“As a child, I would only wear matching clothes and I cried if my mother made me repeat an outfit, ” says fashion-blogger Alkananda Bodapaty.Today, Alaknanda is a brand influencer and she has a growing community of admirers and followers on social media.
Alkananda thanks her parents for being supportive and patient with her. By the time she was an engineering student at the Kakinada Institute of Engineering & Technology, she had three closets full of clothes and over a hundred pairs of shoes.
Of course, in just a matter of a short time there were classmates seeking advice from her about dressing up. “That was the first time I realised so many people needed fashion tips,” says Alkananda.She started a Facebook group called ‘Go Girlies’, a platform to discuss fashion for college girls. Now it has over 40,000 members. “The group is now a community of women,from different parts of Andhra. We discuss all kind of topics here from fashion to health,” she says.
Getting a hang of it
After finishing her engineering she worked for a year at an IT firm and then enrolled for higher studies. “That’s when I finally asked myself what I was really doing with my life.” She quit her Masters’ programme and began a blog, ‘letsthinkstyle.com’ in December 2015. “My first posts on the blog were about how to use an article of clothing in multiple ways,” she recalls. Her blog allowed people to get a second opinion before buying online.
Tips from Alkananda Bodapaty
- For bloggers Be passionate and consistent; Understand your target group; Be brief and to the point; Give a personal touch; Respond to your readers promptly; Give it a sufficient time to grow.
- For readers The Blonde Salad by Chiara Ferragn, The Snob Journal, Aakriti Rana’s blog
- For shopaholics Central, Lifestyle, Westside, Taruni (Siripuram)
- Favourite brands Nuon by Westside, H&M, Forever21, Zara
Initially, the brands she worked with gave her merchandise instead of paying her for the reviews. Soon clients took her more seriously and she began to earn money through her blog In 2017, Myntra and FILA picked her to visit Rome, for photoshoots and brand promotion.
According to her, online shopping has changed the dynamics of fashion in Visakhapatnam. She says, “The city doesn’t have a concept of street shopping like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. But online shopping has bridged that gap significantly.”
Since then she has establish herself as a fashion influencer on Instagram too. Alkananda explains, “Currently, fashion blogging is synonymous with Instagram. Its popularity with youth and its ease of operation has made it the hub for fashion discussions.” She has over 73,000 followers on Instagram. The visual format of the platform makes it ideal for fashion bloggers. Now, Instagram is where she earns money. But when she wants to write long-form thought pieces, she updates her blog.
In her shoes
People often think writing a fashion blog is not a full-time job. That is not quite true, says Alkananda. “It needs hardwork and one has to read up on the latest trends, be innovative and have networking skills.” Last year, she gave a TedTalk about how she made it in the glamour industry at K L University, Guntur.
All the glitters
- Michael Jackson’s glove is the most expensive glove to be auctioned. It was sold for $420,000 in 2009 and is now on display at the MJ Gallery at Ponte 16 in Macau, China.
Currently, she is working to launch her personal brand of clothes.
(Living Vizag is a weekly column that profiles people who make the city special, and explore it through their eyes)