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Upalina Gupta

Digital Creator & Stylist Upalina Gupta On Creating Her Own Niche In A Highly Saturated Content Space

Digital creator and fashion stylist Upalina Gupta has a persona that is custom-made for the camera. She’s so effortless and confident at shoots that you’d never imagine that Upalina was camera shy when she faced it for the first time at POPxo. In fact, she joined the company as a stylist and her first video appearance happened by pure chance.  She had to fill in for an actor to wrap up an urgent video and that is when the magic happened. Upalina went nervously through the shoot only to realise that it wasn’t so bad after all. “It was a revelation. I had just been myself and that resonated with the audience. The response was overwhelming,” she recollects. Soon enough, Upalina shot her second video and suddenly, all inhibitions were gone. She did a great job and the video was a major hit. The audience responded to her warm, effervescent persona and shazam! POPxo’s new video star was born. 

Today, Upalina juggles her multiple roles as a video producer, talent, and senior style consultant at POPxo while effortlessly managing her freelance projects. Amid shooting, content ideation, sourcing, and a plethora of other tasks, it is a busy life for her. As someone who keeps her days neatly calendared and organised, Upalina definitely likes the fast pace of things. You will always catch her running between tasks, busy as a bee, but never hasty and ever so graceful.

Upalina Gupta

Before navigating her multi-hyphenated life, Upalina was exploring the behind-the-scenes mechanics of commercial fashion. The Pearl Academy of Fashion graduate started off her career with a fashion styling and wardrobe consulting role at Zee News. She had a natural flair for styling and loved every moment at the job despite working on long, exhausting assignments. She later took on similar styling roles at E24, Moksha, and Jabong before finally joining POPxo. Here, the world was her oyster and from styling to acting to production, she was doing it all. Interestingly, it also marked the beginning of her career as an Instagram influencer.  

For an influencer in today’s fashion milieu, it is all about standing out in an already saturated place. As a style expert, Upalina has mastered that art. Her Instagram feed conveys simple elegance and demonstrates how even the basic garments can leave a lasting impression. With “less is more” being the crux of her fashion philosophy, there is a soft and minimalistic sensibility to both her work and personal style.  

As someone who has made a ubiquitous influence on POPxo’s followers and the fashion community over the past few years, Upalina is an integral part of our #POPxoWomenWhoWin series. In a candid chat with POPxo, she talks about juggling various roles, the joy of working both on and behind the camera, and the work ethics that have helped her stay at the top of the game. Excerpts below. 

How do you begin your day?

I begin my day with a hot cup of tea and my to-do list that I work on the night before. Regardless of what profession you are in – working from home or an office – following a routine to hammer out your objectives for the day is very important. Block your hours, realistically time to individual tasks and make sure you follow the timelines you set for yourself. You’ll be surprised to see how productive and efficient your day will be. Make sure that you have checked off most of the tasks on your list by the end of the day. 

Upalina Gupta

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I start with the list of my objectives/ goals for the day and block hours for each task. That way I can plan my day efficiently and there is no room for procrastination. It also helps me stay focussed and track my productivity. A typical workday will start with replying to emails and finishing up client calls. If I’m not shooting then I will ideate, work on my scripts, do some research for my video content. But at the end of the day, I save some time for self-discovery or discovery of the world. I make sure I end my day by reading or watching personal development books or videos.

Tell us about your first experience in styling. How did it all start? 

I have always been very fascinated by all the work that goes behind a photoshoot or a video shoot. My first ever project was in college where I assisted a Bombay-based stylist for an ad. It was an interesting experience. I was responsible for choosing and coordinating outfits for models and actors, including props and accessories, most fitting for both the protagonist and the script. Got a chance to work closely with the crew, talents and learned quite a lot about shooting. It was a 30 hour long shoot, super hectic and we were exhausted but I loved every minute of it. 

You also happen to be POPxo’s current video star. From styling to acting–how did it pan out for you?

Acting was never something that I planned to do. I joined POPxo as a stylist and had, in fact, specified that I am very camera shy. One day at the shoot, I had to fill in for someone to shoot an urgent video and that’s where it all started. I was fumbling, scared, and wasn’t sure about it. However, the shoot broke some inhibitions. It was like a revelation and made me realise that it wasn’t so bad to be in front of the camera after all. We started off with simple videos, challenges, etc. where I could be basically myself and that resonated with the audience. It was definitely the comments that kept me going. For every bad comment, there was a counter-reaction and really kept me going. 

What would you say has been the biggest turning point in your career?

When I decided to start working independently. It was scary in the beginning but now I am happy that I made that decision. Now, I value my time even more and make sure that I make the most of it. 

Upalina Gupta

What are the skills or qualities that have helped you succeed?

I’m always open to learning new things and looking for opportunities to improve and up my game. I have always proactively reached out to people I was interested in, in my team or organisation from different departments to learn more about their work. Being a stylist or a talent was not enough. One needs to constantly think about how to level up. It’s the only way one can grow out of their current position. Secondly, being a good team player has helped me a lot. Creating an ecosystem with the right set of people is integral. It is important to have a space where we can have collaborative discussions, solve problems, ideate, and drive productive outcomes. 

A mantra that you swear by in your professional and/or personal life?

Sometimes failure teaches you more than success – so don’t be afraid of constantly experimenting, trying new things and looking for opportunities to improve.

Upalina Gupta

How would you describe your own style?

I love the concept of minimalism and that less is more. I’m always trying to remove excess items from my wardrobe, living space and decluttering my mind to focus more on things that matter. And this very strongly reflects in my personal style.

Three life-changing fashion tips that you swear by?

-If you feel it the world will get it. Never try to fit in. Confidence is a game-changer.

-Work with your body, not against it. It’s your temple so love and respect it.

-Embrace your uniform and be authentic. Don’t just blindly follow the trends, make it your own.

What advice would you give to people considering a career in styling?

Be authentic and work towards building a brand. And now in the age of digital media make sure you’re showcasing your projects, experiences, and skillsets through an online portfolio / personal website. Never stop experimenting.

And lastly, how do you unwind?

Listening to some good music, or watching one of my favourite movies with my favourite food—that’s my best way to unwind.

Featured Image Courtesy: Upalina Gupta

02 Dec 2021

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