‘My Biggest Supporters Have Often Been Strangers:’ Varun Agrawal Opens Up On His Fashion Journey
The fast-evolving nature of the global fashion industry throws open a sea of endless opportunities for fresh talent. Lucky for Varun Agrawal, one of the coolest kids on the block, the timing to leverage his style expertise seems just about perfect.
Grateful to have amassed an impressive following of 100k and counting, in a short span of time, Agrawal believes that the magic of a perpetual chase — to win over, sustain and engage his audience — on the ‘gram is what keeps him going.
His Instagram page titled, Settle Subtle has grown phenomenally in recent years, and serves as a diary of his style evolution while documenting a ‘slightly-edgy and plenty-aesthetic fashion’ journey. True to its title, Settle Subtle celebrates the subtleties of life through fashion and lifestyle. Initially conjured up as a passion project, Agrawal is going places with his sartorial sense of style. “The aim of his content creation is not just aspirational but relatable and informational,” he avers.
MW gets up, close, and personal with the man behind Settle Subtle. Excerpts:
Varun Agrawal (aka Settle Subtle) has accomplished an unspoken patent over effortless men’s fashion content in India. How would you say your personal style has evolved over time?
Fashion by its very nature is so dynamic. There is so much to observe, evolve and create from. From understanding the classics to now experimenting with modern silhouettes, from bespoke brogues to aftermarket dunks, it’s been quite an evolutionary journey. Personally, I’ve shifted to a more relaxed vibe with easier fits to go by.
You’ve been in the game long enough to know the brass tacks of the industry. Have you ever faced situations where, as a content creator, you’ve had to settle?
Well, I’d say I’ve been quite fortunate to have received so much love and appreciation for the work I do, creating content has always been a treat. Although, I’m an over analytical person when it comes to my content, even so when I’m shooting with others. While earlier on I did have some hurdles along the way, over time I have become more aware and comfortable in my style of working. I like it when ideas and execution are discussed openly and all the creators, as well as the brand representatives, on set work in synergy. When we give creative ideas space to breathe, it becomes invariable that the only thing we have to settle for is the best possible outcome.
What has been the biggest takeaway from your journey so far?
There are more than I can mention, but I’m incredibly grateful that my biggest supporters have often been strangers. I have interacted with so many people who are complete strangers, but their love and affection have only pushed me to grow and be the best version of myself. And, that has been the biggest takeaway from my journey so far.
Let’s talk a bit more about your InstaGame. The aesthetics on the ‘gram are on fleek, no matter what style you’re experimenting with. What’s your secret behind maintaining the feed?
To be honest, I think about it a lot less than I used to, maybe because I’ve gotten used to the drill now. But overall, I just try to maintain good aesthetics in every piece that I upload and the feed is taken care of automatically!
The #IfYouAskV segment feels like a peek into all things Varun. How did you come up with the concept? What does your creative process look like?
IfYouAskV is a lockdown baby. Since all of us were suddenly stuck at home, we had the time to take care of a lot of personal things that were usually ignored because of the everyday hustle. This included personal hygiene, self grooming, clothing and lifestyle hacks, etc. I pretty much thought it was the need of the hour and I’m so glad that it did turn out to be well appreciated. At the channel, I share what I do and suggest the same, if you ask me(/v), get it? Occasionally, I ask people through the ‘Questions’ feature on Instagram stories what topic would they want me to cover through #IfYouAskV, keeping it more relatable and problem solving.
Your followers are curious! What other creative outlets pique your interest?
I’d call myself a keen observer of art and design if you’d allow me to take pride in it. I enjoy sketching and painting as well which helped me cope with the entire lockdown situation. In fact, all this collectively led me to dive deeper into fashion in a way, learning about different design patterns and clothing materials; a lot of which would reflect on a menswear line that I’m now working on.
Being a social media personality comes with having to maintain a personal–social(media) life balance. Have you been able to achieve that?
Personally, I’m not an oversharer and like to keep certain areas of my life private. I don’t think it’s that difficult because people do understand the fact that each requires their own space, moreover, it’s up to you how much you want to give out to the internet (unless they are going crazy pap). So, as asocial media personality, you do have to be more careful, especially in knowing that what you post can have a negative impact on people.
Time to maybe spill a secret? Tell us something that only a content creator can know about pursuing a career in the digital world.
Both the abundance of love and hate that one can attract for being a content creator can get overwhelming at times.
How do you measure personal success in this digital world?
If you have the power to impact people’s lives and shape their decisions in the best possible way, if you’re able to help people and make them happy even without physically being there, if you could create a comfortable space of belonging for people while constantly working on and evolving yourself, I guess that’s enough, and your purpose as an influencer ends there.
Is there any advice you wish you’d received at the start of your journey?
I wish someone told me to first try and find my own self. That said, my message to aspiring bloggers would be to understand yourself, and what you’re really passionate about and then try honing your skills. Find a consistent way to share your learnings and experiences, as only that can truly help you connect with your audience.
MW’s Rapid Fire
What would Varun Agrawals’ signature look be if we saw him at:
– A beach party:
Cuban collar shirt, linen pants, leather sliders, and a fedora, with some accessories and a drink of course!
– A launch event:
A suit with a tee inside and sneakers, probably.
– Your 29th birthday party
I so wanna do a fully suited-up party with the craziest list of things to do, so ya, maybe a black-tie attire. I might keep it for my 30th actually!
– A friend’s bachelor night
Relaxed streetwear, with a sling to carry all stuff my man would need for his bachelor’s.
– One word that describes your style?
– A favorite styling video of yourself?
My latest ones. Have you checked them out yet?
– Wardrobe essentials?
I’d say stick to classics and you’d never go out of style. White and Black button-up shirts, solid tees, black and blue trousers, a pair of blue denim, Oxford shoes, white sneakers, a metal watch, and a pair of ray-bans.
– What would your calling in another universe be?
I think it’ll be artsier, probably be painting canvases by the shore somewhere and later enjoying jazz by a bar with a drink in my hand over some good conversation. Come to think of it, that seems like my retirement plan actually.
Lead Image: Varun Agrawal/Instagram
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