With Vera Wang, Alaïa, and Caroline Constas as her favourite clothing brands, it’s not difficult to point out that Priya Shukla’s style is unconditionally glamourous without being over-the-top. From an unpaid internship to Senior Vice President of Global Communications – Vera Wang, Priya has taken over the New York fashion scene with her polished yet risk-taking attitude. A risk-taker in life and fashion, she knows the right way to complete an ensemble is to access your inner accessory guru. And over a very delightful chat with Runway Square editor – Charu Gaur, she shares her ideas of travel, style and well, how to travel in style.
Runway Square: How would you define your style?
Priya Shukla: I don’t know that if I can define my style, but I dress according to my mood or occasion. Though one thing is for sure, and that is that I do tend to overdress and I’d rather be ‘extra’ than understated and boring.
RSQ: When did you start documenting your personal style on Instagram?
Priya Shukla: I started posting to Instagram in 2013 I believe. Back then I wasn’t only posting outfit pictures, it was a mix of everything: food, travel, family etc. I don’t use Facebook or anything else so it was the only place where I started to maintain an online “diary”.
RSQ: You daughter Belle is quite fashion forward at such a young age and she seems to really enjoy that, how did that happen? Does she take inspiration from you?
Priya Shukla: I’d love to take all the credit for Belle’s love of fashion but part of it is just who she is. There’s certainly a nature/nurture aspect, but she does truly love clothes and shoes, and is quite girly. I used to choose all of her clothes before but now that she is a little older (almost 4), she has a real opinion.
RSQ: What’s your process of packing for a travel?
Priya Shukla: I only pack what I need. I lay out an outfit for each day, pair it with the right shoes and accessories, and take a photo, so I have a reference when I am on the road. To avoid excess, I pack shoes and accessories that are versatile and mix well with multiple outfits. I do the same thing when packing for my daughter and I also start a week in advance so, I have time to get anything that is missing. Especially now that I have a child, I find there is always something I need to buy or order as they grow out of things so quickly.
RSQ: Beach, mountains or cities, what do you love packing for the most?
Priya Shukla: I love packing for beach vacations the best. I was born and raised in Australia, so being by the ocean feels like home to me. It is where I am most relaxed and I happen to love Resort dressing like kaftans, robes, hats, swimsuits, dresses etc.
RSQ: What are the five favourite items that you love to pack?
Priya Shukla: Firstly, scarves as they are useful and functional. And you can layer them over clothing or tie in your hair or onto your bag. Then there are hats and headbands for a quick and easy way to make your hair look “done” even when it isn’t. And jewelry to jazz up even the simplest outfit. Lastly, a portable steamer as not every hotel will give you an iron and even if they do, who wants to iron clothes while on vacation, and a steamer is so much faster and easier.
RSQ: When you travel, do you take inspiration from the destination while you pack? If yes, could you please help us with an example?
Priya Shukla: Yes, I always pack according to the destination, so I have the right things for the climate and schedule of events. For example, when I go home to Australia during summer, it can be unbearably hot so I will only take clothing that is light weight and breathable.
RSQ: Do you consider yourself to be an over-packer?
Priya Shukla: I used to be an over-packer but having a child changed all of that. I don’t have the luxury to over-pack now that I have to travel with a stroller, toys, pull ups, kid snacks etc.
RSQ: If you had to give us a few tips on packing or travel style what would those be?
Priya Shukla: Well, I roll all my clothes instead of folding them; I find that to be a big space saver.
RSQ: And what have been your learnings from your journey in the New York fashion scene?
Priya Shukla: I broke into the fashion industry by taking an unpaid internship that – through hard work and dedication – turned into a job. When people ask me for advice, the first thing I always say is to be nice. It sounds trivial, but it’s not. This is a small industry, and your reputation is everything; kindness goes a long way. Also, always be eager and willing to learn. None of us know it all, it’s all about growth and evolution
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