For today’s installment for our Style section, we are fortunate to interview fashion blogger, business owner, creative director and stylist Kish Raveendran, a.k.a. “Kish Style” and “Kish Rav”.
He’s got a passion for style and his home city of Toronto and features both on his website, KishStyle.com.
We had a chance to talk to Kish about his personal sense of style, his social media outlets and any style advice he can give our readers.
Let’s talk a little bit about your blog, KishStyle.com. How long has it been around? What made you decide to start it? What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced so far?
KishStyle.com launched in June of this year, so it hasn’t been around for too long.
My main purpose for the blog was to expose my take on fashion, which focuses on having a classic spin on any outfit. I believe that my sense of style is very different and can help others realize fashion can make them stand out from the crowd without much effort.
Additionally, I hoped to start forming connections and network with other fashion lovers!
Starting KishStyle.com was challenging because starting a blog requires one to create unique and creative content which stands out from other bloggers.
Additionally, because I follow some great bloggers, I had to ensure I was not doing anything similar to other blogs out there while being authentic and true to my sense of style.
One of the unique things we like about your blog is that you also post information about your local area of Toronto with every outfit. Was this one of the things you are hoping will distinguish your blog from the other style blogs out there?
Yes. I love my city and I wanted to be able to combine my love for Toronto with my fashion.
Whether you’re from the city of Toronto or not, once you get a chance to check out my style on KishStyle.com, you also get to see amazing places within the city which works perfectly with my outfits (which may sound weird, but the setting makes a huge difference in enhancing an outfit!).
I like how I can show beautiful places within my city, so people will be intrigued enough to check them out when they visit Toronto.
For example, not many people know of High Park, which has such breathtaking scenery! Furthermore, it definitely helps make my blog stand out because I not only talk about what to wear, but also show where you can wear them.
Tell us about yourself. On your site you describe yourself as a fashion blogger, a business owner, a creative director and a stylist. Can you go into detail about every facet of each career? How did you get into doing each? Do the different paths have symbiotic relationships with each other? Which one was started first?
I have taken on quite a few roles:
Stylist – Grafic
Since I was always into fashion, I wanted to start off by helping others form their own distinguished sense of style while strengthening my own unique brand.
I started off by freelancing as a personal stylist with friends and acquaintances by helping them shop for various events (business, wedding, etc.) and increased my clientele from there.
I then collaborated with Grafic Mens Wear (www.grafic.com), and have assisted with their ad campaigns, and have now signed on as a personal stylist for their clients. I also recently started teaching at the Toronto Fashion Academy, on the basics of fashion styling.
Creative Director/Business Owner
With all this experience under my belt, I wanted to form my own brand that would help men be uniquely different but stay true to their nature – thus Kish Wear was born!
I like to think my spin on fashion is unique and I wanted to build my brand with my own creative ideas. I naturally took on the dual roles of Business Owner and Creative Director.
Kish Wear started with a pre-launch of our first winter collection – to see what the response would be like – and it was amazing!
I decided to surge forward with my ideas on our new upcoming collection. We are currently in the process of building the brand in unique ways so keep an eye out for us!
I wanted to expose my style through any means possible and social media is, of course, a huge platform to bring forth one’s talent.
I decided to use it to my advantage and start my own blog which caters to a wider audience, since everyone is on social media nowadays.
Kishstyle.com has definitely been a great way for me to build networks throughout the world. Additionally, all these paths have strong symbiotic relationships built on understanding, knowledge and experience.
Through these connections I was able to dip my fingers into bigger and better things and I feel it is only going to go forward from there!
At ESM we’re all about style. Can you describe your personal sense of style? In your opinion, what do you think is “good” style for men? Does it vary from person to person? Is there a difference between “style” and “fashion” or are they the same thing?
If I were to express my style, I believe it ranges widely but is preppy and crisp/clean at the same time.
My ideas of what I consider stylish are always changing but I still like to keep it very clean; I enjoy the look of dressing wild while being prim and proper.
I focus on every detail, from my beard to accessories when it comes to getting ready for an event or going out. I like to be different from others and always think of unique ways to look fresh, but keep it within my level of style.
I believe “good” style for men would be to look well put together – regardless of what clothing they wear – as long as they are well maintained from head to toe and can exude confidence.
Good style definitely varies from person to person, as we all have our favorite fashion genre.
There is definitely a difference between fashion and style! Fashion is something that is always evolving – it is a popular trend that gives shape or form to the latest clothing, accessories, or even grooming.
On the other hand, style is where you can pick and choose from the fashion trends and form your own unique brand; you can be able to tell your story through the way you dress.
Do you think living in Toronto has affected your personal sense of style? Are there other things in your life that have helped develop your style?
Having lived in Paris for a portion of my life, I was a huge follower of European fashion.
After I moved to Toronto, I was worried it would be hard to adopt North American trends. But because Toronto is very multicultural and diverse, I was able to openly display my love for European fashion and merge it with North American style.
Toronto definitely is an open environment and has helped me form my own unique style without limits.
My love for travel has definitely also helped develop my sense of style. I have been to many different countries – from the beautiful and classy Italy, to party central Miami – everything I have seen has helped enhance and mold my style into a diversified look.
What are some of your favorite looks right now and why?
I currently love the rugged and ripped jeans look! I love how it can be paired with something as classy as a tie and blazer, or be dressed down with a simple tank or t-shirt.
I also love form fitted suits with cuffed down legs. No socks with your shoes, and you’re all set!
I also enjoy accessorizing: pocket squares, simple pull on shoes, bracelets, glasses, the list goes on!
If you could give 3 pieces of style advice to someone trying to develop their own sense of style, what would they be?
1. Go with your instincts. Fashion varies from person to person, so there is no such thing as wearing an item wrong – as long as it is comfortable to you. Just wear it with confidence!
2. Have fun with colors and patterns! If you want to grab a blazer, think about grabbing a red one, rather than sticking to a typical brown or black. A step as simple as this can alter your style by extreme measures!
3. If you still aren’t sure about how to style yourself or where to start, check out magazines, online websites, and be sure to check out blogs like KishStyle.com 😉
Do you have any favorite designers or brands? For people that are shopping on a budget, do you have any brands you would recommend?
My favorite designer brand is Burberry of course!
They are timelessly classic, with an amazing spin on today’s current trends. As for people shopping on a budget, my recommendation would be Zara, Topman and H&M. These companies have very fashion forward pieces and their fits are perfect for any body type.
Also, I love European fashion, and these brands originate from some of Europe’s fashion capitals. Their prices are very reasonable and their quality is just amazing! You can’t go wrong with these brands.
Half of my wardrobe is filled with them!
At ESM we also have “Style Essentials” or items that should be in every man’s wardrobe. Do you have your own set of style essentials? If so what are they and why are they on your list?
I have many pieces in my wardrobe that I rely on, but the items that are daily essentials for me are my watches.
Women have many different types of jewelry and accessories that they can use simultaneously. However this is not the case for men; we are very limited with what we can wear at the same time.
A simple item such as a watch can make a big statement with any outfit and can create the right impression – I cannot leave my house without wearing one!
Do you have any style icons? Who are they and why?
My personal style inspiration is David Gandy because I honestly feel he is the epitome of a fashion icon!
He is a super model who has worked with various companies and has also built his own brand. He is PERFECT in every way; every inch of him exudes MEN’S FASHION effortlessly!
What does the future hold for Kish Style?
I want Kish Style to expand from blogging to becoming an international ambassador for new upcoming designer brands.
I am excited to collaborate with companies who cater to fashion and also see my ideas for future fashion trends come to life. I am aiming for Kish Style to gain great recognition around the world and would love to see the day when Kish Style ultimately becomes a household name among fashion lovers!
To keep up with Kish Raveendran, you can go to his website at http://www.kishstyle.com, his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kish.Raveendran, his Twitter account at https://twitter.com/kish_Rav, his Instagram account at http://instagram.com/kish_rav and finally, his Tumblr page at http://kishrav.tumblr.com.