34-year-old Mallika Singhania and one of her closest friends Shruti Rathi joined hands in September of 2015 to start Styleogram, a comprehensive fashion and beauty blog that follow trends, events, celebrity fashion, designers, and more. When Singhania looked at the style-savvy content available for the fashion-conscious Indian, she struggled with the fact that there was no complete guide or all-inclusive content targeted solely to such an audience. With no all-encompassing competition in this space, she devised a model that would bring together all kinds of information regarding fashion and beauty under one digital roof. Once the need gap was identified, all the duo had to do was put their skills together to fill it, and they did it in style.
Singhania spent about 6 years of her early life in small town in Bihar, where she fondly states she had some of her happiest memories, before she moved to Mumbai and studied at Cathedral school. Later, after graduating from North Western University, she went on to do her Masters from the London School of Economics and her journey blending fashion with writing began. She published a shopping guide with the company Roli, two more with the company Rupa, and six with the Times Group. A column on shopping trends in the city features in the newspaper DNA with Singhania’s name on it, and she even worked with fashion at NDTV, CNBC Awaaz, ZOOM and other television spaces. Eventually, she co-founded the e-commerce website Indianhanger.com and ran it successfully with her partner for three and a half years before selling it. “I was looking to combine fashion with writing,” Singhania explains, since those two things are where her passion lies. And that’s how Styleogram took birth.
“It’s very difficult,” the 34-year-old tells us seated in her beautiful, spacious home in Tardeo talking about balancing work and home life. With two young sons, she’s a full time mother as well as fashion blogger. “India is very excited about the fashion space,” she explains, adding that there are still challenges that Shruti and she have had to deal with such as time management. Singhania started off her career wanting to be a copywriter at an advertising agency, but her path eventually brought her to fashion all those years ago. As time went on, the fashion in her life evolved from books to e-commerce and now to a blog.
Her relationship with the fashion industry has seen all sides of the spectrum, changing to creatively adapt. She is also currently working on a coffee table book regarding styling the Indian woman. The young mother and working woman talks about the changing world of fashion and how she has grown with it, how trends are ever evolving and the industry is becoming more conscious with eco-fashion. With her work life so comprehensively entwined in fashion and various trends, her personal life mirrors the same commitment to chic style.
Behind the wardrobe doors
Singhania’s room on the 37th floor of a tall tower in Tardeo adorns six wide closets with pristine, white doors. Two of them house her usual attire, one dedicated to colourful tops, shirts, jackets and blouses and the other to dresses of all kinds.
She describes her style as, “Classic with a twist,” where she prefers certain types of silhouettes and then adds an accessory to complete the look. Western attire is her choice on most days, and Indian features mostly on occasions. From bright yellows, reds and blues to more subtle tones of black, grey, and white, her closet features a whole range of colour choices. Delicate lace patterns decorate the necks of various different tops and dresses. The most interesting part of her wardrobe is the various prints and designs it holds, from geometric patterns to less abstract ones.
Her complete, well assembled wardrobe is perfectly complemented by her tall shoe collection featuring peep toes, pumps, wedge heels, strappy shoes, flats, gladiators, ballet flats and more, all in different colours and materials. From shiny, dressy ones to simple, subtle ones, there’s a shoe for every outfit, for every occasion.
Alongside her collection of shoes sits a mirror whose table holds three boxes containing jewellery of all shapes and sizes. Glistening metal bangles, rings and earrings are juxtaposed to bright pink, yellow, blue and green jewellery. Most of her accessories are large, statement pieces that can complete any outfit.
While brands such as Jimmy Choo, Steve Madden, Zara, and more find themselves in her closet, most of her inventory comes from classy and unique boutique stores tucked into the markets of Hongkong and so on, making her style very difficult to emulate. She describes how she does most of her shopping from outside India, pouring through small boutique stores, market places and vintage stores in various cities wherever she travels to find the hidden gems that make up her entire wardrobe. Fashion is as big a part of her professional life as it is her personal one–a fact that’s reflected in each of her six wardrobes.
WM: Who are your favourite designers to follow?
MS: Amongst the Indian designers, I like the work of Manish Malhotra, Rohit Bahl, and Anamika. I like Zara a lot too.
WM: Are there any particular style icons you follow?
MS: I like Priyanka Chopra’s style a lot.
WM: If you had to get rid of one thing from your closet right now, which would it be?
MS: Probably an old pair of jeans that don’t fit, or that I aspire to fit into!
WM: If you could choose any other career path, which would it be?
MS: Copywriting in an advertising agency.
WM: What are you doing when you’re not working?
MS: I listen to old Hindi music, like Kishore Kumar songs. I love going for long walks outside also.
WM: Are you a pack rat?
MS: After every holiday season or at the end of the year, I do this massive cleanse and clean out my entire closet. I throw out everything I don’t need!
WM: Is there any one fashion style you would never be caught wearing?
MS: “Probably Gothic style.”
WM: What is your go-to accessory to complete your look?
MS: “Stand-out earrings, for sure.”