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Won’t Stop Rocking – A Conversation of Spirit

We value a good hearty conversation. While these unprecedented times present different challenges to different people, we cannot deny the fact that the crisis has guided us to do some constructive thinking and some meaningful conversation. We have realised the value of human connect and are lucky to be living in the internet era where the connect remains  a possibility. Giving us the optimism and a sense of togetherness to evolve better out of this. Keeping spirits high during this uncertain time is no easy feat. So we at Zariin decided to get in touch with some leading ladies of fashion, fitness and art industries for a conversation to reveal the thought process behind their “Won’t Stop Rocking” attitude. 

In Conversation with Tarini Manchanda. Founder, The Initial Studio

tarini manchanda in conversation with zariin

What brings you joy in these times?

I’ve been reading a lot, something I did a lot when I was younger. That makes me feel calm and relaxed. It’s always something I would say I’d do but after a long hectic day at work somehow Netflix always won that battle in regular life. 

COVID -19 is an opportunity to reset, reflect and reshape for fashion. What are your thoughts?

Buy less, buy better! This is a philosophy  I was inching towards in the last few years but after understanding the human and environmental implications of fast fashion during COVID, I’ve decided to repurpose what I already have and consume more mindfully. It’s also a fun way to get creative – I’ve cut sleeves off old tops and made them into crop tops to work out in, made shorts out of old jeans, figured out different mix and match options – I suppose just keeping myself busy and feeling good about it.

In Conversation with Vernika Awal. Independent Journalist and Food Writer. Blog – Delectable Reveries

vernika awal in zariin maang teeka
Vernika Awal is an independent journalist and food writer and runs a blog called Delectable Reveries. A recognised figure in the food & beverage fraternity of India, she is known to have highlight traditional Punjabi culinary culture and folk art through her project #DelectablePunjab.
Vernika is wearing Flourishing Spirit Maang Teeka

What’s the one thing you miss the most right now?

 This is the first time that I (we) have probably experienced something like this, collectively as the world. A point where something got the whole world at a standstill, with no immediate respite at sight. In these times I really miss being able to have the freedom to go outside the confines of the four walls and interact with my surroundings. It made me realise how we all took so much for granted and were so unappreciative of the nature and it’s presents. 

What’s the one thing you will remember the most from these times?

I think the one learning that will stay with me from this period is the importance of slowing down and sustainable practices. It is unfortunate that something of this scale had to take place for us to realise this, but the need to take things slow and being appreciative of what the earth has bestowed us with is now more than ever.

In Conversation with Yoongi Song. Launched Handbag and Accessories brand called SUSURRUS meaning hand made in – house.

yoongi song in zariin absolute lite earrings
Born in Seoul, South Korea.
Graduated Cordwainers Fashion Bags and Accessories Design at London College of Fashion.
Launched Handbag and Accessories brand called 
SUSURRUS meaning hand made in – house.
Yoongi is wearing earrings from. Zariin’s Absolute Lite.

What is that one thing you have learnt during the lockdown? It could be anything…a realization, taking it easy or learning a new skill set. We have all had some time to reflect.

I am trying to enlarge my cooking repertoire. For example, I have taken up baking, as well as trying new recipes from any cookbooks that I can get my hands on, or got gifted over the years. 

I also enjoy reading books while savouring some Bordeaux wine.

What brings you joy in these times?

Getting to spend extra time with my family bring me a lot of joy recently. Especially with my mother in law.

As we live in separate countries, we rarely get to spend this much time together. She lives in London, and I live in South Korea. 

We get to do all sorts of things together. This has brought us so much closer.

What’s the one thing you will remember the most from these times?

One of the most memorable moments of these times is waking up at 5AM to beat the queue at our local supermarket. This was mostly for toilet paper…

Have you tried something new?

I have been learning Japanese, aerobics, meditation and mindfulness.

COVID -19 is an opportunity to reset, reflect and reshape for fashion. What are your thoughts?

I have always thought that hard times are an opportunity to change, adapt and improve.

Stoicism and an endeavour to create are helping me personally to improve my brand, designs as well as my general wellbeing.

Do you miss your office team?

Very much so. My work and family are intertwined. I could not do one without the other.

How will you celebrate once you are back in your office?

I doubt there will be time to celebrate. Work will be tenfold.

What’s the one thing you miss the most right now?

Korean food and culture.

Family, Friends, even my customers… I can’t wait to see my 1year old niece in Korea.

In Conversation with Angel Bedi. Artist – The Filmy Owl

angel bedi in conversation with zariin

Have you tried something new?

Have succumbed to the Insta trend and have been baking banana bread! I have also given myself a ‘lockdown’ project in which I have been drawing wildlife illustrations for kids and writing fun fact poems .This is something that has always been on my art bucket list and I’m so glad to have all this undisturbed time to do this .   

COVID -19 is an opportunity to reset, reflect and reshape for fashion. What are your thoughts?
Absolutely! Boycotting fast fashion is a thought that has been clouding over my head since last year and I think it is time to take that plunge. I will most definitely be buying less, investing in quality pieces AND supporting Indian- homegrown brands!

In Conversation with Anjali Batra. Founder, Food Talk India

anjali batra in conversation with zariin

What is that one thing you have learnt during the lockdown? It could be anything…a realization, taking it easy or learning a new skill set. We have all had some time to reflect.
I’ve realised how much we have been abusing resources and how easy it is to live a more conscious life.

It’s amazing, but we have all started doing that without even realising it- we shop smarter, we practice zero waste and we are making the most of everything we have around us.

It’s beautiful.

What brings you joy in these times?
My little puppy- God adopting him a month before Covid-19 was a blessing. I can’t imagine how people are surviving lockdown without dogs.I get joy in just watching him be his adorable self.

Have you tried something new?

Just been spending time on myself. I’ve come to realise how in our busy lives we always forget “Me” and I’ve been spending a lot of time on myself with all this free time.

Apart from that, I’ve started learning Spanish, I’ve been cooking heaps { which is something I’ve shied away from for years} and realised I’m actually pretty good at it.

COVID -19 is an opportunity to reset, reflect and reshape for fashion. What are your thoughts?

Sustainable fashion is going to become a huge trend. Owning less and doing more with it is the way forward. 

I absolutely love how all these fashion bloggers and influencers are doing 5 ways to style a shirt or an accessory piece etc and I think that’s helping people understand sustainable fashion 

Do you miss your office team?
Oh my god soo much. My team is like my family and I miss them all so much. They are such an integral part of my day that it feels so weird not having seen this for such a long time. 

We work in a very open and flat environment and I have a beautiful sense of camaraderie amongst us all and I miss having their infectious energy and buzz around everyday. 


How will you celebrate once you are back in your office?
Cake and hugs- definitely HUGS.

What’s the one thing you miss the most right now?

One is hard. But top of the list is my fiancee Rishi undoubtedly. He’s literally a few kilometres away and it’s really hard not seeing each other.

We’ve been in a long distance relationship ever since he left for his MBA and having him back and still not being able to meet is really hard.

Secondly I miss interacting with people. That’s one of the biggest perks in my profession- meeting and interacting with amazing people at all these events we do and many of them have grown to become dear friends.

It’s been hard going from such a socially active life to lockdown.

And lastly, my GYM. Home workouts are fun at first but I’m aching to get back to my punching bag and squat rack.

In Conversation with Aishwarya Dravid. Content Specialist

aishwarya dravid talks to zariin

What brings you joy in these times?

I’m personally really enjoying this time. I’m being able to dabble in lots of different activities that bring me joy, like cooking, reading or dancing. But the thing that brings me the most joy is being able to spend a lot of time with my family. All of us are workaholics in a certain sense, so thanks to this lockdown, we’re actually being able to enjoy each other’s company. 

COVID -19 is an opportunity to reset, reflect and reshape for fashion. What are your thoughts?

Of course! The consequences of this pandemic are going to last longer than one could ever imagine. Industries like fashion have the opportunity to propagate an important message: consume local. Our economy is in shambles, and we need to start investing in that. Clothes manufactured using indigenous materials, using local karigars, and made for local consumption should be the focus. Customers should start putting their money behind Indian brands now more than ever. 

This pandemic has also forced brands to take a digital first approach. Work from home issues by magazines, Insta live fashion shows by designers, the bar has been raised. Even once the pandemic is over, digital will be the key. There’s no space for brands that don’t have a digital DNA. 

In Conversation with Kaori Itoi. Owner, Coincidence Stores, Japan

kaori itori in conversation with zariin
Kaori Itori is wearing earrings from Zariin’s Pearl Kissed collection and the ring is from the Rock Solid collection.

What is that one thing you have learnt during the lockdown? It could be anything…a realization, taking it easy or learning a new skill set. We have all had some time to reflect.

I have 2 daughters, the older is 7, and the younger still 3,

The school of the older one has been closed since 1st March, but the younger went to the nursery school from 9am to 6pm during this. I’m working till the emergency declaration of 7th April. ( In Tokyo we don’t have the lockdown) .

And she says, “this is my first time ever to spend the time with Mom this long since I was born, and I’m too happy!”

That makes me really happy and at the same time, makes me feel sorry for her.

That word really hit me.

I do realize now that I might leave my works to my colleagues, but I’m only Mom for my girls.

I’m now really enjoying the time with them, playing more than ever at home, though WFM is no effective with kids😊

I’ll definitely change my shift of my work-balance from this experience.

What brings you joy in these times?

The time with my family.

I don’t really have much time to talk with my husband usually, as we two work hard.

I normally fall asleep with kids when hus comes back home.

But now he’s here 24/7 with us and have much time to talk about lots of things.

We’re alone at home but truly connected now.

In Conversation with Rebekah Blank. Founder and Brand Head of Fabcafe

rebekah blank in conversation with zariin

What is that one thing you have learnt during the lockdown? It could be anything…a realization, taking it easy or learning a new skill set. We have all had some time to reflect.

I’ve learnt that sometimes less is more. The lack of busyness, places to go, things to buy and even income during this time has shown me that I don’t need as much as I think I do. As a matter of fact I barely need any of these things to be happy as long as basic needs are met. I get a lot more happiness out of having time to be creative, to learn, to spend quality time with my loved ones, to have time to think, reflect and enjoy nature. I’ve realized that I get so busy I miss out on all of those things and life isn’t as interesting without them. 

What brings you joy in these times?

I’ve found a lot of joy in the little things. From taking time to cook longer recipes to kindness of neighbours to spending quality time with my loved ones. I’ve also been really intentional about creating a wellness routine for this time that keeps me energized on a day to day basis, this has been helpful for me in dealing with some of the emotional difficulties of this time and I’ve actually been feeling healthier than ever!

In Conversation with Devanshi Tuli. Fashion & Creative Consultant. Styling

devanshi tuli in conversation with zariin

Have you tried something new?

Well, yes I did. I began illustrating and doing self portraits. I usually only sketch to put my ideas for a shoot on paper and before this was many years ago when I was studying at NIFT, Delhi but this is my first time illustrating myself and my thoughts. I also began shooting my illustrations and it has been a very emotionally and mentally uplifting exercise during this period.

COVID -19 is an opportunity to reset, reflect and reshape for fashion. What are your thoughts?

Sustainability was never a trend but gradually became one. Today, it is a necessity. We will suddenly realise what is truly valuable in life. Though the ultimate severity of the pandemic remains unknown, we would apparently re-think and prioritise our consumption as consumers and reassess our values. Navigating this uncertainty will not be easy for fashion leaders, but social distancing and the lockdown has highlighted the importance of digital media. Digital acceleration with innovation will be prioritised once the immediate crisis subsides. Working ‘together’ becomes a lot more important than ever. 

What is that one thing you have learnt during the lockdown? It could be anything…a realization, taking it easy or learning a new skill set. We have all had some time to reflect.

A deep realisation that a lot of us will not be coming out of this as emotionally and mentally strong. It is essential to check on your friends, colleagues and people around you time to time on their mental health. There are some life skills we need to always carry but in the times of crisis, compassion for all before anything else. It is a privilege to live off your savings during a lockdown that not everyone has. To donate  wisely and be considerate enough for those who do not have enough savings and work for you or have worked for you is more important than anything else and this isn’t charity. This is one’s service as a responsible citizen.

In Conversation with Yasmin Kaura. Pilates Instructor

Have you tried something new?

I have used a lot of this time to expand my own practice and connected with so many different movement professionals from around the globe. It feels like the whole world is on a similar learning curve to stay connected with work and loved ones virtually and our shared experience has been a source of great learning and support. This time has shown all of us what is of value in our lives and hopefully we will be able to keep that focus as the world emerges from these strange times.

What’s the one thing you miss the most right now?

I definitely miss connecting with my clients in my pilates studio ! A lot of my work revolves around getting people to move not just physically , but also to release tensions they are carrying which is often emotional so its a very intimate relationship. I can’t wait see them all again, share their experiences and hopefully bring some healing to their lives. 

We hope you enjoyed this heart to heart conversation with these incredible women as much as we loved reaching out to them.

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