Since launching in 2018, Diet Sabya has used its platform as an anonymous Instagram account to expose the imitations in Indian Fashion, or as they call it, #GandiCopy or #BadCopy.
For instance, in 2020, Diet Sabya called out Nykaa, one of the biggest Indian beauty retailers, for its toxic work environment. They also call out brands who charge a "fat tax" or pricing plus size clothing more than regular sizes. Its follower base consists of everyone from Diet Sabya counts everyone from bollywood stars to influencers and fashion students.
All of this hasn’t come without some controversy, though. Recently, they started a conversation about Desi fashion in the Indian diaspora which drew responses from users calling Desi fashion “tacky” and “outdated."
We caught up with Diet Sabya, below. And no, we don’t know who they are, our guess is as good as yours.
What was the goal when you first started?
We started out with the simple idea of calling out Indian fashion and design copycats or #GandiCopy as we like to call it. It was very much like what Diet Prada was doing for international designers.
Where do you see Diet Sabya fit in the overall digital media landscape?
When we launched in 2018, magazines were very much alive and thriving. It is the pandemic and their inability to cope with the constantly changing face of digital media that made them seemingly irrelevant. Don’t think we are here to replace magazines. We are here to talk about things that other simply don’t want to.
The Desi Diaspora’s Fashion Debacle™ got the wheels turning a few months ago. What’s the real tea? Do you think the supply needs to pick up the slack or is the demand only wrong?
The real tea is that NRIs don't know how to dress in ”Indian.” They are still stuck in a Bole Chudiya loop and that most of them are actually really tacky. (Bole Chudiya is a Bollywood song from an iconic film from 2001.)
Thoughts on certain fashion influencers in India?
You know what, we love them making a fool out of themselves. It's fun. We think it's the new found fame and power. It's wild to them. They can't handle it.
Instagram DMs and stories are a major form of communication for you, where you curate thoughts of other people. Do you think you will stick to this format?
We give our thoughts when there’s a need to insert an opinion. Our DMs are wild so we have to constantly filter it and curate the information. Alternatively, we want to give the audience an outlet to express what they want, freely!
How do you deal with covering industries like Bollywood and also maintaining good ties with your sources?
Come on now, if we don’t make fun of the rich and privileged, who will? If there’s anything the pandemic has taught us is that you’ve to be able to laugh at things.
DietSabya® on Instagram: "We truly love-to-hate MUAs 🥲😩. Discuss"
You have gained quite the fanbase, along with that also comes a lot of people that hate you or those who find you “toxic.” How do you see criticism as separate from hatred?
You’ve to absolutely stop reading or listening to what people think about you. That’s the only way. If we post any information that’s incorrect, we fix it immediately and move on. You definitely need a little drama else it can get boring
What has your experience been in calling out fashion houses for stuff like the fat tax? Who had the worst responses?
The fat tax issue was wild. Designers really took offense. But there were lots that stopped charging the extra. Can't name them but so many A-list designers
Celebrity tantrums to your call-outs: how do you handle them?
Celebrities have unfollowed, gotten upset, asked to take down posts etc. Celebs who make 7-8-figure salaries per job are fair game!
Finally, what next for DS? An identity reveal? Could we get the exclusive? I kid of course, unless… But seriously though, is anything exciting around the corner?
Identity reveal on the cover of PAPER Magazine? Yes please!
Photos via Instagram