Monica Garg talks with You & I
Tell us about your journey through the world of fashion.
I studied fashion, imaging and styling at the Sterling Style Academy in New York, after which I took a certified training course at the Etiquette School of New York. From Villa Perrifeu Montreaux in Switzerland, I possess certified specialisation in women’s image enhancement. I wanted to share my knowledge of these subjects with young fashion enthusiasts; fashion is a beautiful thing and means different things to different people. There are those with dynamic personalities on whom only certain types of clothing look perfect, but the point is we image consultants can do this for them.
What inspired you to start International Luxury Academy?
After seeing how little imaging and styling have reached India, I wanted to teach my students the ins and outs of fashion. The luxury image consultant course is one of a kind. My students visit Milan for exposure, where they deal with elite clients. Suppose someone visits Italy but is clueless as to what to get from where. Luxury image consultants will guide them in the right direction – which brands to choose, what to buy based on their body type and face shape, how to style their hair and more. They take up the role of personal shopper and accompany clients anywhere in the world.
You were awarded the Samaj Ratan by the former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Was that a special moment?
I felt very happy that I’ve taken steps towards the empowerment of women. It was a matter of great prestige to receive this award from such a wonderful lady.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is when you blend the style and elegance you naturally have with clothes that are perfect for you, carrying all this off with comfort and ease.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
When I stepped into this industry, there was a shortage of image and style consultants. So my main aim in this time is to start new courses and add diversity. Maybe I will become an image doctor!
And what do you predict for the fashion industry in India?
When I travel overseas, all I hear is that foreign brands are interested in setting up shop in India. In a few years, we will have more global brands entering India, and hopefully people will become more conscious about fashion sense and its importance.
Do you have any message for your fellow entrepreneurs?
I just want to tell them to follow their passions. I come from a completely different background from fashion, but it was my forte. When I started my institute, the response I got from parents and other members of society was tremendous. They thanked me for giving people a platform to really do something that was out of the box, which made me proud.
Who are your personal style icons?
Sonam Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan, for sure!
Tell us about your love of travel.
Whatever knowledge I have about new fashion and styles, most of it comes from my travels around the world. In whichever cities I visit, I pick up what’s trending there and bring it back to India. My favourite holiday destinations are the Maldives, New York and Paris. ..... as told to Vatika