8 Best LGBTQI+ South Asian Fashion Influencers to Follow

DESIblitz looks at the top 8 LGBTQI+ South Asian fashion influencers who are styling their way through the fashion industry.

8 Best LGBTQI+ South Asian Fashion Influencers to Follow

"I usually dress… sophisticated maximalism."

As the fashion world expands with growing trends and styles, there are more LGBTQI+ South Asian fashion influencers reigning supreme.

From their colourful threads to daring patterns, these personalities are making their mark on the industry.

Not only are they unapologetically stylish, but their trendsetting ensembles are also impacting more LGBTQI+ individuals.

However, that’s not to say that their outfits aren’t impacting numerous audiences, because they are.

From thousands of Instagram followers to praise from the likes of Elle and Vogue India, these fashionistas are doing it all.

Many more people are looking to switch up their wardrobes or experiment more with the basics.

So, take some worthy inspiration from these LGBTQI+ South Asian fashion influencers and their stunning garments.

Alok Menon

8 Best LGBTQI+ South Asian Fashion Influencers to Follow

Alok Vaid-Menon is more than just a fashion guru, they are a globally recognised writer, performer and media artist.

Known for their experimental style, Alok fuses vibrant colours, South Asian patterns and daring fits.

Having designed three collections themselves, all of which are gender-neutral, they possess this thrilling look at how flexible fashion can be.

This expansive nature is what makes Alok so influential. Combining frilled skirts, sleeveless vests and open toe heels makes their fits unique and expressive.

With over 1 million Instagram followers, Alok’s chic appearances are redefining what fashion is.

They have carried on their tremendous work in breaking down the barriers of ‘normality’ in publications such as Femme in Public (2017) and Beyond The Gender Binary (2020).

All of their outfits are about self-expression and capturing the true essence of different identities.

From styling an Adidas dress with Desi inspired accessories to a flaming hot printed black skirt with a mustard-yellow blouse, Alok is a catalyst for the industry.

Instagram: @alokvmenon

Vivek Shraya

8 Best LGBTQI+ South Asian Fashion Influencers to Follow

Although she is most popular for her books, Vivek Shraya is a trailblazing individual within the fashion world.

The Canadian made her mark within music with multiple album releases but went on to do fantastic work across different sectors.

One of the most prominent avenues she excels is fashion. In 2020, speaking to Elle Canada, Vivek described her style as:

“I usually dress… sophisticated maximalism.

“My friends would describe my style as ‘more is more’!”

This is certainly seen within the artist’s dynamic outfits that ooze with different hues, cuts and textures.

From donning a glimmering purple ‘saree dress’ to rocking an embezzled denim vest jacket, Vivek’s ensembles are fearless.

Accompanying most of her fits with a statement bindi shows the fashionista’s pride in her South Asian heritage.

It’s this gala of self-love, culture and elegance that make Vivek one of the great South Asian fashion influencers.

Instagram: @vivekshraya

Maitrayanee Mahanta

8 Best LGBTQI+ South Asian Fashion Influencers to Follow

Maitrayanee Mahanta is one of the emerging faces within fashion but that does not take away from their intense outfits.

The ravishing Maitrayanee doesn’t shy away from playing around with silhouettes and textures.

The stylish individual has a classic and chic appearance and their outfits are simple to replicate with items already in your wardrobe.

However, Maitrayanee’s work covers all basis of fashion for more inclusivity for the LGBTI+ community.

They walked in Indian brand Hrdoyh’s 2020 fashion show and also wore multiple garments for Indian designer, Debashree Das.

One amazing bridal outfit designed by Debashree was showcased by Maitrayanee.

In 2021, they rocked a wedding-inspired ensemble that consisted of flared white trousers and a Victorian-inspired jacket with accentuated sleeves and floral detailing.

However, the South Asian fashion influencer isn’t afraid to tone it down.

From tonal autumn brown blouses with layered sleeves or styling a retro polo with slim jeans, they sport it all.

Instagram: @mmaitrayanee

Tejeshwar Sandhoo

8 Best LGBTQI+ South Asian Fashion Influencers to Follow

A staple amongst South Asian fashion influencers is the Delhi-based Tejeshwar Sandhoo.

Recognised as one of India’s most popular menswear bloggers, Tejeshwar’s style is all about playing with different fits and patterns.

He is a big advocate for combining garments that work for the overall look.

For example, pairing a silvery double-breasted suit with extremely flared trousers and a simple white t-shirt and trainers.

Or, even wearing a tanned co-ord set that consists of a beautiful slim shirt and balloon-fitting trousers.

This playful attitude towards his wardrobe stems from his viewpoint that fashion is identity.

In 2017, Tejeshwar spoke to the platform, The Quint, about how fashion is about being yourself, no matter what people think:

“Embracing your feminine or masculine side is something very few of us have the courage to do.”

“I encourage the men of today to go out and experiment with their clothes till they find their voice, which is so important.”

The star has worked with megabrands like Gucci and even shares more in-depth styling tips on his website.

Instagram: @blueberryblackout

Anwesh Sahoo

8 Best LGBTQI+ South Asian Fashion Influencers to Follow

Anwesh Sahoo is widely recognised within the fashion industry and fellow LGBTI+ South Asian fashion influencers.

He was the youngest winner of Mr Gay India in 2016, aged 20.

However, it was Jean Paul Gaultier’s 1995 spring/summer collection that influenced the decadent outfits we see now.

It was this different realm of fashion that allowed Anwesh to explore his own identity through clothes and accessories.

So it’s no surprise that his ensembles also highlight self-expression and non-judgment.

Simplistic combinations like a black t-shirt tucked into jeans and paired with suede heeled boots is dazzling.

But even more glamorous outfits like a corset paired with an off-the-shoulder shirt, purple flared trousers and heels is luxurious.

From taking a scroll, viewers can even see how Anwesh plays around with different fabrics and layers for desired styles.

The versatility he has with showcasing high-fashion fits contrasted with more minimal ensembles means anyone can get inspired by his looks.

Instagram: @anwesh.sahoo

Durga/Shakti

8 Best LGBTQI+ South Asian Fashion Influencers to Follow

Durga, who also goes by Shakti is India’s first drag king, and their style is all about embracing the elements of life.

Oozing with extreme positivity but also highlighting the challenges of the modern world, Durga is an activist through both drag and fashion.

When speaking to Elle India about pride, they revealed:

“To me, pride isn’t about my gender or sexuality.

“When I think about pride, I think about taking pride in everything I do – everything I touch, everything I feel.

“It means to take pride in my own existence with every breath I take.”

These are the types of characteristics people see in Durga’s outfits. They bring this jubilant and experimental energy to their fashion.

Such as donning knee-high black boots with a flamboyant bright shirt and oversized leather vest.

Or grab inspiration from her purple co-ord which was elevated by a slim blazer, wide trousers with white detailed stitching.

Durga never fails to amaze with their gracious looks, especially when accompanied by ravishing makeup designs.

Instagram: @durgagawdestudio

Anthony Gomes

8 Best LGBTQI+ South Asian Fashion Influencers to Follow

Anthony is one of the most impressive South Asian fashion influencers.

Representing the LGBTQI+ community, his fashion is a fusion of his cultural heritage, modern textures and layering.

With over 60,000 Instagram followers, many people can grab an obscene amount of inspiration from Anthony’s fits.

His ‘Indo-Western’ take on fashion is extremely refreshing.

From pairing a kurta with a fur coat to rocking South Asian blankets as a jacket, his unique ensembles are daring.

His social feeds also include innovative styling tips directed to South Asians or those generally looking to elevate their wardrobe.

An example of this is his “3 ways to style a hoodie, but make it Desi” reel where he pairs a hoody up with a shawl, kurta blazer and embezzled jacket.

All of Anthony’s looks are tremendous. He not only embodies the Desi vibrancy but allows you to challenge your creativity when picking outfits.

Whether it’s for a wedding or a walk with friends, his catalogue of outfits is diverse, modern and culturally alive.

Instagram: @antorvingomes

Sushant Divgikr

8 Best LGBTQI+ South Asian Fashion Influencers to Follow

Sushant is a globally recognised name within the fashion and LGBTQI+ communities.

The vocalist, actor and model is a drag icon and also won Mr Gay India in 2014. However, it’s Sushant’s trailblazing activist work and fashion outfits that get fans going.

Taking the same spirited energy from her drag performances, Sushant puts this vividness into her outfits.

She’s looked incredible in her Holi-inspired saree which had a jewelled encrusted corset blending into a multicoloured gown.

Even more western-inspired outfits like a pink pantsuit and leopard print blouse underneath are edgy.

With over 1.5 million Instagram followers, there’s no surprise how emphatic Sushant is in influencing numerous people.

She also is a mentor and ‘drag mother’ to Durga which further highlights her impact on South Asians worldwide.

Sushant has also appeared on the cover of huge magazines like GQ India, Runway Square and Rolling Stone India.

Her unapologetic take on fashion and exploring more daring ensembles is a great insight into perfecting your style.

Instagram: @sushantdivgikr

These incredible South Asian fashion influencers are redefining the fashion world.

Their hypnotic ensembles, expressive attitudes and cultural pride make them true catalysts for the future of the industry.

Not only can you increase your style points by taking after these influencers, but have newfound confidence with whatever you rock.

Browse through their catalogue of outfits and spice up your wardrobe using their tips and tricks.

Undoubtedly, these inspiring figures are making fashion a more expansive place.

Balraj is a spirited Creative Writing MA graduate. He loves open discussions and his passions are fitness, music, fashion, and poetry. One of his favourite quotes is “One day or day one. You decide.”

Images courtesy of Instagram.