A New Series Redefining Street Style Through The Lens Of The Punjabi Diaspora

A New Series Redefining Street Style Through The Lens Of The Punjabi Diaspora

The people of Punjab have often found themselves adapting to the rapidly changing world around them, and this aspect is evident in their fashion choices as well. It is an idiosyncratic quality, defining the spirit of ‘Chardi Kala’ (eternal resilience, optimism and joy) embodied by the Punjabi/Sikh diaspora. May it be adjusting to the ways of a new country by means of consistent hard work or even remodelling wardrobes according to the styles in vogue, the gradual shift in the fashion industry and the evolving trends is evident in their adaptive clothing. An amalgamation of cultural pieces and street style influences now dictates their wardrobe choices from renowned pop stars to the regular Punjabi uncle indulging in sneaker culture.

‘New City: The Search For Home’, is a series inspired by the cool outfits worn by our parents and grandparents, donning effortless street style-inspired looks with a mix of cultural clothing on a daily basis. It is a series that captures the essence, the style, and the coolness of the grandmas who pair runners with their salwar kameez and wear matching tracksuits with their husbands to go to the local farmers market.

Image Courtesy: The Kollective

As described by the team, ‘New City’ is also an ode to the people of Nawanshahr, a district carved out of the Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar districts of Punjab, founded by settlers migrating from nearby towns and pre-partition Punjab. Each person featured is a member of their family, who have at one point called Nawanshahr home.

Describing the motivation behind the initial ideas for this production, the team based in Canada explain the relevance:

“We wanted to put our parents and grandparents in the forefront, because there is never enough praise for them. They’ve worked countless hours after immigrating to Canada to provide a better life for their families. Without their hard work (and impeccable taste in fashion) we wouldn’t be the people we are today.” 

— - Baljit Singh (Photographer)

The Kollective

The creative director, Kiran grew up with her family, many of whom are blue-collared workers, who choose to express themselves through streetwear brands. Deriving inspiration from her family’s wardrobe, Kiran has curated the images by stealing pieces from their closets ‘hoping to ooze the same effortless drip that they possess’.

The team further explains their goal to disrupt what it means to be a model in mainstream media and hopes to break all the barriers and limitations when it comes to age, race, class, and body type while capturing the people who are championing these brands day-to-day.

Image Courtesy: The Kollective

Creative Agency/Producers for the shoot - The Kollective

Creative Director - Kiran Rai

Photographer - Baljit Singh

Stylist - Gagan Bassi


- Mohinder Singh Nagra

- Surinder Kaur Nagra

- Pardeep Singh Nagra

- Gurdev Kaur Pabla

- Davinder Kaur

- Hargurjit Singh

- Jeet Kaur

- Joni Kaur Rai

- Manga Singh Rai

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