top of page

Fusing Fashion and Kink with Subculture

Strong, bold & confident: meet the homegrown label exploring leather as kink



Strong, bold & confident: meet the homegrown label exploring leather as kink, Subculture. We sit down with founder and designer Randhir Pratap Singh to discuss how his love of leather led to witnessing a gap in the Indian market for clothing and accessories.



Having founded Subculture in 2020, Randhir has generated a movement of leather lovers and kink explorers, providing high quality, handcrafted products for all to enjoy. As an alternative fashion brand , Randhir discusses the many barriers that Subculture faces including censorship and finding artisans to work with. As well as the supportive queer community who have jumped on the Subculture train and are in for the ride!


 



How kink and fashion overlap

Subculture's collections cater beautifully to the thriving kink scene, but Randhir tells us how, for him, it was always about the fashion, explaining how "the brand was born out of the wide gap in the market... But because I have a brand like this, people assume I'm very kinky. But I'm not. I have my kinks but they are a bit different to what you may imagine".



Having originally set his intensions on being a doctor, Randhir's life took a different turn when he secretly applied to study fashion . Being accepted by one of the best fasion schools in India, Randhir's interests took him towards specialising in leather. His love for style icons like Grace Jones and Madonna wearing corsets and kink accessories led Randhir to witness a gap in the market, asked friends to bring him pieces from abroad. It was here that Subculture was born - creating unique pieces and accessories from harnesses to collars, paddles to panties.


The products at Subculture aim to bridge the gap between fantasy, leather fetish fashion, and utility



Challenges

For Randhir, there have been three major challenges his faced while building Subculture. The first was finding craftspeople and leather artisan's who were willing to work with him. Randhir reflects on how "I went to so many pattern masters before I had a breakthrough" seeing how a conservative culture tends to encourage people to stay working with what they know.



The second issue was the censorship of meta (social media platforms), payment gateways and big corporations (indirectly linked to the government) creating barriers in how Randhir markets and sells his items. From censorship to being blocked on e-commerce sites, his brand is continually sabotaged by restrictions that limit his growth. "Its annoying, its frustrating and it's so hard - I never thought these would be the problems I would face". This and an additional problem of finding affordable models wanting to fashion Subculture's brand is something that Randhir has also witnessed as a constant struggle.



I never thought these would be the problems I'd face... but there are these lovely nice angels who want to be part of this train that is leaving!


Finding solace in the queer community is something that's helped Randhir keep afloat and feel supported during the tougher moments of moving the brand forward. "There are these lovely nice angels who want to be part of this train that is leaving! And I usually tell people this train is leaving anyway, it's going to go - it's up to you if you want to get on this train or not"



Changing the culture

When talking about the turning point in Randhir's life that led to launching his own brand, he tells us how "I decided when I have time, confidence and money I will do Subculture. So I came back to India, the pandemic happened and it allowed me to focus completely on the brand."



It was during this pivotal time of the pandemic that Randhir witnessed more pleasure brands grow in India. Before, Randhir saw no-one doing kink apart from himself, whereas now he explains how more and more people are being drawn in that direction. "I'm happy because we're all entrepreneurs and it means what I'm doing is successful and in the right direction because it's making other people want to do it aswell".


Subculture is much larger than me, I call it a revolution



As Randhir continues to evolve both as a designer and entrepreneur, we witness his community expand, harnessing their sassy sides and liberating themselves through kink and leather. It is with excitement that we wait for the next collection from Subculture to launch - be sure to stay up to date with all the new designs and accessories by visiting the Subculture website and give them a follow on IG @leathersubculture.


Check out Subculture's Original campaign video below:




 

Visit Randhir on IG @maharaja_of_india and keep up to date with Subculture @leathersubculture and @subculture.india


Interview by Bethany Burgoyne @bxsassy2


Tracklist:

Helm of the Night - Subculture campaign video

Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar - Shyama, Guru Dutt, Shamshad Begum, Aar Paar Song

Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja

Troye Sivan - Rush

Elvis Presley - That's All Right (Prince From Another Planet, Live at Madison Square Garden, 1972)




23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page