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Swat Style Snapshot: Satyajit Rao

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Satyajit Rao
Year: 2015
Hometown: New York, New York

For Satyajit “Saty” Rao, it’s all about thoughtfully pairing simple staples with a few special pieces.

This is evident in his current outfit, where each part seems to compliment the others, and the whole ensemble comes together over its dark color pallet. Roa is currently wearing a pair of black Doc Marten’s by Patrik Ervell with beige soles (perhaps the brightest part of his outfit). Well worn, these are one of his favorite pairs of shoes — he’s even worn them on hikes. His navy blue fitted pants are custom tailored, guaranteeing a unique fit, adding to his overall look. Rao often gets his pants hand made.

“While in India one time, I was looking for a suit for some event, and I didn’t want to go to a store and get a crappy one. I realized I could get them fit however I wanted in whatever material from a tailor,” he said.

Roa picks out fabrics and designs at home and bring them with him during his trips to India, having his family tailor-make them for him–literally outsourcing his pants to India. His black socks, black tee, and his navy blue and green plaid coat are all from Uniglo, a Japanese casual wear store with branches in New York City. His brown knit cardigan is Stephan Schneider, and his hat is a New York Yankees baseball cap because, as he states, “I gotta rep New York.” His bracelet, a gift from his grandmother, was originally an Indian necklace that he then fashioned around his wrist.

On Style Influences and Living in New York
Rao does not credit his style to anything in particular, but rather, he explains it as a sort of osmosis of his surroundings. Although born in India, Rao grew up in New York City.

“Living in New York, you see a lot of people going with what the current trends are” Rao said. “For example, a lot of people are wearing boots and workwear right now. I try to do my own thing, but comfort’s essential.”

New Yorkers can go pretty big on style, but Rao holds steadfast to looking and feeling comfortable in his clothes. He explains that he does not go for any particular look (although he does admit to going through a pretty big sneaker phase that he not quite yet shaken). Must-haves for him include black tees and chunkier, big sweaters, especially when it’s been so cold out! Roa also credits his style to independent films such “My Own Private Idaho,” “Blow-Up” and
“Le Samuraï” as well as the street style blog Superfuture. Like any younger sibling, Roa admits to sometimes “borrowing” clothes from his older brother.

“He dresses decently well and is into similar things” Rao explained. “His style has sort of rubbed off on me and I get free clothes every once in awhile.”

Guilty Pleasures and Sneaking into Fashion Shows
Rao is all about the sales, hitting up stores such as Uniglo to catch good deals. Furthermore, in addition to getting some of his clothes custom tailored, he’ll occasionally — as on birthdays, for example — treat himself to special pieces. Favorites include New York natives Patrick Ervel and Robert Geller, as well as Stephan Schneider.

Roa has also, on occasion, will sneak into New York fashion shows to catch some of his favorite designers in action. Whereas you might be picturing him sneaking under a tent tarp, Rao gains entry in a more clever way. He explains that “you’ve got to go in with a camera, pose as a photographer, tell them that you’re going to shoot this for a magazine, and they let you in.” He admits that this ploy does not always work, and the fashion world can be cruel in their rejection. Overall, it is obvious that when it comes to clothes, Rao does not put so much pressure on himself, resulting in a more genuine, almost effortless style.

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