Learn how to combine statement pieces to create a luxurious aesthetic.
By Nafisa Singhsachathet
Daan Sachdev is known for his minimal yet luxurious style that’s inspired by his work as a fashion image-maker. Having recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Fashion Styling, Photography, and Film from the Istituto Marangoni Milano, Daan’s credentials and professional portfolio reiterate how he’s definitely no stranger to the style circuit. During past Fashion Week seasons, he’s worked as a street style photographer, videographer, magazine guest editor, and dresser, while offseason, he works predominantly as an editorial and campaign stylist.
When asked how he got into fashion styling and photography, he replies: “For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had an interest in my mother’s Canon 35mm film camera and garments. I think that’s where it all began. As I grew, my schooling and education resulted in me shifting off the path a little bit, and I decided at one point that I wanted to become a doctor.
“Unfortunately, my school scores said ‘joke’s on you,’ and I remember just feeling lost at that point. Depression, it hit me like a bus, I felt like a waste and I started hating myself until one day I decide to watch a movie that gave me all the answers I needed. And no, before you guess The Devil Wears Prada (2006), it was actually a very inspirational and powerful documentary called Paris is Burning (1990). It’s fashion but it’s also very real, definitely one to add to your movie list.”
Throughout his explanation, it’s clear that fashion is incredibly personal to Daan with him describing how his style is influenced by what he’s feeling at a particular point in his life. “I can be in a chic, simple, black monochromatic look or something super loud. You never know.” He also draws inspiration from books, magazines, films, art, literature, photographers, and documentaries. His go-to is: “An old-school library because it has a lot to offer in full detail. But if you don’t have access to one, use Instagram, WWD, BOF, Dazed, Another Mag, and POP as they have so much to browse through.”
When asked if his style has evolved over the years, Daan said: “Oh absolutely! Compared to five years ago, I am more aware and contained at this point in my life. I wear a lot of tailor-made clothes that fit me like a glove.”
So why does he put so much importance on picking the right outfit every time? “My motto is that if I die, this is going to be the outfit my ghost wears for eternity so I have to choose well,” he laughs.
When it comes to styling outfits, Daan goes through a specific process that he shares: “Firstly, you have to decide where you’re going so you can dress accordingly. Personally, I will choose a statement piece and keep the rest very subtle and clean. Statement pieces can be a print, a bold colour, an accessory, or a different silhouette. But on top of it all, comfort is key. I guarantee you’ll look good when you feel good!”
What are your favorite brands and why?
“My favorite brands change according to season. Recently I’ve fallen in love with the Zegna menswear collection. GMBH is great, super unique and groundbreaking. Schiaparelli and Maison Valentino couture collections this season were majestic. Rick Owens is a bomb for non-binary, unconventional designs. Pigalle is serving us futuristic vibrancy while on the other hand Jil Sander is giving us chic, clean and minimal palettes. However, my top five that never changes are: Thierry Mugler, Versace, Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier and Prada. They define what fashion is – empowerment, art, politics and pretty much life.”
If you had to pick a celebrity who you admire for their style, who would it be?
“If you take a mixer and add Prince, Madonna, Princess Diana, David Bowie, Harry Styles, Cecil Beaton, Ryan Murphy’s brain, and Elon Musk’s bank account, and blend them all together, whatever person comes out of it is who I would pick as my celebrity style icon.”
What are your five must-have fashion items and why?
- A really dark pair of sunglasses – “Since I hate when people look into my eyes.”
- A statement watch – “Elevates everything”
- Eucerin lip balm – “I swear by this!”
- Camera and an extra roll of film – “It’s much more interesting to shoot analogue.”
- A woody but fresh perfume – “Gives a taste of yourself to anyone who passes by.”