A woman of grit and courage, that’s Shritika Agarwal for you. She has never shied away from pursuing what she wants and is easily one of the most determined people anyone will come across. From planning out her education to establishing herself in the film industry, the celebrity and fashion stylist has a journey that is uniquely her own. Here is her untold story.
Shritika Agarwal, born to Praveen Kumar Agarwal and Kavita Agarwal, is part of the Agarwal Marwadi community. Dad is a businessman who owns a franchise of Ximivogue, a Korean brand.
The outlet is located at Sarath City Capital Mall in Hyderabad. He also owns a textile store in Koti. It can be said she comes from a simple family where her mom is a homemaker. Shritika’s only sister, Dreeshika Agarwal, is four years younger to her and is pursuing a degree in BMS in Ethames Degree College.
Born in Hyderabad, most of Shritika’s education also continued in Hyderabad. With schooling in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Vidyaaashram Public School in Jubilee Hills, intermediate in Tapasya Academy and graduation in Villa Marie Degree College, her studies were uninterrupted.
The interesting fact here is, she simultaneously pursued a degree in fashion designing at the International Institute of Fashion Designing (INIFD). This is parallel with advertising and marketing in Villa Marie.
Furthermore, she went to London to complete a fashion styling course from London School of Trends (LST). That’s how Shritika is a certified fashion and celebrity stylist. Both her graduations and LST course were done in a span of three years, with no backlogs and she passed out with flying colors.
Life lessons during college
For Shritika, those 3 years were extremely difficult. During this period, she had seen life from close quarters, experienced good days, bad days, failures, ups and downs, success, betrayal from friends and sacrifice.
Her day started at 6am everyday. She had to get ready and leave home by 7am to attend Villa Marie college from 8:15am to 3pm. Shritika immediately rushed to INIFD fashion course from 3pm to 6pm.
Depending on whether there were extra classes, she would reach home between 7pm and 8pm. There is no relaxation yet, as she had to work on her projects from both colleges. This schedule continued everyday those 3 years. She says doing fashion designing and styling was not easy as the numerous assignments, projects and presentations had to be submitted on time. Marks were deducted for late submissions.
Ditto with Villa Marie, where she had to attend the rigmarole of constant tests and exams. Having 10 subjects each in both colleges, it was quite a task. Where other students had one half of the day free, Shritika slogged it out for 12 hours non stop, sometimes with no breaks for meals. However, she rose above the others by grabbing double degrees in record time.
Her primary reason for this time restriction stems from her family’s disapproval of her choice to pursue fashion designing. It was considered an unpredictable career with no future. Her parents argued that it would be difficult to survive in the industry. Hence, their insistence on her getting a ‘precious’ graduate certificate from a reputed college.
Even her friends in college neither supported nor encouraged her as they thought she was choosing the unimaginable task of balancing two streams at once. During emotional moments, Shritika almost gave up a few times. Riddled with self doubt, she sometimes lost her vision and wondered whether what she was doing was right.
Balancing all of it was understandably difficult as she mistakenly listened to people’s opinions. None took her side except her mother. Despite the struggle, she managed to complete her college journey with determination. She rightfully takes pride in this achievement as it is something few can manage.
The light in darkness
The path was not all thorns. There were light moments too. Whenever she finds time during weekends and holidays Shitika used to refresh her mind by visiting Malls and Exhibitions like Trends, Akriti, Sutra and others.
Here, she observed current trends, new fabrics, absorbed knowledge on brand sales, color palettes and even made contacts in the fashion industry. She did this whenever she required a dose of motivation.
Dedicated person that she is, Shritika sometimes attended other classes when her usual classes were stalled. It was how she learnt about interior design. Yet, she was most interested in fashion and obsessively collected surveys on brands and their releases.
Focus on Career
Born in the month of July in 1997, she wants to give herself time before getting married. Those 3 years of college were her opportunity to prove herself. Her mom supported her will and advised her to never depend on anyone, even a life partner. She trusts that nothing in the world comes free, not even water.
Shritika has her sights firmly on a luxurious future while focusing hard on the present. She plans to be a source of stability to her and her future partner through any highs and lows.
Whatever happens, she feels she will have the satisfaction of working on her interests and passion. She realized this right after her intermediate. Fashion would make her happier than any chartered accountancy.
Passion for travelling
Shritika has another obsession and that is travel. She loves to travel so much that she independently visited various countries, cities and towns and plans to travel all over the world and explore its beauty.
Without a flicker of doubt, Shritika’s biggest inspiration is her mom. Mother is the one person in this world who never judged her. Her support was constant during the rise to success and downhill to failures as well. There is a world of difference between how mom treated her and others treated her.
This made such an impact that Shritika is adamant about celebrating her success with her mother and no other, because why would anyone be a part of her happiness without being a part of her sadness?
Everyday, Shritika’s mother inspires her to overcome any situation. She thinks in her mother’s shoes during a difficult situation and does what she would have done. In her mind, there isn’t anyone else who is as strong as her mother, having seen and experienced life.
In this world, people only try to befriend you if they have a purpose, she shares. Shritika’s only other inspiration is herself. Considering her struggles, she says she can look in the mirror and affirm that she is her own competition. She is a self motivated individual with a lot of promise.
First steps in the industry
Shritika proves to be proactive when it comes to looking for jobs. She tells us that she used to attend various events and exhibitions.
On one such occasion she happened to make an acquaintance with a Mumbai based event organizer and celebrity manager. She remembers clearly the exact day the organizer called to inform her about a meet and greet for the Hyderabad audience. He had asked her if she wanted to style celebrities. Shritika jumped at the opportunity even though she was in the midst of her final year board exams.
This was back in April 2017. All she thought of was to start with one yes and then transform it into a million more. She worked with the famous and talented child actress Aashika Bhatia of Prem ratan dhan payo fame. Shritika bought her outfits and styled her, staying beside her the entire event.
Her personality and positivity earned the love and approval of the child’s mother, who bid her farewell with warm blessings and a small gift in the form of earrings. Shritika was overwhelmed with what she calls the best experience ever. Since then nothing has ever stopped her from working.
Soon she worked with many celebrities such as Sanket Mehta of TikTok fame, Akshata Sonawane of Splitsvilla fame, Chandni Bhagwanani, Anirudh Dave, Raashi Singh, Rohan Gandotra, Hiba Nawab, Satvik Sankhyan, Mahima Makhwana, Monal Jagtani, Nakul Roshan Sahdev of Gullyboy fame, Stefy Patel, Aashika Bhatia, Neha Deshpande Agarwal, Niharika Tiwari of Roadies fame, Maera Mishra, Vijayendra Kumeria, Diljaan Sayyed, Manjul Khatter, Ryan Larson and Krishna Krrish.
Other than her profession, Shritika is interested in becoming a travel vlogger/blogger. She wants to travel and capture every moment. As “it takes a lot of courage to move away from the comfort zone,” she hopes to inspire people to follow their dreams. She explains, “I want people to look at me and say because of her I didn’t give up.”
A glimpse into Shritika’s thoughts
A lot of people told Shritika that she is lucky to be doing the things she loves to do. She clearly begs to differ because it is not all luck. She reveals that she started at the very bottom and agrees there is a lot of hard work and dedication involved.
She does not define her career and consistently powered through to get where she is. She always kept her head strong and forged ahead, however sick or tired she was. Shritika says, “it’s very natural for our work to not always be a hit and not everyone is going to like everything you do. For me it’s just about giving it my best.” She continues to share that in the fashion and glamour industry, all you see is the end result.
However, it takes a lot of effort, madness, planning, scheduling, e-mailing, composition, marketing, sleepless nights, endless deadlines, etc; that takes place behind the scenes.
Stylists and the other side
Shritika Agarwal brings the struggles of a celebrity stylist to light. This profession requires one to be continuously updated about fashion and is only for workaholics who can survive the constant pressure the job demands, according to her.
She further elaborates, “this profession is all about loving what you do and being excited if life throws challenges at you. I’ve faced many hurdles while making a mark in the industry. As a stylist your job is not only to focus on the outfit of a model and celebrity.
You have to give a hand to a model, fix their hair in a jiffy, check if the makeup is on point, discuss the concepts and outcomes with photographers, curating the shots.”
She says there are a million things that can go wrong, which she faced firsthand. She did celebrity shoots, portfolios, exhibitions, high end fashion and designer shoots. But, they weren’t available all year.
Initially she used to find 3-4 shoots a month while she tried to contact local brands, event organizers, celebrity managers and exhibitors. Soon after returning from London, she stopped taking money from parents and began earning through fashion. She feels she can do a photoshoot even after waking up at 3am as she is an expert at it.
Life always throws challenges
In a candid insight, Shritika Agarwal revealed that social media credits are not enough. To survive she had to work in retail. Consequently, those hectic days resulted in her missing out on events, social gatherings, parties and celebrations. This continued for 2 years, working as manager for brands like Trueblue, Sin Denim, French Connection and Calvin Klein.
Shritika feels styling doesn’t pay much, although it is glamorous and people appreciate you. Hence, she collaborated keeping her portfolio in mind. She wants to put out her work in different mediums in the future. Like all professions, stylists should be considered equally and paid fairly.
She learnt to be self made as she never worked under an experienced stylist.
Passion or hard work?
Shritika Agarwal developed a thick skin to pursue her passion. She is a practical and competitive person who treats her career as a creative business to be built. She says growing any business is a satisfying process. It gets her very excited to come up with new ideas.
Her biggest drawback was taking the over glamourize platform like Instagram seriously. She used to compare herself to those on the app and feel negative about herself.
She feels that when go getters achieve their dream, they forget what they have achieved and look for something else. This may have happened with her, as she lost sight of her own happiness while looking into the prism of celebrity glamour.
Despite the obstacles, she continues on with all that she knows. For her, it was a dream to do the cover page for Tulip magazine. She worked for Tulip twice, once in December 2018 and later in October 2019.
For her, a stylist’s journey is incomplete without a magazine cover page. She worked with top ace designers like Tejas and Harish, House of Shachi, H-Label, Cyan Cew, Neha Bhatia Label and Archita Narayanam. She has two fashion designing shows in her kitty, where she showcased her own collection and launched it, all at a very young age.
Shritika Agarwal now plans to stop hindering herself and begin travelling and working with different brands all over India.
Current work credits
Being a noted name in the industry, Shritika Agarwal is working as an independent fashion stylist, styling about 20+ celebrities. She also lends her styling expertise for brand marketing shoots, tvcs, lookbook and magazine shoots.
She looks forward to 2021. This year is going to be bigger and better.
She does her homework before diving into styling a celebrity. She agrees she is very committed to stalking fashion brands, bloggers, fashion websites, fashion editorials, runway shows, Netflix shows and any fashion related content. “I take mental notes of every single detail that inspires me and then it lives in my brain forever,” she says.
According to her, the most fun part of her job is watching her clients get excited about looks that she creates. She also reveals that flip flops are a big no for her and that she would never put them on a client.
Most recent work
Shritika Agarwal worked with Akshata Sonawane, Anshula Dhawan and importantly, Syed Sohel Ryan of Bigboss Telugu fame. For her, it was an honor working with Sohel. Working with sohel was no less than another dream come true.
All of us have seen him on the telly, and in BiggBoss Season 4 Telugu he won everyone’s heart. For Shritika, from seeing him on screen to working with him, the experience was unbelievable. She exuberantly explains, “he is so much fun to work with. We don’t even feel we are on sets working.
He has such a vibe. I was with him for a whole day and it seemed to me the day passed in minutes. Very jolly nature to work with. I’ve big plans to work with celebrities like him. I hope everything goes well.
Shritika Agarwal states there are bigger and better days ahead. Instead of sharing all the project details, she plans to rather complete it and show everyone. Asserting her determination, she quips, “I hope my 2021 also gets better and I work on big projects. Your girl Shritika agarwal isn’t going to stop. Whatever the situation is, your girl will conquer it and make it happen.”