Many of us have different childhood fantasies and dreams that slowly fade as we grow older. We pick up more practical dreams along the way. However, for Rishan Shabong—a stylist and fashion enthusiast from Shillong—working in the fashion industry has always been the dream. And now, he is setting new standards for men’s style and breaking traditional barriers!
Join us as we discuss how he is making waves in the fashion industry as a stylist, dabbling in various other areas of fashion including design, modelling and is also an influencer.
Hello Rishan, lovely to have you here. Tell us about yourself!
Hey there! My name is Rishan Skhem Shabong, I’m 25-years-old and I am currently based in Bengaluru. I was born and raised in a beautiful town called Shillong!
Since I was a young boy, I have always been the black sheep in the family. I guess my affinity to the creative arts distinguished me from the rest. I have always been an avid follower of fashion and always wanted to be in the fashion industry.
Rishan Shabong for HOMESICK
I am currently working as a stylist for an e-commerce brand and it surely is a new and exciting venture for me to be apart of it. My enthusiasm towards a different kind of art and content creation has brought me to a point where I allow myself to explore diverse fields in fashion. Whenever I can, I engage myself as a blogger on my social media. It allows me to express myself in pictorial form!
Looking at your social media, we can see you do a lot besides styling. Tell us about it.
What I do professionally does go hand in hand with other things I love to do. One of them is design – it has always been a part of me. I have designed garment pieces for quite a number of individuals and it is quite remarkable to have seen the work done on paper come to life.
I model sporadically! Although I have done a couple of photoshoots for brands and portfolios, I honestly do not see myself as a model per se. It is all just for the experience. It does help me in improving the quality of my social media content. I have been able to maintain a blogging account where I get the opportunity to collaborate and work with brands in promoting their products.
Styling and modelling for Armisto
What initially sparked your interest in fashion?
I think this ‘spark’ comes from my grandmother, who was a seamstress. She made many clothing pieces during her time and seeing her work on a vintage sewing machine fascinated me.
My curiosity changed my life. I have always been fond of fabrics – how garments are made and the entire process. My career in fashion started at a very young age. I had already made up my mind when I was 8 about what to do with my life. This interest pushed me to have the experience of working with different people in fashion and it has helped me in improving my knowledge in this field of work.
Describe your personal style and what influences it.
My personal style has definitely been inspired and influenced by my surroundings and the culture I live in. It is a mixture of everything, really! I do like to keep myself updated. I like to mix both current and classic trends.
Influence of the 80s — tinted glasses and an oversized corduroy blazer
I take inspiration from the 80s and 90s and put my own personal twist on it. I feel that this particular era has got some of the most amazing styles we have seen in the past century. This is why I still wear my dad’s old clothes. I feel that those clothes which he wore once carry a lot of stories in them.
Thrift shopping, which was and still is a very essential way of life in Shillong and in the majority of North East India, has definitely been a go-to for me. Also, every piece that I have, has its own journey and its own stories.
Rishan in a thrifted sweater
How was the transition of your passion into a career?
The journey has been quite interesting. When it was just an interest, it was all fun and fabulous. Thinking outside the box with no boundaries, making things out of scraps, basically, everything was a first-hand experience. But once I decided to pursue it as a proper career, it was quite eye-opening as there were a lot of things involved in building it.
College was the best part because it was entirely a learning process and it was definitely a roller-coaster ride but I am happy to say that it helped me in landing to the place I wanted to be in. Now I get to learn more and improve my expertise in fashion.
Styling and modelling for Cantabil India
What’s your creative philosophy — where do you take inspiration from?
Personally, I feel that music and culture have really inspired me. Also, I think that our surroundings can be the best source of inspiration when you observe.
Tell us about your experience working on different projects and with different people.
Working on different projects surely keeps me busy. But these are the things that will help me and my career grow. I work on small projects now and then. So far the people I have associated with these projects have been amazing and wonderful.
What do you think is the most important quality to have to succeed in this line of work?
I think consistency is the key to any successful career. In my field of work, it’s all about knowing what’s best for the masses and imparting our knowledge in fashion to people through visual images and media. Having that flow in our everyday work is important.
Mixing both modern and classic styles
What do you want other people to take away from your work?
Well, I always want my work to be different from the rest. I like to show that I have a personal taste in things and do certain things can’t be replicated. My work is about having a vision and representing all the hard work that has been put into it.
Styling for project ‘Into The Woods’
What’s next for Rishan?
Honestly, I have a list of things I’d like to achieve in my life. There are things that I am yet to explore and I am definitely looking forward to it. I have few projects lined up as well!
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