Posts Tagged ‘lotha’

Zuboni Humtsoe

January 28, 2014

street style dimapur nagaland

street style dimapur nagaland
Zuboni Humtsoe, 23. Superwoman. Lotha NagaLives in Dimapur.

“I wish I could be 23 forever. That way I would have all the time in the world to run after my dreams. Don’t have to worry about getting old and doing things in a hurry, no?

I grew up here in Sema Tilla in Dimapur. There was nothing here. We would fly & chase kites, go looking for frogs, climb trees, steal bugri, steal milk from the army cantonment area, steal vegetables and coconuts from Catholic priest’s garden. As a kid, I think I was different. When other kids would talk about barbies and picnics and all pretty things, I would dream about traveling to new places. My sister thinks I am a ‘dreamer’ but I am realistic too and that is when I start doubting myself.

I studied Political Science in Delhi. I loved the subject. College taught me a lot about world and life. It gave me the confidence to do what I want to do and not follow the crowd. Here, in Nagaland, everybody is obsessed with white collar jobs, security of government jobs, and comfort of a pension. Working in the government is easy. You don’t even have to work at times.

I like observing how people dress up and style themselves. Since school I was fascinated by fashion shows and elaborate photoshoots in magazines. Part of growing up in a society that’s obsessed with vintage clothing also fascinated me. My childhood is flooded with vintage shopping memories — my mother and aunts would wear high waisted denims with cotton crop tops and their favorite shade of red lipstick — a trip to the market was never complete without a visit to the ‘other’ side. We would have fun dressing up…that was happiness for us.

I like everything by Michael Buble. Sunrise & Happy Pills by Norah Jones are my favourites.”

Do you have any fashion icons?
I like Cate Blanchett and Frida Giannini.

If you could live somewhere else, where would you be? 
Japan.

Photographed and interviewed in Dimapur in Jan 2013.

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Stephen Lotha

April 3, 2013

fashion street style delhi india

fashion street style delhi india

Stephen Lotha. 29. Fashion stylist for Cosmopolitan India. Belongs to the Lotha tribe. Grew up in Dimapur. Lives in Delhi. Likes Guo Pei, Kris Van Assche, Sonia RykielThe Way we Wore, ACNE, Lana Del Rey, Keane, As Good As It Gets, Jessica Chastain…

Are you an optimist? Very much. I could’ve been a good pessimist but then I wouldn’t be happy.

How important is fashion to you?
I enjoy fashion. It makes me happy. I don’t mind people forming opinions about me because of what I wear. I care a lot about what I put on my back. I feel naked in denim and t-shirts alone. I feel the world is my prom and I need to dress up.

You studied English Literature at Loyola. How was it? And how did you get into fashion?
It made me speak better English. My feminist professor adored me. Nice people…that city. However, studying there was just to make my mom happy with a college degree. Fresh out of college I wanted to be independent so I took a job at a call center. Worked there for 3 years. Then one day Carol wanted me to style her portfolio. I helped her. A make-up artist called Chandni Singh liked my work and helped in spreading the word. It moved from there.

What’s the best and worst thing about Dimapur?
I like the fact that alcohol is cheap there. Also, the fashion for sure…the flea markets, and the quality pork. Worst: Well the roads are only meant for cows.

How often do you go back? Any favourite hangouts?  I go back once in a year or two. Hang out mostly at cousins’ places or occasionally at some bars. I love Dimapur but I could live without going back ever.

What do you think of fashion in Dimapur?
Fashion is ‘the all’ for Dimapurians. We thrive on it. Ask anyone. It’s fashion before food and air. I used to love it before people became richer. Now it’s a little vulgar with everybody acting too uptight and dropping brand names.

stephen lotha street style dimapur

You told me you grew up dreaming about making clothes..
Yes. Since I was 9ish. I used to sketch gowns and shoes all over my books and mom used to thrash me. Once mom collected all my sketches in a huge bag and handed it to my principal. I got 10 blows on my back. My grades were not too good either. She wanted me to do/become something else.

How was your childhood like?
Adventurous, really. I saw things that I wasn’t supposed to see. It wasn’t all gas balloons and butterflies, and hence it made me search for wonderful things beyond. The television was a box of magic and it made me giddy(not that we owned one). Back then I felt I should be on tv and make people love me.

Things like?
Mom and I used to live in a house made for poultry. Two years. We would lie in bed and see the stars from the holes in the roof. It was fascinating..but not during the rains.
I stayed in an orphanage for a year. Mom was poor. The place gave me free food and stay but made all of us work like crazy. I used to pull a cart carrying pig feed up to like 5 kilometres in Dimapur. I was 9. I know what is embarrassment, shame, what it feels like to be hungry, broke, and hopeless.

Any happy memories?
Well maybe the sundays when we were served meat for dinner. And mom visiting me once in a while. I used to cry when she’d leave.

What keeps you going?
Comic books. Strawberry ice-cream. My dreams of living in an Andy Warhol inspired house one day and a lot of money to buy good stuff pushes me. And on a trying day, a sincere prayer.


Photographed in Delhi & Dimapur.


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