Punk’s not DEAD

The capital's most passionate punk kids tell us why 'Punk' will never be dead!

Sportswear influenced fashion maybe in trend right now, with almost every major brand selling sportswear-inspired clothes and shoes. Fashion influencers, celebrities and street style stars are dressing the 90s way. And then there are those whose style is neither hindered by seasonal trends, nor dictated by magazines and fashion blogs, they always remain true to who they are. We caught up with the capital’s most passionate punk kids who share the inspiration behind their style and tell us why Punk will never be dead!


Jahnavi, 27, Social Media Editor and Content Writer @xahzen,

Oliver, 23 Drummer at Fun Suckers @yurshim_huileng

Lir, 26, Stylist @lir_visser91

Tsemola, 25, Vocalist for The Raven and Graphic Designer, @tsemola

How do you associate yourself with the culture ‘Punk’?

Jhanavi: My punk roots go way back to 1999, down into my early pre-teen days I was just discovering dial-up internet and late night MTV / VH1 when they’d give the Bollywood music a break and stream international music. I felt my inner voice reflected back to me through the likes of Blink 182, No Doubt, The Misfits and other indie rock artists who were not playing on the regular radio in Calcutta, my hometown. The subculture trickled into my consciousness, coloring my identity through blogging on Xanga, 4Chan, and Myspace where I connected with people outside my immediate reality. Their modes of self-expression felt more authentic to me than what I was experiencing as “popular culture” in India. I guess you could consider me to be slightly anti-establishment in my outlook, Avante Garde in my tastes, so the themes of confrontation, deconstruction, and angst in punk culture have felt natural to me.

Tsemola: The basics of punk culture is anti-establishment view. We stay in a society where everything new is hidden, I like to get that out.

Lir: I used to listen to a lot of Punk Rock, or alt rock music while I was growing up and some of the people whose style I love happen to be punk or punkish so I guess that is why I kinda dress this way. Honestly, I wouldn’t call myself a ‘PUNK PUNK’ since my style is inspired by a lot of different kinds of stuff.

Oliver: The music, the fashion, the authenticity of everything Punk that does not dilute with trends is what is very relatable.

@xahzen, is wearing: T-shirt, sleeve accessory, @punk_india; Skirt, Brandy Melville; Shoes, @demonia.shoes 

@xahzen, is wearing: T-shirt, @punk_india; Jacket, @noughtone01; Trousers, @hm ; Shoes, @demonia.shoes 

Punk style is often associated with the concept of embracing individual expression. How much of it is manifested in your everyday style?

Jahnavi: My mother had a hard time with me growing up because instead of choosing pretty jewelry and nice, sensible shoes I’d go for the chokers, crosses, studs, doc martens and dress more like a boy. Then I started getting inked and pierced which was another conundrum by itself. My wardrobe has always been equipped with the punk basics- the classic moto, the combat boot, plaid, leather, fishnets and oversized band t-shirts from the boy’s section. It’s not always dark and angsty though, I do like soft, feminine textures and colors, but I always find a way to throw on some add-on that gives it more bite and edge.

Tsemola: Punk has been a major part of me growing up and expressing through clothes was one. I do carry parts of Punk, like the ideology, the hair color and a lot of accessories.

Lir: My style is very personal to me. I’m a very shy and introverted kinda person so I like to express myself through my cloths. So when people see me they kinda get to know a little bit about me without me having to speak or say anything.

@tsemola is wearing: T-shirt, @punk_india; Skirt, @forever21 

@tsemola is wearing: T-shirt, @punk_india; Jacket, pants, @onlyindia ; Shoes, @spiritmoda 

What do you think are the common misconceptions about dressing up Punk?

Jahnavi: It’s not wrong to correlate punk culture with an epidemic of distressed youth who were disillusioned with the world and where it was heading. Anarchy, torn edges, and rebellion are major elements of being “punk” but these things don’t have to manifest in evil or destructive ways. It’s all just a wounded outcry against bigotry and greater imbalances that already disease society. I guess normies (read: normal people) misunderstand people channeling a “punk” aesthetic to be unintelligent, irresponsible, socially deviant and possibly dangerous which couldn’t be further from the truth. I think you have to have deep, artistic emotions and a sensitive heart to be the type to fall into this subculture.

Tsemola: People are scared of individuality, Punk is usually associated with being rude and involving drugs.

Lir: Most people think that they are into drugs and stuff.

Oliver: Who cares about misconceptions? In a society like ours, there will always be misconceptions about everything that is above normal.

Oliver is wearing: T-Shirt, cap from Club Factory; Shorts, jumper, @hm.

Punk is still considered as an underground style statement. Would you want the culture to grow esp in India?

Jahnavi: The true punk soul will always reject association with the mainstream. I think what should grow is the individual freedom to associate with whatever ideology they choose and to express themselves UNAPOLOGETICALLY in any way that feels true to their soul. I feel like that’s kinda punk, even if it doesn’t express itself through studs and leather.

Tsemola: As long as the culture does not lose its true meaning of self-expression, a rebellion of a positive kind and creativity, I do wish people don’t get stuck in what is commercial and look for more inspiration everywhere.

Oliver: The roots of Punk is and will always be underground. But yes, I do wish people in India explore beyond Bollywood and commercial music, beyond common 

@lir_visser91 is wearing: T-shirt, @punk_india; Sunglasses, pants, @Zara ; Full Jumper, @hm 

@lir_visser91is wearing: T-shirt, Shirt worn as skirt@punk_india; Jacket, @Zara ; Shoes, Currentmood 


On Key

Related Posts

@hm X @smiley

As @hm X @smiley launches in India, we go back to school with @kairosqui , @veegent , @serenamehtaa , @a_g_o_u , @kats__pyjamas , @ny4p1 , @ruru_sang and @gujralsahib , as they look back at the best and not-so-best days of their school life….

SSSPROFILE @j.kithan

..one thing that made us notice Johny other than his obvious confidence, supercharged energy and unhinged style was his story. To keep the intro short, let’s just say you will have to read the rest to know his story….
What we do want to tell you Johny is: we relate to you, we are sure most people will do too. We all come to the city to take what’s ours. They say you get what you take, we hope you take what’s yours and then some. And look good while at it….

SSSPROFILE @khushirathee

From ‘hating being photographed as a kid’ to not being able to drive around the country’s top cities without seeing her face across billboards in the new Levi’s campaign, Khushi has come a long way. We spend the day with the 23 year old fitness and fashion enthusiast who defines her personal style as ‘chaotic with intention’. There’s a lot to like about our October muse, read on…


What does a 21-year-old fashion design student, who loves fashion but hates trends, thinks about fashion right now. We find out with Delhi based design student Nyapi.

SSSPROFILE: @katoshistudio

We talk to Katyani and Yoshi who founded a queer-run independent tattoo studio that is also a space to explore their creative expression