A Pop-Up Star
“My online store is my baby and means a lot to me. I have never worked as hard as I did to put this store together. It was a huge challenge but worth it!”
She majored in criminal justice and English literature, and minored in dance from George Washington University, USA. She had ambitions to become a lawyer while growing up, but Pernia Qureshi ended up being a top stylist and fashion entrepreneur. Working in the fashion industry as a stylist in New York, she found her footing and brought that back to India. “New York was a great learning experience for me. It laid the base on which I built my career.” Upon returning to Delhi though, it wasn’t easy at first. “I found it hard to relate to disorganisation, unpunctuality, and unprofessionalism in some cases.”
Pernia worked independently with top Indian designers on their campaigns, look books and fashion shows. She also began styling for Indian cinema with movies like Aisha (2010) and Thank You (2011). Simultaneously, she poured her energies into building possibly India’s first curated fashion shopping portal, perniaspopupshop.com (PPUS), which has been a resounding success. While she works for her online store 24/7, she remains interested in styling for cinema, awaiting the kind of projects that would spark her interest.
Evidently, having worked on every aspect of her business, she is connected to it in a way that is different from her independent projects. “It is hard to pinpoint one aspect as the most challenging or enjoyable. I am involved in everything and I get a sense of overall satisfaction and pride from my work.” She has a busy day, but manages to involve her love for dancing in it. “These days my schedule is off. Normally I wake up, have breakfast, move on to spending two hours in my Kuchipudi class with Raja and Radha Reddy and Kaushalya Reddy, get home, shower, lunch, head to work at PPUS, and reach back home for an early dinner.”
Whether at work or at an event, she knows how to work the styling charm, while being appropriate to the occasion and respecting the dress code. “My personal style is classic, feminine and sometimes sexy.” Her most treasured piece of jewellery remains her grandmother’s earrings that the latter wore at her wedding.
She’s looking ahead, but her thoughts are simple. “I don’t feel like I have reached any milestone professionally yet. Personally I have managed to have a family and a few friends that love me and dote on me. For me, that’s a milestone enough.” As for the future – “I don’t plan so far ahead. I just hope to be financially independent and creatively satisfied. I am inspired by so many things all the time. All my senses are constantly engaged. And success to me is measured in happiness.”