ITP Live Chats with Jeremy Cabral
He was one of India’s first male fashion bloggers – so you know he knows a thing or two when it comes to talking style, social media and fashion blogging within the nation (and beyond).
He is one of the leading male fashion influencers in India and has worked with some of the biggest international global brands – including Mercedes Benz, Ferrari, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Marks & Spencer, Daniel Wellington and more.
We spent some time chatting with Jeremy about his career, Fashion Most Wanted, and the fashion blogging industry in India. Check it out below.
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What inspired you to start Fashion Most Wanted?
I started my fashion journey in India as a fashion consultant with IMG Fashion.
I worked there as the International Public Relations Manager for the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.
Between 2007-2009, I realized fashion blogging was the next big thing globally and would soon hit India. Magazines didn't feature much on personal style, therefore, I felt there was a need to make the concept of blogging known to the Indian fashion scene. It was a tough process and there were several setbacks, but I followed my instincts.
Initially, I started with fashionmostwanted.wordpress.com and finally converted it to a website in 2011.
How did your family and friends handle the idea of you becoming a blogger?
My family played a huge role in helping me realize and understand my vision.
Like any typical Indian family, they expected their son to submit himself to a 9-5 job and "stable" lifestyle. They had their own apprehensions but, nevertheless, stood by me.
During my journey, my younger sister, Esther, wholeheartedly supported my vision. She really helped the other members understand my chosen path and, today, she is the editorial partner of Fashion Most Wanted.
I really lucked out with my family and all their support.
What was the men’s fashion industry in India like before Fashion Most Wanted?
Back then men considered ‘dressing up’ as feminine, and the concept of a metrosexual man was absent. This has a lot to do with the way boys are brought up in India—they are taught to be tough and rugged.
I remember in my early school days Vinod Kambli was my favorite cricketer and a true style icon of his era. I remember when he got his ear pierced, and he was almost made to sit on the bench for a couple of matches. Today, our cricketers flaunt their style and flamboyance. This is a refreshing change, but if you look in the past many have paid the price for being a game changers.
My purpose was to address this issue head on. Fashion and grooming don’t make men any less manly.
I get all sorts of questions from which shampoo do you use, how to grow a beard, or how to dress for a date, or a job interview. I take some time out every day to go through my DMs and e-mails and respond to users, and have been instrumental in starting a conversation when no one was ready to have one.
You’ve been in the fashion industry for well over ten years. How has the Internet and social media changed the fashion industry in India?
The Internet, and specifically Instagram, have been game changers in the way men and women consume fashion. There was a time when traditional media dictated that you had to burn a hole in your pocket to be stylish. This isn’t true!
You can be on trend with limited resources and I believe that's the crux of our content.
With the explosion of fashion trends on Instagram, it's going to change the way men in India perceive themselves and their sense of style.
How has the perception of bloggers and influencers within the industry changed as well?
Today bloggers and influencers endorse products as their brand ambassadors. This is a welcoming change!
In the past Bollywood celebrities ruled this space, but today brands have realized that a fashion influencer has the reach and is considered an everyday superhero.
Bloggers and influencers have created an audience based on their style, the trends they incorporate into their looks and their personality; therefore, come across as believable.
I think the fashion industry has always encouraged fresh and new talent to bloom, irrespective of their background, which is why we’re seeing more people take an interest in blogging and social media.
What’s in store for the future of Fashion Most Wanted? What can we expect to see in the next few years?
My vision is to make India the fifth fashion capital in the world. To achieve this, I firmly believe that he who is truly local can go global.
It’s important to encourage and promote local talent – and Fashion Most Wanted does that.
We promote Indian fashion from a global perspective. In the immediate future, we will share our perspective on women’s fashion too.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo credit: Jeremy Cabral. Written by Laura Kell and Anushé Samee.