Friday, 5 July 2013

Exclusive Interview with Antara Motiwala, Fashion Editor, GQ India

It was a pleasure for me to interview the ever so gorgeous, talented & jet-setting Antara Motiwala, Fashion Editor for GQ India. Effortlessly chic,no wonder she was featured on Scott Schuman’s blog (The Sartorialist),Vogue Hommes France & WGSN to name a few,incredibly creative and innately gracious could be one of many ways to describe Antara.

She is well known for styling an endless list of the biggest names from Bollywood,even Hollywood,fashion industry,sports and others.In this exclusive interview with Stylefluid Trendz, Antara gives us an insight into how her career took off, her experience and journey to the world of men’s fashion.

Stylefluid Trendz: What inspired your passion for fashion? How did your journey to GQ India start?

Antara:I believe fashion has been so integral to my life, I always knew from a very young age that I had to be connected to fashion and it has been my passion and ambition since then.I also feel the aesthetic of fashion is something you are born with,you either have it or you don’t,you can nurture it,groom it,recreate it but the basic understanding has to be ingrained in you.

I was living in Milan. I did my masters in styling form Marangoni institute and then landed a job at Vanity Fair Milan, so I was already working with Conde Nast International.I traveled with my boss,the co-editor to India and Vogue had just launched here,so we came and met all the editors here.

When I was about to leave Milan,my friends who worked at Vogue India were already pitching me for GQ,which was just opening up here.My first meeting with Arjun Bhasin,our then fashion editor,was an instant hit and he hired me on the spot.I loved and looked up to him and so even though I had no formal training in men’s fashion or even an inclination towards it,I signed on just for him.

"I feel great to be a part of this revolution through GQ which has been highly influential in bringing about the sartorial change to men in India".

Stylefluid Trendz: What qualities and skills one need to succeed in this job?

Antara:I think most people look at the job very superficially and have notions about it, being glamorous or really easy and trust me, it’s not. You need to really love what you do, you need tolerance and patience to deal with all kinds of people and egos,you need to work very hard and be very determined to get the job done and most importantly you need to have your own aesthetic and knowledge on fashion, the brands, the styles, movies, eras, inspirations, what’s new in the market and so on.

Stylefluid Trendz: What do you have to say about men's fashion and grooming in India at the moment and GQ India's role in bringing in the much required sartorial edge?

Anatara:I think men’s fashion in India now is really growing. Simply working with GQ since its launch 5 years ago, I see tremendous change year after year in men’s fashion. Indian men are becoming more adaptable to growing trends, aware of international and Indian designers, what their body structure is and what works for their personality.

I feel great to be a part of this revolution through GQ which has been highly influential in bringing about the sartorial change to men in India. We take it as our responsibility to educate them about new styles, what’s currently trendy, what’s acceptable and what’s not and mostly just opening their minds and views to everything that’s going on around the world.

"The city is very arty and still very grunge with loads of tattoos, body piercings and neon, which itself is quite unique and has a strong element of inspiration".

Stylefluid Trendz:What is one creative aspect of your work that you eagerly look forward to?

Antara: Well, I love the whole ideating process.I miss that sometimes while working because you are so caught up with deadlines and other activities that you forget the whole creative process. While planning a shoot, whether it’s a cover story or fashion, we plan it based on trends of the season, other current or retro inspirations from movies, books or art, real life situations from news,politics or even famous personalities. I love drawing up that idea in my head and then recreating it via a shoot. The whole process is so inspiring and so much fun to work on [smiles].

"Fashion is subjective because it depends on how each person perceives it".

Stylefluid Trendz: Where do you look for creative inspiration?

Antara:I think my biggest passion and inspiration comes from travelling. I absolutely adore it, going to new places, meeting new people,understanding the vibe, culture, food, lifestyle of that place. Milan, Paris, Rome, Berlin and New York are some of my favorite places to see and be inspired, the street culture is so strong and it’s so different in each of the places. 

For example I love Berlin for its underground dark edgy street style. The city is very arty and still very grunge with loads of tattoos, body piercings and neon, which itself is quite unique and has a strong element of inspiration. And,in contrast you have Paris, that’s extremely elegant and chic, but very effortless. When you see a French man or woman, they look impeccable and seem like they have put in no time to look like that but it’s just as natural to them as anything. Italians are louder and I think the men are far better dressed and put together than the women.

Stylefluid Trendz: Who do you look up to as one of the greatest style icon at
the moment?

Antara: Well I have many style icons and I feel that today there are so many 'influencers' and people to look up-to.

I love Sonam (Read:Sonam Kapoor) for her bold style statement, she is a dear friend also and I know that she genuinely loves it. I like everyone from David Beckham to Rihanna, Ryan Gosling and Giovanna Battaglia to the TV show Mad Men.

Of course, Audrey Hepburn is my all time favourite fashion icon, as cliché as it may sound, I am obsessed with her.

Stylefluid Trendz: Your favourite designer and why?

Antara:I think it’s unfair to single any one out. I have a few that I really admire.Dolce & Gabbana, Peter Dundas, the Valentino duo (Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli), Stella McCartney. And yes, Opening Ceremony for Kenzo because I love how they have reinterpreted and revamped the brand.

And Miuccia Prada, because she is a legend and she is so incredibly smart.

I am also partial to French brands -YSL,Chanel, Balmain and Chloe,they will always be favourites.

Stylefluid Trendz: During one of our earlier interaction you mentioned that fashion is subjective.Can you please elaborate?

Antara:Fashion is subjective because it depends on how each person perceives it. It is not quantitative like science that it can have a definitive right or wrong answer. It is also fickle as it changes from season to season and year to year, so what might be fashionable today may not be so in 5 years.

Stylefluid Trendz: How would you describe your personal style?

Antara: I think my style totally depends on my mood. Being a stylist, it’s very easy and comes super naturally to me to put a look together [smiles]. I have a piece of everything in my wardrobe,so I can go from grunge to vintage. However my style is definitely effortless, I have a very bohemian outlook to the way I dress, even if I am wearing the chicest outfit.

Stylefluid Trendz: What advice would you give to aspiring fashion stylist?

Antara:I would tell them to do their research well, understand what they are getting into and know that the only way to succeed it is truly love what they do. Be adaptable to new things, keep their minds open and just keep taking everything in. Everything that they do to achieve their goal is a major learning curve and it will only help them in the long run.

Stylefluid Trendz: Your ultimate fashion destination?
Antara: Paris, hands down!!! From the best vintage stores to French boutiques and hi-end designers, it offers you everything.

Stylefluid Trendz:Three beauty products that you can’t live without?
Antara:Body-shop seaweed moisturising cream, Kiko kohl eyeliner, Burberry bronzer.

Stylefluid Trendz:Your best fashion buy?
Antara:My vintage Christian Lacroix dinner jacket.

Stylefluid Trendz:Three most stylish movies?
Antara:Breakfast at Tiffany’s, La dolce Vita, The great Gatsby

Stylefluid Trendz:Wardrobe staple that every man should have?
Antara:A well cut and structured white shirt.

Stylefluid Trendz:Working with men is ………?
Antara:Pleasurable and easy

Stylefluid Trendz:What’s next for you?
Antara:I have some ideas and I think it will be very interesting, but for now I am just enjoying what I have.


  1. very inspiring! definately for a fashion enthusiast!

  2. Awesome pictures and blog article. Really good.
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