorite part about your job?

AJ: My favorite part of my job is that each day is like a blank page of a diary. I am never doing the same thing every day. As a result, my work is never monotonous or boring.
Also, I get to take part in so many aspects of the business so I end up learning something new every day. At such an early stage of my career, I feel extremely empowered.

CF: How does your city inspire you?

AJ: Mumbai is known as the city that never sleeps. There’s just so much going on in the city, all the time. From street vendors to top notch honchos, everyone is always on-the-go, running behind their ambitions. It’s this fast-paced life of the city inspires me to be full of hope and follow my dreams.

CF: What is your favorite thing about your city?

AJ: My favorite thing about Mumbai is how it’s so culturally diverse. It’s a compact mix of modern and traditional. People from just about everywhere come here to pursue their dreams. You see everything in a one, big melting pot. It’s just so colourful, vibrant and alive.

CF: What are some hidden gems in your city?

AJ: South Bombay is the old part of the city, and a walk around the Kala Ghoda area is a treasure trove of culture, architectural beauty, art galleries, quaint cafes and charming, little shops. In this art governed area is a cozy and calm café called the Kala Ghoda Café which is perfect for afternoon tea or coffee.
Another hidden gem of the city is the Silver Beach, a quieter and secluded beach located in the suburbs of the city. It’s perfect for a peaceful stroll along the shore, away from the hubbub of the city.

CF: If you could live in any other international city, where would it be and why?

AJ: I would love to live in New York City, since it has such an expansive art scene, diverse culture and a unique fashion sense. It is like nirvana for any fashion follower, with so many sartorial destinations and such matchless street style.  And yes, it may sound cliché, but I want to amid the statuesque skyscrapers and get inspired by the city’s skyline.

CF: Describe your personal style.

AJ: My style is pretty much like the city where I live – a mix of modern and traditional. I love to mix and match to create different outfits with the same pieces in various styles. I rarely conform to a particular style or follow trends. My wardrobe mostly consists of classic essentials or unique, statement pieces, so that I can combine them together in various ways. I also love to add a touch of vintage, ethnic flare or play around with indigenous Indian textiles to add  a bit of pop to my style!

CF: What is your advice for budding fashion journalists?

AJ: I think the most important is to get substantial amount of quality work experience. Every job that you do, even if unpromising (and unpaid), will allow you to meet lots of people and build contacts. I would also recommend starting up your own project like a blog or publication, even if it’s a small venture. There’s so much competition in the industry that you need to prove to your future employers that you’re extremely passionate about it.