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Home » How Fashion Helps Us Express Who We Are – And What We Stand For: Kaustav Dey (Transcript)

How Fashion Helps Us Express Who We Are – And What We Stand For: Kaustav Dey (Transcript)

Kaustav Dey

Kaustav Dey – Fashion revolutionary

I was around 10 when one day, I discovered a box of my father’s old things. In it, under a bunch of his college textbooks, was a pair of black corduroy bell-bottom pants. These pants were awful — musty and moth-eaten. And of course, I fell in love with them. I’d never seen anything like them. Until that day, all I’d ever known and worn was my school uniform, which, in fact, I was pretty grateful for, because from quite a young age, I’d realized I was somewhat different. I’d never been one of the boys my age; terrible at sports, possibly the unmanliest little boy ever.

I was bullied quite a bit. And so, I figured that to survive I would be invisible, and the uniform helped me to seem no different from any other child.

Well, almost. This became my daily prayer: “God, please make me just like everybody else.” I think this went straight to God’s voicemail, though.

And eventually, it became pretty clear that I was not growing up to be the son that my father always wanted. Sorry, Dad. No, I was not going to magically change. And over time, I grew less and less sure that I actually wanted to. Therefore, the day those black corduroy bell-bottom pants came into my life, something happened. I didn’t see pants; I saw opportunity. The very next day, I had to wear them to school, come what may. And once I pulled on those god-awful pants and belted them tight, almost instantly, I developed what can only be called a swagger.

All the way to school, and then all the way back because I was sent home at once — I transformed into a little brown rock star. I finally didn’t care anymore that I could not conform. That day, I was suddenly celebrating it. That day, instead of being invisible, I chose to be looked at, just by wearing something different. That day, I discovered the power of what we wear. That day, I discovered the power of fashion, and I’ve been in love with it ever since.

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