Photography by: Jasdeep Kang & Mared Hidalgo

Reva, AKA “Hybrid Hues,” stole the limelight  when she styled the hell out of one of BKBT Concept’s first staple pieces, back when we were known as This awe inspiring woman has taken over NYC by storm with her coding skills as well as her artistry. This twenty-something artist unites her passion for fashion with the beauty found within a plethora of cultures. In her unique way, she seeks to ignite deliberation on topics surrounding cultural, sociological, and political trends and stereotypes. Her stories and editorials are meant to make you think in a way you might have never imagined before. Reva achieves this through an artistic viewpoint while maintaining a positive stance.

In our interview, we discuss things like culture appropriation, (*Cough, Cough Coldplay I see you!) and culturally inspired styling.

Q) How would you describe your personal style?  Is there a person who is a fashion inspiration to you?
HH: My personal style is generally a reflection of my current state of mind. It’s the message I’m putting out to the world without actually having to say anything. Sometimes it’s political;sometimes it’s art;sometimes it’s just fun.

I think more than any particular person, my surroundings are my source of fashion inspiration:from the colors in my environment to the people I walk past every day.

Photography by: Jasdeep Kang

Q)Your style appears to have strong roots connected to India. It’s really cool to see your take on American fashion blended with styles from your own culture. Did anyone in your family inspire your fashion sense?

HH: Thanks! It’s honestly something that I’ve just started experimenting with. I’m a daughter of the diaspora so I’ve grown up with strong Indian culture (thanks mama and  papa). I learned to keep the two cultures  separate: English at school and Hindi at home;sandwiches for lunch and daal (lentils) for dinner;trousers for coffee with friends and saris for family parties. More recently, I’ve grown to understand and embrace what it means to be a hyphenated identity, what it means to be Indian-American. And my style has kind of transformed with that new understanding of myself. As much as I hate on my mom’s style, I definitely feel like she’s a major fashion influence in my life. Almost all my Indian jewelry is hers and I sift through her Indian clothes all the time to mix and match with my own pieces.

Q) I enjoyed your blog but noticed you had a brief hiatus , and came back with a post stating that you needed to  disconnect in order to find yourself. What did you learn while not posting?

HH: Haha yeah, I started Hybrid Hues straight out of college as a creative outlet. I was prepping to go to law school at the time and then suddenly a ton of real life shit happened in the time span of like 3 months which made me re-evaluate my entire life. My friends all had jobs and seemed like they knew what they wanted career wise, but I was completely lost. I was torn between pursuing my passion for art and fashion or sticking to a more financially stable option. What was most important to me was helping people and making sustainable, positive changes. And in order to do that, I needed money and resources. Basically, I needed to help myself before I could help others. My solution was a combination of my passions :tech, art and social change. Basically I needed to pull a Kanye and understand that I need a lot of money and resources to bring beautiful ideas to the world.

Photography by: Jasdeep Kang & Mared Hidalgo

Q) What do you do in your spare time?

HH: I’m a software engineer by day so I try to work on creative projects in my spare time. I’m also really into reading, Bollywood movies,Netflix documentaries,and pizza.

Q) Was your recent move to NYC prompted by its fashion related motives?

HH: I chose to move for personal growth mostly; I wouldn’t say it was fashion motivated. In fact, I was hesitant about the move because my entire creative network is back in California. I think you progress most when you’re out of your comfort zone, and California is definitely my comfort zone.

Photography by: Jasdeep Kang 

Q) What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?

HH: Damn. Umm, I can’t say I have a greatest failure but there are definitely things I look back at that I could’ve done differently in retrospect,like not believing in myself at an early age. I did well in school but I know I could’ve done better. There are so many half completed applications to cool internships and google docs with all this info on dope opportunities that I never completed because I didn’t believe I was good enough.

I’ve always been someone who  was good at everything but never great at any one thing. Now that I’m older, I understand that being a Renaissance woman of sorts can be a weapon. But growing up, it was tough. I procrastinated, made excuses for why I didn’t do better, and denied myself of a lot of cool opportunities. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is so important. It goes back to nature vs nurture,  And honing in on innate strengths and learning your weaknesses so you can build the best version of yourself.

Photography by: Jasdeep Kang

Q) Where did the idea for the “Not Your Dulhan” (bride) photography project stem from?

HH: This series stems from our life  experiences as brown womxn. Jasdeep, Pragya and I all come from different backgrounds, yet we all seem to have a “Mina Aunty” lecturing us about marriage at the dinner table. Most of the time, we brush off our parents’ remarks about all the “nice boys” that will be at summer shaadi (wedding) and how Mina Aunty’s son from Stanford is in town. But ultimately, we’re terrified – terrified of this notion that still somehow has the power to control our everyday reality.

Q) What did you learn or find out about yourself after the project was completed?

HH: I didn’t realize how deeply the institution of marriage and  its expectations affected me before “Not Your Dulhan”. The process of creating this series was really therapeutic because I was almost forced to confront my fears and my guilt. I was able to reclaim a level of consciousness.

Photography by: Jasdeep Kang

Q) Who’s your ideal collaboration subject? Describe someone who would inspire you creatively in terms of photography and style.

HH: Damn. I would love to collaborate with M.I.A. on a music video or shoot. Being an art director and stylist for a video like Borders is the dream. Using fashion and art as a tool of empowerment and dialogue with other badass womxn of color is the dream.