She is a Product Design graduate from Raffles Design Institute, Singapore and a pursuer and purveyor of aesthetics for as long as she can remember. Content creator and blogger Surbhi Sethi runs an extremely successful blog called Headtilt with a passion that drives people of the heart. A Sue Mue and Sui muse and a staunch supporter of the two brands, she lives and breathes style and everything that Sui stands for. We speak to Surbhi on her passion project, reflections on fashion and journey so far…
Drawn to fashion
“Born out of the creative convictions that caught fire in my mind and grew, HeadTilt caters to my visceral need to express myself as a stylist and tastemaker,” Surbhi charms us, once again with her smile, before she leads us on the trip that we have come seeking her out on. “It has been an interesting journey given that I don’t come ‘from’ fashion. But, I'm definitely ‘for’ fashion, so to say. Looking good makes me feel good,” she puts out emphatically.
Style, for Surbhi, as she tells us, is all about visual expression and more often than not, reflective of her mood. “I often dress according to my state of my mind, hence following trends has never really been the most enjoyable experience for me. Over the years, however, there has been a huge shift in the way I shop and consume fashion. Slowly but surely, I find myself acting from a more conscious mindset,” she shares, before going on to reveal her steadily growing love for slow fashion.
“I value slow fashion now more than ever given that ethical threads are more of a necessity than a choice today. Guess it would be safe to say that today, feeling good (about my choices, the comfort that comes with buying a piece of clothing that my skin loves more than my visual senses at times etc.) certainly makes me look good,” she avers.
Her journey as a content creator and blogger
“Blogging began as a passion project for me. It was always a thing on the side while I indulged in endless freelance projects,” she says, calling it her sweet escape. “At the time I started, I never imagined it would lead me to this place of privilege that I am in today,” she confesses.
“I'm most grateful for this amazingly unpredictable journey that continues to surprise me at every step even today. The whole point of having a blog for me back in the day was about building my own little community of like-minded people. Little did I know that I would be able to turn it into a full time profession and that it’d lead me to further entrepreneurial pursuits!” she laughs.
And, it hasn't been the easiest ride, she shares. Instead, she calls it her most colourful one. “Being a personal style blogger may be a whole lot of hard work but the way it has impacted my life and my growth as a person makes it all worthwhile,” she reflects.
On working with brands and how to make that choice
One must learn to filter through the clutter in order to maintain a niche, she says. “While I'm open to working with a variety of brands, I make sure to never associate with something I can't personally relate to. Having a common sense of aesthetics is a must. Other than that, the brand's philosophy and methods are always a big point of consideration for me. I love working with brands with a conscious heart over the ones that create for the sake of creating. Or with brands that have a story to tell. It's refreshing to find meaning in this sea of consumer-oriented brands,” she shares.
Her reflections on sustainability and the visible shift in the industry
“I remember how sustainability seemed like a far-fetched idea when I first heard of the term. And today, it is one of the most overused terms in this industry,” she points out. She feels that while people understand the importance of sustainable fashion, very few seem to really grasp it. The silver lining, she points out, is that the millennial are getting a strong hold of the idea.
“Personally, all the talk around the subject has truly changed the way I consume fashion today. In the present ‘see now, buy now’ world, choosing responsibly to build an ethical and meaningful wardrobe is kind of difficult, but certainly not impossible. With every passing day, I find myself consciously and dedicatedly working towards it,” she shares.
And, it is only getting easier by the day, she says. “Today, there are so many local brands and designers available with a genuinely ethical heart -- be it with their use of organic fabrics, honest production methods, their transparency or even just a passion for up-cycling,” she points out, adding, “Not just fashion, sustainability is a lifestyle for me now. From switching to paper or metal straws, to banning plastic bags and bottles from our lives, even the simplest of things make a huge impact and as somebody with a voice, eventually, I would want nothing more than to use my influence to create more awareness.”
On growing competition and the current state of the industry
“It’s true that the entrepreneurial spirit is only multiplying by the day and there are new brands popping up every single day,” she says, “but most of them appear to be without a plan, starting out on a whim. It makes me sad to say that the way things stand, today, anything goes!”
Which she says is not very different from the time when she started. “What has changed big time is the way things are marketed today. Social media and e-commerce have given new life to brands but also saturated the market, making it difficult for the end consumer to differentiate between quality products and style steals. While there is a growing audience for slow fashion, there has also been a simultaneous rise in the streetwear culture, with little to no emphasis on quality of materials to construction methods or even story-telling. I’m not sure where any of this is leading, but initiating conversations and creating awareness is vital,” she concludes.
Surbhi's blog - click here
On Surbhi- Wild threads dress-Click here
On Surbhi- Sunshine on the road pants- Click here