Exclusive: Creator Aashna Hegde On Her New York Fashion Week Debut, Daring To Dream, And Filtering Hate On The Internet

The Internet has become the hottest spot for all of us. A space that is keeping every generation at home busy, entertainment stations like–YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, amongst others, are doing the duties of a matchmaker. But in this case, the match is to be made between content creators and their audiences. From daily vlogs to dance routines, my favourite creators on the internet are always joining me for both breakfast and dinner. Using a variety of platforms that help them travel a million homes, content creators/influencers or rather social media stars are inspiring generations with flavourful content. This rising popularity is perhaps the only reason, why many are wishing for a career that is financed by the internet. And while I can go on and on about my list of favourite content creators, one name that has joined me for a conversation today has recently made India proud on a global stage.

Aashna Hegde, who is popularly known for her styling prowess, dance routines, music collaborations, internet’s favourite friends family–Damnfam, and also her distinct YouTube introduction that goes like–”hello guys, welcome back to my cha(aaaa)nal,” Aashna is one amongst India’s favourite influencers. With a virtual family of close to 1.1 million, Aashna recently became one of the first Indian influencers to walk at the New York Fashion Week 2022 for designer–Archana Kochhar. Talking about her ramp debut at the most-awaited global event, her journey so far and filtering hate, Aashna Hegde shares it all with us.

 

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A post shared by Aashna Hegde (@aashnahegde)

Q: You walked for designer Archana Kochhar at the New York Fashion Week. What was your experience like, considering it was your debut?

Aashna Hegde: It was such a surreal experience! Still feels like a dream, honestly. There was a moment when I felt nervous but overall, I was very excited. I must give all the credit to designer Ms Archana Kochhar because her aura is so calming that even the backstage chaos didn’t overwhelm me. She made me feel so much at ease.

Q: You wore a spectacular blue lehenga and cape from Archana Kochhar’s new collection and plus points for the sneakers. What about the look resonates with your personal style? Also, was it your idea to team the lehenga with a pair of sneakers?

 Aashna Hegde: I love being comfortable, it just shows on my face if I’m not. And even when I did the trials for this outfit, it was so lightweight and looked amazing at the same time. I did carry my heels with me but after I changed, I had very little time left and my sneakers were just there. Like I said, working with Archana ma’am is lovely, she’s open to new ideas and I think it looked amazing!

Q: From expensive purchases to international holidays, people think a content creator’s life is a dream. Burst some myths about the influencer life and tell your fans what they might not know about the drill.

Aashna Hegde:  I’m very privileged with my job and get so many wonderful opportunities but what people don’t see is that you’re playing multiple roles, all at the same time. You’re the model, director, storyteller, editor, stylist, photographer, hair & makeup artist, and producer. It all starts with you and only with time and resources are you able to let other people take on those roles. You are your own boss which has its pros and cons. It may seem like we can take time off whenever we want, but we also don’t know when to take time off, because it’s not a nine to five job. I still love everything I do and wouldn’t change a thing.

 

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A post shared by Aashna Hegde (@aashnahegde)

Q: You have often opened up about receiving unnecessary hate and fandoms getting into your personal space. How do you process and tackle hate that comes your way?

Aashna Hegde: It took me a long time to process all of it, because I took it all really personally. It still affects me, but it doesn’t take over my mental health anymore. Therapy has helped, introspection has helped and realising that I’ve worked really hard and will continue to do so is what keeps me going.

Q: While even a day at home becomes work or a vlog day for you, how do you then draw the line between private and public aspects of your life?

Aashna Hegde: There’s a very thin line for content creators, especially because we work from home. Every vacation I’ve taken has turned into work, every special occasion becomes a vlog. As I’ve grown and even faced burnout, I’ve realised that taking breaks is important. I’ve also consciously decided on what parts of my life I want to share on social media, and what parts I want to keep private. It’s still a very, very thin line but it’s important for me to do so.

Q: What are the measures that you take to protect your peace and filter what goes out in the public domain?

Aashna Hegde: It was a step-by-step process. I had to fix things that bothered me starting with the hate comments. I simply regulated my settings and tuned out the people that have nothing nice to say. Took a step back to analyse how much of me is really going out on social media. It has not been easy but I’m glad I’ve taken those steps!.

 

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A post shared by Aashna Hegde (@aashnahegde)

Q: Share some tips for an aspiring creator or someone who’s hoping to build a career on the internet?

Aashna Hegde: I didn’t see success overnight. It happened very gradually, and I’ve been very patient. You need to see yourself reaching those heights, you need to have conviction in yourself. Consistency is also what will push you to pave a way for you.

Q: There are so many names joining the race in terms of content creation. How do you make sure your content looks different from the rest, and that you hold a unique voice?

Aashna Hegde:  It’s scary to be very honest. I do think about it, but those thoughts don’t seep into my work. I’ve always loved trying new formats, I’ve grown with and in front of my audiences and they’ve been very receptive to new ideas. I don’t want to stay stagnant. I enjoy vlogging, singing, and experimenting with my style and I try and bring all of that to my page in different ways.

 

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A post shared by Aashna Hegde (@aashnahegde)

Also Read: Exclusive: Creator Niharika NM On Her Cannes Debut And Award, The Influencer Life, And Transitioning To Bollywood

Q: A star-struck moment for you?

Aashna Hegde: Recently it was Alia Bhatt. I’m so mesmerised by her on-screen presence and seeing her in real life was something else.

Q: Tell us the 3 things on your bucket list that you secretly want to tick off by the end of this year.

Aashna Hegde: One of them was to represent India on a global platform and thanks to the amazing people at Instagram and designer Archana Kochhar, I was able to do that at Vidcon and New York Fashion Week. The second is to have the courage to share my passion for music with everyone. The third would be to help animal shelters as much as I can using my platform. 

 

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A post shared by Aashna Hegde (@aashnahegde)

Image Credits: Instagram

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Jasveen Kaur Sawhney

Jasveen Kaur is a fashion writer, and pyjama hoarder, who loves watching interviews of all kinds, and checking her Pinterest mood board every hour!

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