is not how Rasna Bhasin likes to describe herself despite her verified status on social media. Her credibility that lures prestigious collaborations her way, is certainly way more than most self proclaimed "influencers" in the country.
There is no label that is befitting of her virtual persona and no tag can clearly define her role in the Fashion Industry, yet her presence is as deep rooted and undeniable as her love for David Beckham! She likes to go with the flow while maintaining authenticity as the foundation of all her projects.
In this exclusive interview, we try to understand how she paved her own unique path in life and how every girl can (& should) do the same.
How did you know what specific field in the fashion industry you’d want to be in?
I didn’t - I landed here by pure chance. I always wanted to be a fashion designer - and kinda on the way learnt that I did not posses the skills needed for designing - nor did I have the aptitude for it - but fashion fascinated me like no other subject and I loved writing. I still can’t pin point to a specific word for what defines my career.
You’ve studied fashion media communications. What is a fashion college like?
It’s fun, and honestly amazing - but it’s not like a regular college - it’s a LOT of work.
Fashion just like any other field of art - has a lot of project based work. Our work is much more strenuous as it’s subjective - and perception based - lots of physical doing than rote learning. So people need to know, the glamour is only 10% - rest is struggle.
You think you’re gonna wear Prada and chill, but honestly you’re in track pants and pyjamas slogging your ass.
Where do you think you learnt more, in the classroom or in the real world?
A mix of both. I learnt and then applied it to the real world, and then I got the challenges I faced during my internships etc. back to the class to find ways around it.
You help brands with their online strategies. What does that entail really?
We work on creating an identity for the brand. It’s from scratch when working with new brands, and when we take an existing brand online - we make sure it’s offline and online personality are in sync. It’s basically building the brand on a platform where it can communicate with its customers as effortlessly as it does offline. We want to project the brand in a certain way and that’s how we showcase it.
So whether it’s the social media, or the marketing campaign, we do it all in sync and with a plan in place.
What came first, your social media influence, or your job at Brides Today?
I don’t like using the word influence anymore. But my presence on social media was there before I joined Harper’s Bazaar Bride. But they’re both different. My personal social media is more of a daily journal of a girl who hustles hard I guess, where as at Brides Today (formerly known as Harper’s Bazaar Bride) my role as a Digital Content Head is much different. It’s about showcasing the brand online.
Explain your profile at Brides Today
My job as the Digital Content Head basically involves handling all of the social media - and creating a digital presence for the magazine online. I look at the content we generate online, and how we present it keeping it in sync with the monthly publication.
Explain your tagline “A good sense of distaste”
I came across this line in a book or article many many years ago - I can’t even remember where now, but it just struck a cord and I thought it was the best way to describe myself. I find it hard to LIKE everything - and I believe we all have our unique taste. I think I dislike before I like, and hence the good sense of distaste.
Is there any downside to having a large following on social media?
Yes! People think it’s okay to expect everything out of you, even when they don’t know you. Also some people think I do nothing and constantly keep saying how lucky - while I believe in luck, and honestly I’m blessed - I like to give a little credit to my hard work as well - this goes for everybody. Also people (including me) need to believe social media is a part of our life and not our whole life.
Do you think having a certain amount of following on social media opens up more career options for you?
For sure it does. Brands take you more seriously. If you have a certain amount of following means you must be doing something right - but I still believe in quality over quantity. Quality takes you much ahead, and you get to do good - soul and mind satisfying work.
I think the words blogger and influencers are way too misused today.
- Rasna Bhasin
Words of wisdom to girls aimlessly trying to get popular on social media and insist on being called a blogger or an influencer.
I think the words blogger and influencers are way misused today. I did my final dissertation on identity and influence and we use the word in the worst manner possible today.
I refuse to be associated with either. I would love to tell a lot of girls that they’re thinking much short term - in terms of two freebies, and some social following. Do it because YOU want to do it, not because everybody is doing it, or for the sake of it. Also don’t stick to posting pictures of YOU in different clothes and make up - pickup a subject you like - discuss - share - learn.
There’s so much you can learn than aimlessly doing this.
Your profession requires a great social aptitude. Were you always up for it?
I am a people’s person. I’m also a social introvert. I keep my two lives a little separate or at least try to. But I love going out as much as I like staying in - and am pretty much always open to having conversations as long as they’re interesting. And I like to believe I’ve mastered the art of small talk, and when to exit it!
Do you think an introvert can dream of having a virtual presence like yours?
Yes - but you have to beat the introvert in you and make an offline effort too.
You can’t be an enigma to the world. I think people relate to me at times cause I am one of them, I’ve the same problems, the same solutions and pretty much am striving to do some good with my life. It’s okay to be an introvert - but you can’t stay hidden!
Is it important to socialize to hold a position in any media related job?
Well yes, you don’t have to go crazy partying but what’s seen is in the mind. You can choose and pick, and hey it’s not that bad to go out and meet new people (or the same)
How do you manage to juggle your job and your social media influencing?
I don’t really know. I just know whatever job I take on has my hundred percent. I divide my work and work that day according to urgency and priority. It’s a good mix.
Any tips for multi tasking?
Don’t leave work for the next day. What you can finish today just do it (without over doing it - and killing yourself). Also balance it out. There is no shame in asking for help, or saying NO to something you can’t do instead of taking up a job and not being able to do it.
Your career is an unconventional blend of amazing options. How did you manage to pave this path for yourself?
I don’t know I pretty much went with the flow. I do what I feel like - what interests me and what I think I can capable of doing. I take challenges to test myself and see where it leads me. Not succeeding or failing is not to be taken to heart. You learn, take a note of what could have been done better or differently and move on.
Do you think it is better to go with the flow or against it when it comes to making professional choices?
It depends totally. Sometimes the flow works, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s totally upto the situation and circumstances you find yourself in.
How can a young aspiring girl manage to do her own thing on her terms?
Never be afraid. Always have your parents on your side - ( make them understand - keep them informed). Don’t compromise.
Also it’s okay if it takes extra time - but no shortcuts. Work hard, strive harder. Honesty and humbleness takes one a long way.
What traits make a woman Badass?
For me a Badass woman is somebody who can balance it all. I’m not sure I’m there yet. Badass doesn’t need to be mean or evil. And no it’s not cool to hurt another person. Badass is to fairly work hard and do your best.
Who are some Badass women you know?
Starting at home with my mother and Bhua.
Fatima Bhutto is my constant source of inspiration. Shemaila Khan is somebody I idolise. Sonam Kapoor is another - I think the girl is absolutely brilliant. I also look upto Amal Clooney, Victoria Beckham. Gauri Kohli is another lady I learn from everyday!
What would you advise young girls who want to make it in the media industry?
Just do it. You’ll make it sooner or later. Aim at doing good quality work, and earning self respect. Everything else falls into place
"Just do it. You’ll make it sooner or later. Aim at doing good quality work, and earning self respect. Everything else falls into place"
- Rasna Bhasin