Social media influencer and content creator Rini Jain is quickly paving the way for Indian born South Asian influencers in the U.S., through series based content.
Jain started making content on social media just as a creative outlet, as she was pursuing a full time career in the field of engineering.
“I did not even think of fashion as a career … I just did my engineering, but somehow I came to the U.S. for my masters, and when I came here, I got a different perspective. I was more independent and I saw how people were really appreciative of my style.”
After her friends encouraged her to start her own fashion blog, Jain looked into the idea of pursuing fashion content creation as a full time career.
“They told me ‘Why don’t you start blogging, you’re always posting your outfit pictures.’”
Although Jain started posting pictures of outfits and signature looks, it was the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 that Jain’s entire outlook on content creation changed.
“I really felt that this was the time that I can use my creativity, because I’m not going out and putting on good outfits, so I really have to come up with something that I’m providing to my audience.”
She recalls that her first breakthrough in content creation was a series that she titled “Faceless Fashion”, which went viral. This was when Jain decided to create series based fashion content relating to social topics that connected with her followers.
“All the people who followed me, they really loved that concept. I was trying to showcase different societal topics using my content, basically hiding my face and trying to showcase how we can talk about important topics using fashion.”
She credits fashion for being an inspiring source of conversation around important topics, and Jain believes that fashion is not just about wearing pretty clothes, but creating a valuable impact.
Throughout her career journey, Jain says that she has faced several hurdles, with the biggest being that she is one of the few influencers who was born and brought up in India and not in the U.S.
“Because I moved, I did not have anyone and I did not have any connections. I had to start from scratch to even have a small connection. I felt very alone in this journey.”
Jain explains that there are differences in relatability, even amongst South-Asian influencers, depending on whether they are born in the U.S. or immigrants from India. While Jain says that she has South Asian influencers to look up to, she also feels that there is a lack of South Asian immigrant influencers in the U.S., and without that community, she explains how lonely the field can be.
“It is a little hard for me to relate with them because I do feel that I cannot truly relate to their journeys. I work really hard to go to the events just to make one connection.”
Having to deal with the culture shock, Jain explains that adapting to the culture in the U.S. took her a while, whether that was pop culture references, or even simple day to day differences between what she was used to in India, and what the surrounding influencers grew up with in the U.S.
“As a person who has just moved and to gain that confidence and to network with people who are from the U.S. was quite difficult.”
Now as an established content and fashion influencer, Jain gets invited to attend several New York Fashion Week shows and events. At this past fall NYFW, it was Jain’s third time attending, with a record number of invitations.
“I was really fortunate this time to be invited to such big shows, like Selkie and Pamela Rowland, and I got to sit in the front row of most of the shows, so this was one of the biggest achievements for me personally.”
When asked about the recent trend of influencers who might not be fashion content creators attending fashion weeks, Jain stated that she noticed more influencers attending runway shows to take pictures but not attend the designer’s show.
Jain also explains that invitations to fashion week events don’t correlate with the number of followers one has.
As a fashion influencer, Jain says that one of the things she really appreciates about fashion week is that there is no difference between anyone who is invited to a show, whether they’re influencers or celebrities.
For Jain, she saw a difference in this year’s fashion week regarding an increase in size inclusivity amongst models, which has been a point of conversation amongst those in the fashion and influencing community for years.
“One of my favorite shows was Selkie, because they had many types of models and all shapes and sizes of models, which I truly appreciate.”
Although there has been major strides in the fashion community around size inclusivity, Jain feels as if there’s still a long way to go.
Especially within the South Asian fashion and clothing industry, Jain pointed out the lack of inclusivity amongst sample pieces given by designers to influencers and models to try on. While she noted that some designers, like Payal Singhal, have a full range of sizes for sample clothing pieces, others are still lacking in size inclusivity.