The Kollective, a group of innovative creatives that help uplift, build, and grow artists, brands, and small businesses headed by Kiran Rai and Baljit Singh has given us something beautiful to rejoice. They captured and showcased the essence, style, and coolness that our parents and elders would carry in their day-to-day and the ways in which they adapted to their new homes. This photoshoot has now been featured by Vogue Italia – in short, making the world stand up and take note of the Punjabi element and the potential of these elderly models.
Talking about this, Kiran Rai, actor, and filmmaker based out of Toronto, known by her creator name KayRay, wrote on her Instagram, ” I grew up with my family, many of them who are blue-collared workers, expressing themselves through streetwear brands. A lot of my style inspo is derived from their wardrobe, stealing pieces from their closets and hoping to ooze the same effortless drip that they possess.”
The picture series in Vogue Italia is called “New City: The Search For Home” and is an ode to the people of Nawanshahr, Punjab. This district was founded by settlers migrating from nearby towns of pre-partition Punjab. Each person featured in the series is a member of Rai’s family, who have at one point called Nawanshahr home and have countless stories to share.
Here are their stories!
Heading the show are Mohinder Singh Nagra and Surinder Kaur Nagra, two people who introduced her to streetwear brands while working for several years at Si Vous Play. These two are your fav neighborhood grandparents.
Pardeep Singh Nagra is an Adidas fanatic & pretty much owns a piece from every collection out there! He’s an athlete, activist, and educator.
Gurudev Kaur Pabla was born in pre-partition western Punjab, India (now known as Punjab, Pakistan). She’s the boldest bibi on the block and she knows what she wants.
Davinder Kaur and Hargurjit Singh are your filmi couple goals. They don’t go anywhere w/o matching one another.
Jeet Kaur is your traditional, sweet bibi, who enjoys tending to her garden in her fav Fila sneakers.
Joni Rai is your sassy queen. She’s always tapped in on the latest trends and is a bit of a shopaholic.
Manga Rai is the don. He runs the streets with his 18-wheeler and his fav hoodies.
We hope to see more South Asian stories featured in Vogue so that we can keep falling in love with it all over again!