Ever since he exploded onto the trolling scene two years ago through his Facebook page ‘Being Satan’ – a fun blend of jokes, satirical personal reflections, and social commentary, all infused with his idiosyncratic wit, Hitesh Pardeshi has left his mark anonymously. Gearing up for his next adventure having emerged as a former social media manager for AIB, the 26-year-old Charkop resident sat down with us to discuss his innate love for fashion and finding style – more cool than basic, and as it turns out, he’s quite the shopaholic as well!
WM: Walk us through your career journey..
Hitesh Pardeshi: “I pursued BMM from R.D. National College and one of the best takeaways from that course was learning Photoshop, which then helped me kick-start my career as a graphic designer in a digital agency – which was a very boring job, I felt like a labourer. So, at some point I started an anonymous page on Facebook called ‘Being Satan’ where I started cracking jokes – a little bit of my graphic designing was used there too. That page garnered 50,000 likes on its own –so I sent AIB (All India Bakchod) all the stuff I was doing on that page and they were very keen on hiring me because that’s what they wanted – someone who can design and do jokes – who knew being a troll can actually make a career for someone?!”
WM: What was your first fashion memory?
HP: “It goes way back to when I was a kid – my parents would make sure that I was always well-dressed. When the movie Raja Hindustani came out, I had the cap, shirt and pants that Aamir Khan was sporting in the movie. It was the same with Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, I literally had the whole Hrithik Roshan get-up from the flick. So, my mom was always very keen and into fashion – it didn’t matter whether it was trendy or not, she always wanted me to be decked up like Govinda or Hrithik. So, that’s how I was initially exposed to fashion.”
WM: How has your wardrobe evolved over the years?
HP: “If you would’ve seen my wardrobe a year ago, everything was basic – blue and black jeans, t-shirts in white, grey and black – it was all just essentials. Since a year now, I’ve been experimenting with trendy things like ripped jeans and sneakers. I get all my clothes online and as of today it’s reached a point where I’ll buy something new at least once every week – I’m absolutely addicted! It can even be something as basic as a pair of socks, but I simply have to purchase something. I think my e-commerce expenses for last month have easily gone over Rs.50, 000, the end of season sales are to be blamed, they have been driving me nuts.”
WM: Coming from a non-white collar environment, with all that freedom to dress without a uniform – how do you dress for work?
HP: “Where I worked [AIB], you had the freedom to show up in whatever you’d like – you could even wear a pair of boxers to office and they wouldn’t care as long as you showed up to work. But I think, I was the only one in my office who actually cared to dress up – I would wear all my new shoes, because you never know where you’d end up going after work, to a bar or pub. I tend to visualise and plan my outfit the night before – I’ll think, okay I have grey jeans available at the moment, because my blue ones are in the washer, what are the options I have to team up with those jeans – I’ll make up three to four options in my head and once I’m out of the shower I can just pick either and head out.”
WM: Young guys are a lot more fashion conscious now, it’s really refreshing to see that yet very repetitive – fashion trends can have such a domino effect with guys, whether it’s a trending hair style or white sneakers – nobody is a trendsetter, everyone is a follower of sorts. What is your formula for developing your own individual sense of style?
HP: “I feel like I’m ahead of the curve when it comes to my personal style. Let’s say, the ‘man bun’ – I sported one two years ago when nobody did it, but people are still wearing one, even now. I follow a lot of fashion handles on social media, so I’m aware of what’s happening in the West before it even hits our country as a trend, almost like a fashion forecaster – I’m a keen observer. Coing back to the man bun, I chopped it off when it started trending, because everyone else started sporting it and that really put me off. So, when it comes to developing an individual sense of style, I think guys should stop blindly following whatever a cricketer or actor is doing, because that’s them – they have an entourage of people helping them look that good, and realistically, you can’t pull it off the same way. Instead, take inspiration from street style stars or bloggers on social media – they are regular people – channel your own comfort into that trend and make it your very own style statement.”
WM: Since you claim to get a lot of your style inspiration from social media handles – what is your take on digitisation and how its forming these set of relatable tastemakers, do you think fashion has a great future by creating style icons on social media rather than keeping them up on a pedestal?
HP: “I think there are two sides to this. Firstly, it’s great that everyone cares about fashion now, because ten years ago, nobody did. Even if it’s bad effort, at least it’s an effort and there’s a lot to appreciate about that. It’s a good thing that fashion and its presence on social media is helping people know what’s happening and making them aware, but on the other end of the spectrum, I think this is all just a phase that’s about to die down very quickly in a year or two.”
WM: Really? You think it’s all just a passing phase?
HP: “Yes. People are soon going to grow weary and confused about what to take inspiration from, because of an over exhaustion of bloggers who are doing the exact same thing.”
WM: Who in your opinion is the quintessential male style icon in our country whose sense of style embodies a great balance between individuality and being trendy?
HP: “That would be Ranbir Kapoor. I’ve always seen him look very subtle yet stylish, he doesn’t overdo it – he will follow the trends, but add his own personal touch to it.”
WM: You know, fashion is a medium through which people transform – it’s almost like Dr. Jekyll drinking a potion to transform into Mr. Hyde, like an alter ego. Who is Hitesh’s ‘fashion’ alter ego and what does he look like? If you could drink a style potion – what would you transform into?
HP: “Firstly, I would like to be in a place that’s chilly and has hardcore winters, just so I can sport all those things that I don’t get to wear now. I would imagine myself wearing a beige or cream coloured trench coat with black ripped jeans and boots.”
WODROB Quick Fire
WM: What’s the biggest fashion faux pas you’ve worn and you’d never recommend wearing?
HP: “I think it would be this neon yellow t-shirt I bought online, it looked good on the model but I don’t think I did justice to it. I’d recommend no one wear neon unless you look like a model and have a six pack.”
WM: What are some of your wardrobe staples?
HP: “Ripped jeans and plain white or black sneakers. Not the whites as much though, since everyone’s wearing them now.”
WM: Your style obsession of the moment
HP: “Right now I’m obsessed with the idea of suiting up – not basics like a black and charcoal grey suit, I’d love to sport it in an unconventional way. I was at this wedding recently and there was a man dressed up in this grey suit with a pastel coloured floral print shirt underneath – and I was just taken away with that style statement. Personally, I wouldn’t wear florals that way, but when I spotted it on him, it looked really nice – so yes, sometimes I take style cues from real people too.”
WM: If you could swap your wardrobe with anyone in the world who would it be?
HP: “Kosta Williams, he’s a style influencer I follow on Instagram.”
WM: Who has influenced your sense of style over the years?
HP: “I tend to follow trends more than people, but, if I had to name someone, it would be David Beckham. I could take style hints from him even today. I actually started buttoning up shirts all the way till the collarbone just because of him.”
WM: If you had the chance to give the following people a fashion makeover what would you make them wear;
- Arnab Goswami: “I would make him wear the ‘Mera Naam Joker’ outfit because I think there is no better entertainer than him in the country right now.”
- Rahul Gandhi: “I think he could actually do wonders in a well fitted suit. He has Italian genes and is one of the most normal looking politicians we have – he could do quite well with some dapper dressing.”
- Donald Trump: “I think it would be hilarious to see him in the ’90s Govinda outfits – pink pants, green belt and yellow shirt. It would really compliment his orange complexion.”
- KimKardashian: “She needs to start wearing clothes – only if she wore clothes, I could think of giving her a fashion makeover.”
WM threw a couple of scenarios at Hitesh before we took a peek at his wardrobe and this is what he pulled out for us.
WM: What would you wear if you could go back in time and star in your favourite ’90s television sitcom?
HP: “Fresh basics to emulate Will Smith from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
WM: If there was a fire in your closet, what would be the one item that you’d save and why?
HP: “My Adidas trainers. I’ve always fantasised about those sneakers and trainers that football players or hip-hop artists wear, and when I found out how much they actually cost it was a harsh reality check. Some of my most expensive shoes don’t cost more than Rs. 6,000 and these Adidas trainers cost me around 14k – after six months of some really hard thinking, I finally decided to get them. So, they’re special to me because I bought them from my savings.”
WM: If you could throw a film-inspired theme party, as the host, what would you wear?
HP: “Sharp-suited as the host inspired by The Wolf of Wall Street”