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HT Brunch Cover Story: The woman who dared to dream – brunch feature

“If anyone had been able to tell a pimpled little girl that she would be the first Indian influencer to walk the Cannes Film Festival or have her picture on a billboard in Piccadilly Circus as the face of Maybelline… If anyone had told that teenager afraid of speaking in public or in English, that one day she would address the British House of Commons on International Women’s Day, she would never have believed a word of it!”

This isn’t a monologue from a forthcoming movie. These are the phrases of a younger woman who dared to dream and now lives that dream daily. With greater than 1,000,000 followers on Instagram @diipakhosla, as many as seven worldwide journal covers, and the title of Influencer of the Year for 3 consecutive years by Vogue, Elle and Grazia, Diipa Büller-Khosla is unquestionably on a roll.



Diipa feels the phrase ‘influencer’ is misused at the moment. Wardrobe: Gown, Rahul Mishra; jewelry, Sunita Shekhawat
(
Hari Nair
)

Though her chosen function in life has made her goals come true, Diipa thinks that the phrase ‘influencer’ is considerably misused at the moment. “I would much rather be called a new-age digital celebrity,” the 34-yr-outdated says. “You can be an influencer only if you have managed to influence people so much that it has led to some kind of a social change.”

“I would much rather be called a new-age digital celebrity” –Diipa Khosla

But she’s being too self-deprecating, we predict. Based within the Netherlands, Diipa was in India earlier this yr in February as a TED speaker, and it’s apparent that she has really led to a social change in her personal method as a result of she makes use of her clout to work with the UN and different NGOs to champion feminine empowerment and the anti-racism trigger.

After finishing a bachelor’s degree in international human rights law, Diipa moved to London for her masters. Wardrobe: Gown, Pankaj & Nidhi

After ending a bachelor’s diploma in worldwide human rights legislation, Diipa moved to London for her masters. Wardrobe: Gown, Pankaj & Nidhi
(
Hari Nair
)

The making of clout

Born in a standard Punjabi household, Diipa spent the primary six years of her life in Delhi earlier than her mother and father determined to shift to Chennai first and afterwards to Ooty, the place she went to a British boarding college. Keen to examine legislation overseas, she received a full scholarship that took her to the Netherlands.

After ending a bachelor’s diploma in worldwide human rights legislation, Diipa moved to London for her masters. In a 4-month break between college and a job as a full-fledged lawyer, she bought herself an internship at a trend company in London.

The biggest obstacles Diipa had to overcome on the global stage were the colour of her skin and her gender. Wardrobe: Outfit and jacket, Rahul Mishra

The greatest obstacles Diipa had to overcome on the worldwide stage have been the color of her pores and skin and her gender. Wardrobe: Outfit and jacket, Rahul Mishra
(
Hari Nair
)

“To my utter surprise, it turned out to be Europe’s first influencer agency!” she says. “I knew nothing about this world, yet on my third day in the sales team, I was closing huge deals with fashion brands like Mango and Kiara.”

Diipa started to perceive the sort of energy an influencer wields, and the way, if used properly, it might be a terrific enterprise module.

(Clockwise from top left) Diipa during her wedding with Dutch diplomat Oleg Büller, in Udaipur; Attending David Koma London’s 10th anniversary show, 2019; As the face of MAC cosmetics; At the Milan Fashion Week, 2020

(Clockwise from prime left) Diipa throughout her marriage ceremony with Dutch diplomat Oleg Büller, in Udaipur; Attending David Koma London’s tenth anniversary present, 2019; As the face of MAC cosmetics; At the Milan Fashion Week, 2020

“At that time, almost all the influencers came from the US and Europe, and it struck me that there was no Indian representing us in the global beauty and fashion space,” she says. “I realised that if I could do this, I could totally change the whole influencer game.”

Colour of success

That was 4 years in the past. She started as simply another brown lady, however in three years she had 1.1 million followers, has posed as a canopy lady for a number of worldwide magazines, walked on the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals and has been ambassador for manufacturers like Estée Lauder and Kérastase.

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“Influencers should focus on community building!” –Diipa Khosla

“It wasn’t easy,” says Diipa. “It was possible only with hard work and very clear goal setting. This is something I want to tell all young people. Have your goals crystal clear. Be as clear as to think: ‘I want to be in Times Square!’ How it will happen and when it will happen can be figured out, but just be clear.”

The greatest obstacles Diipa had to overcome on the worldwide stage have been the color of her pores and skin and her gender. “I have faced these issues my entire life,” she says and provides: “In 2016, I was rejected by a PR firm to attend a London Fashion Week show and another influencer, who was caucasian with less followers, was allowed. The only difference being our skintones!”

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“But I used the negativity as fuel to push myself harder. Every time I faced a sexism issue, I would think: one day I will be your CEO and then men will know what sexism is.”

As a young person, Diipa had purchased into the honest pores and skin syndrome. “But when I went to the West, I started to realise my uniqueness lay in being different and what makes me unique is my identity, my culture and my beautiful skin tone,” she says. “I started owning it and wearing my Indianness like a gold medal and that gave me confidence. For instance, I stopped wondering how I would ever be in the front row at the Milan Fashion Week, and just went for the challenge. Soon I was not only sitting in the front row but also playing muse to the same design brand that at one time had issues with my colour.”

Diipa’s picture on a billboard in Piccadilly Circus, as the face of Maybelline

Diipa’s image on a billboard in Piccadilly Circus, because the face of Maybelline

Change about

Her mother and father initially have been cautious of what she deliberate to do, however once they noticed her success, they have been completely happy. “Besides being a fashion and beauty influencer, I also started focusing on women’s empowerment and started the Post For Change Foundation, which uses social media for social change,” explains Diipa. “When my parents saw I was doing things bigger than myself, they were proud. At the TED Talk in Amritsar, they were in the audience and smiled when I spoke. Later, after taking selfies with young girls, when I asked my mother why she’d been smiling so much she said, ‘You know the little girl who was taking selfies with you? You were like that 10 years ago.’ And that is so true.”

In 2019, Inflow, the world’s largest influencer platform, recognised Diipa as ‘The Changemaker Influencer of 2019.’ With her husband, Dutch diplomat Oleg Büller, Diipa had arrange the Post for Change Foundation in May, 2019.

(Clockwise) On the covers of Brides UK, and Condé Nast Traveller India and Grazia Pakistan; Diipa at the premiere of Lion King, July 2019

(Clockwise) On the covers of Brides UK, and Condé Nast Traveller India and Grazia Pakistan; Diipa on the premiere of Lion King, July 2019

“What makes me unique is my identity, my culture and my beautiful skin tone” –Diipa Khosla

“I got the idea for the foundation during a massive international influencer trip with a huge brand,” says Diipa. “The brand managers told me they had become one of the biggest global fashion brands using influencer marketing as their main marketing channel. I realised I could use the same idea of influencers using their voices for causes around the world. Basically, use social media for social change.”

With the concept in place, Diipa dived into the challenge with 100 per cent conviction. “I had a five-year plan from the start,” she says. “It also tied in with the fact that there was not a single influencer representing India on a global scale. So, I decided it was about time I change that.”

In 2019, Inflow, the world’s largest influencer platform, recognised Diipa as ‘The Changemaker Influencer of 2019’

In 2019, Inflow, the world’s largest influencer platform, recognised Diipa as ‘The Changemaker Influencer of 2019’

Change has occurred once more with the Covid-19 pandemic. “Influencers for sure have to change their business model at least for the moment,” Diipa says. “Fashion and beauty brands will have big losses and hence smaller budgets for influencer marketing. So, influencers should focus on building their community instead.”

She is utilizing this world lockdown to make extra of herself. “I am busier than ever before,” she says over the cellphone from her Amsterdam house. “Everyone is online! And I am working hard to give them amazing content. At the same time, I am also learning the truly important things in life. I’m currently doing a psychology course online along with meditation, fitness and cooking courses.”

Diipa being Diipa, she has one more aim: “A big, beautiful family!”

From HT Brunch, September 13, 2020

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