Shyma Shetty

Tell us a little about yourself.
Cat-mom, optimistic futurist, design enthusiast, voracious reader, clothes hoarder, fashion fiend, full time clown and part time lover. I don't get bored.
I’m passionate about weird shit on the internet, lacy lingerie, the news, DIY projects, wordplay, dog gifs and women’s issues. I enjoy a good foot rub and thin mints. Maybe, even together.

Tell us about your label Huemn.
Huemn is a tool that celebrates the ‘now’. It is the language of our times and has a voice that is fresh, relevant, unafraid and most of all, fun.

Shyma Shetty for OLIO

2017 started with a bang for you. You won VIFF and put on an extremely thoughtful and relevant show. Tell us about how this theme came to be.
The collection, essentially, is a tribute to the individual. It's about having a voice and wielding it fearlessly - to speaking up and stepping forward. Every collection is heavily influenced by elements around us - whether it is the socio-political ambience of our times (which is far from ideal and bordering on dystopian) or conversations about gender and identity. Being a spectator or an armchair activist (read: facebook troll) doesn’t cut it in the times that we live in. In our presentation we always attempt to reflect the mood of the ‘now’ to provoke thought and inspire conversation.
We also addressed ‘inclusivity’ as a subject, which is a cause very close to my heart. It’s time to do away with all the ‘you-cant-sit-with-us’ attitude that fashion seems to have picked up somewhere along the way.

That's fantastic! (And what we believe in too) What was the process like?
The process of putting the collection together was quite the ride too. From shooting with the Mark Hanauer for our campaign, to casting our models and finding our muses, to talking to dozens of people in effort to understand our differences, and realize that in spirit, we all are the same... I feel like I came a full circle. I’ve learnt so much about myself and my community through the work we did in this collection and I’m so grateful that my life has allowed for that.

Has it started the conversation you hoped it would?
It’s super that we are all talking more about issues that matter (even if it’s social media sharing.) It’s super that you and I are having this conversation today. It means that we are being heard and that there is much scope to discuss and explore all sorts of viewpoints. There is no agenda here. There’s so much happening in the world today and I just never, ever want to feel like I didn’t say something when I could have. It will always come out in the voice available to me, and today, it’s through our work for Huemn.

Do you think it's important for artists to use their art to drive social change?
As Georg Lois famously said, “Why just be a creative thinker when you can be a cultural provocateur! Your mission is not to sedate, but to awaken, to disturb, to communicate, to command, to instigate and even to provoke.”

Tell me about your best friend.
He (Sahdev) is an extraordinary person I’m grateful to have. He’s incredibly affectionate, driven and fun and has seen me grow and loves me exactly the way I have always been. We is the chill-est, the ill-est.

Favourite childhood memory.
Spending holidays growing up in our coffee estate in Sakleshpur. Erecting tents in the woods and reading Enid Blyton till the sunlight went out or a snake decided to explore the tent. We fished and jumped on bundles of hay and made up so many cool games.

What do you do for fun?
I don't plan fun. I try to have fun everyday and it finds me. There are a lot of new things I explore and that keeps me pleasantly occupied.

What are you looking forward to?
2018 (to see where my micro planning takes me) and 2028 (to see where my macro planning stands.)

Describe your style in 3 words.
Effortless, unafraid, comfy.

Strongest woman you know.
Every woman I know is a rock.

Comfort food?
Tomato rasam, curd rice, a decadent chocolate cake.

What's Toto like?
She's chill.
She likes to cuddle more than I do, but she’s doesn’t ever want me to think she’s being needy so she plays a lot of mind games.

Current trend you love?
Oversized unisex atheliesure separates.

Current trend you will never get on board with?
I never say never. I wore mom-jeans last week.
(Incredibly comfy and makes your bum look strangely happy.)

Tell us about the illustrations you've made for OLIO. What's the story?
We hang out so much! I thought it’ll be fun to capture that in doodles.

All photos by Tenzin Lhagyal.


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