Yatan Ahluwalia and Jojo have spent over a decade in the hair, fashion and grooming business. With a revolutionary vision, they have set up Y and E Style Media Pvt Ltd, which is India’s leading make-up, hair and fashion styling company. From creating statement-making runway looks to conducting workshops and to grooming corporate professionals, they have it all in their kitty. In an exclusive conversation with Salon India, the duo talks about their career defining moments and future plans.
Yatan: I started my career at 14 by contributing articles and features for several newspapers. At 16, the Limca Book of Records accredited me as India’s youngest regularly published critic.
Jojo: I started my career in Mumbai at the age of 16 and then trained at Complexions International, London School of Makeup and Morris Master Class International School of Hairdressing, London. I have lived and worked in London, Athens and Paris for more than five years. While in Europe, I have worked with the world’s leading fashion labels and design houses. I moved back to India in 1994 to spark the beauty and fashion movement in the country. Since then, I have been part of all the major fashion weeks and shows.”
Motivation to be a part of this industry
Yatan: I wanted to pioneer styling and image consultancy in India.
Jojo: I wanted to take hair and make-up to the next level.
Challenges in the initial days
Yatan: When I started, I had to explain what a stylist does and what an image
Jojo: Until I started, the industry was limited to salons. I wanted to break the norm and establish hair and make-up for high fashion.
Growth of the Indian hair industry
Yatan: Evolution never stops.
Jojo: We have come a long way, but still have miles to go.
Role and vision for Y and E Style Media
Yatan: As the Co-founder and Operations Head, our key areas are corporate grooming, soft skills training and image management. We work across multiple sectors like hospitality, aviation, tourism, banking, healthcare retail, media and other corporate sectors. As part of our Imaging and Grooming Programme, we cover creation of looks, makeovers, personal grooming and hygiene, poise, posture, consultation on clothes, uniforms and accessories.
Jojo: As the Co-founder and Director, I head the Hair and Make-up division and also work on trends, product selection, campaigns and promotional activities for numerous brands. Then we have fashion weeks and shows, bridal appointments, photo shoots, print and electronic media, news channels, product launches, events, films, advertising and bespoke clients. We have a team of over 20 well-trained and experienced stylists. Makeovers, personal appointments and consultations are available to individuals (men and women) as well as corporate clients.
Yatan: Innovate and develop. The learning never stops.
Jojo: Be the first.
Advice for rising artists
Yatan: Be professional and always have something new to offer. You need to be both patient and practical.
Jojo: It takes time and experience to bring out your best. The day you develop a style, it’s time to retire.
Difference between fashion weeks and editorial work
Yatan: Style has to be real and tangible. People need to relate to what you do.
Jojo: Fashion is more about innovating and making a statement, while editorials need to relate to the reader.
Future and expansion plans
Yatan: I am working on my book, which is on style, etiquette and grooming.
Jojo: We are creating the looks for two leading hotel chains, an international bank, two retail chains and an airline.