The Word. Presents Who’s Creative Now List 2024 [Part 2]

A celebration of the coolest, freshest creative names of the year.

Courtesy: Pinterest

The Word. Magazine is pleased to present ‘Who’s Creative Now’ 2024…a celebration of the coolest, freshest creative names of the year in collaboration with Crocs. These are the ones to watch: actors, designers, creators, comedians, chefs, and more, who are standing out for their work in the creative field and that ‘je ne sais quoi’ spice that promises great success.

The Word. carefully selected these breakout stars, and each name on the list comes with impressive talent, individuality, and brilliant dreams. Add these creatives to your radar…you’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the coming months.

They are the ones who are creative now. 

They are the final Word.

Dot., musician and actor

Indie musician and actor Dot., who is on The Word. ‘Who’s Creative Now’ 2024 list, confesses to not knowing very much about style—“I just fall in love with my clothes and enjoy their company. I like clothes that have a story.”

However, Dot. (aka Aditi Saigal) knows a lot about music, having started playing the piano at the age of 6, composing songs at 12, releasing a now viral hit ‘Everybody Dances to Techno’ in 2017, and making her acting debut in Zoya Akhtar’s musical ‘The Archies’ [2023], where she essayed the role of Ethel.

In March last year, Dot. released her first single ‘Indigo’, followed by the ‘Bangor to Bombay’ Tour in April, with five shows across five cities. Her voice and unmissable presence lend Dot. a distinct presence…one to keep an eye on.

As for recent achievements she is proud of, Dot. reveals, “Learning how to dance on skates and then performing ‘Dhishoom Dhishoom’ in The Archies [2023] was a pretty big deal for me. I worked very hard and fell a lot in the process.” This year has already seen the release of her latest single ‘Girls Night’ and will see more before the release of her next album, ‘Sea Creature on the Sofa’, in 2025.

Dot. is wearing jacket and shorts by ALLNESSetc, earrings by Zohra, and shoes and Jibbitz by Crocs.

Sriya Reddy, actor

Actor Sriya Reddy has been commanding Tamil and Telugu films for a while, and, along the way, she has picked up much recognition—for her role in ‘Bharathchandran I.P.S’ [2005], she was likened to actor and politician Vijayashanti; her Tamil release ‘Veyil’ [2006] won the National Film Award and two Filmfare Awards; and ‘Thimiru’ became one of the top-grossing Tamil films in 2006. Then, ‘Kanchivaram’ [2008] received the National Film Award. And this year, she is riding on the successes of ‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’ [2024], ‘Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire’ [2023], and ‘Suzhal: The Vortex’ [2022].

A star to watch, Sriya is a natural on The Word. ‘Who’s Creative Now’ 2024 list.

“I’m very proud of being an athlete from a young age. I’ve always been determined to work extremely hard, knowing that success will follow,” Sriya shares. “For me, nothing is impossible.”

Style, for Sriya, is a personal expression. “I draw inspiration from my grandmother, great-grandmother, and mother. Beyond my home, I turn to the beauty and grace of Rekha ji, Indira Gandhi, and the simplicity of Smita Patil. I’ve always admired how former CM of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa wore her beautiful saris, with absolutely no make-up and grace,” she adds.

This year, Sriya will be seen in the upcoming Telugu action-thriller ‘They Call Him OG’.

Sriya is wearing a wrap skirt and top by Leh Studio, earrings by Zohra, and shoes and Jibbitz by Crocs.

Mihir Ahuja, actor

“My very first commercial, which was with [cricketer] Virat Kohli, will always be special… Being able to wake up each day and be lucky enough to do what I love is the biggest professional and personal achievement, for me,” shares actor Mihir Ahuja, who won fans as Jughead in the film, ‘The Archies’ [2023], and is on The Word. ‘Who’s Creative Now’ 2024 list.

Prior to this, the 25-year-old had acted in OTT series, but while still in college, Mihir secretly began going for auditions, which even his friends didn’t know about. “When I finally got a call for the ad [with Virat Kohli], it was a dream come true. Unfortunately, to my worst nightmare, I met with an accident on that very day and fractured my hand. I gathered the courage and went to the set without a plaster and shot for the ad (even though I was in pain) as I didn’t want to lose out on the opportunity. Later, I went to the doctor and got my hand plastered.”

Tenacity and dreaming big have made Mihir a rising star, who has a web show called ‘Ma Ka Sum’ coming soon.

The Word. Magazine is pleased to present ‘Who’s Creative Now’ 2024…a celebration of the coolest, freshest creative names of the year. These are the ones to watch: actors, designers, creators, comedians, chefs, and more, who are standing out for their work in the creative field and that ‘je ne sais quoi’ spice that promises great success.

Mihir is wearing a jacket and trousers by CountryMade, and shoes and Jibbitz by Crocs.

The image of kings began to be included on the covers.

In The Word.’s ‘Who’s Creative Now’ 2024 List are designer-duo Neha Singh and Pranav Guglani of label Cord, who have created a distinct visual identity and wide fanbase with their vintage-meets-modern creations. Each piece is made from ethically-sourced, natural fabrics, and they honour Indian crafts with details being hand-smocked and hand-embroidered, continuing age-old techniques.

Over the recent years, Cord has expanded its presence across the country, with concept stores in key cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. “We are really proud of the fact that these experiential spaces signify our journey and the essence of Cord,” Panav tells The Word. Magazine.

Neha doesn’t just play a crucial role in Cord’s visual identity, but also has a unique personal style that sets her apart. Speaking about her style influences, she reveals, “My style is a sum total of the cities I have lived in… I remember when I was in Shillong, everyone on the streets was the most fashionable person, it was alive with the most amazing trends, and it really influenced the way I dress.”

Neha in a dress by Cord, earrings by Hannan Jewellery, and bangles by Radhika Agrawal Studio. 

Pranav in Cord.

All shoes and Jibbitz by Crocs.

Saloni Kukreja, chef and founder, Indu Icecream

Chef and food content creator Saloni Kukreja has her fingers in many pies, pots, and pans. She is also an ice-cream whiz, paying homage to Indian ingredients with her brand ‘Indu Ice Cream’, an achievement she is “most proud of”. The flavours are delightfully nostalgic: from Kaapi Tiramisu to Strawberry Lassi. It’s a return to the roots…with a creative twist. “A large part of my food journey has been working with, for, and in service of communities. I believe food and community cannot exist independently…and to make this intention come to life, I co-developed a course in collaboration with Mento to help budding food creators kick-start their journey,” Saloni shares with The Word.

Saloni is a wizard in the kitchen, testing different flavours and styles, but when it comes to her style, she credits her sister. “My sister has greatly influenced my style…she taught me to not be afraid of experimenting with different silhouettes and my style statement.”

Saloni in skirt and blazer by Studio Moonray, T-shirt by Zara, earrings by Isharya, and shoes and Jibbitz by Crocs.

Dhruv Khurana, Founder, Almost Gods

Founder of Almost Gods, Dhruv Khurana credits Raf Simons [Belgian fashion designer] and Jun Takahashi [Japanese Fashion Designer] for inspiring him. “They opened up the world of fashion for me that previously felt inaccessible,” Dhruv tells The Word.

Dhruv has been busy defining a new cool: building community with his edgy brand that draws from history and mythology to create abstract prints. The young entrepreneur has been paving the way for a new fashion movement that champions bold imagery and gender-neutrality. Almost Gods’ bold imagery and gender-neutral, oversized sweatshirts and tees have attracted the attention of celebrities such as Machine Gun Kelly.

His contemporary fashion label engages in the discourse of fashion through a cultural lens, and is focused on broadening how people engage with clothes not just as garments but as markers of communities. Along with the flagship store at The Dhan Mill in New Delhi and another one in Gurugram, Almost Gods is also stocked across Europe and North America.

Dhruv in a hoodie and trousers by Almost Gods, and shoes and Jibbitz by Crocs.

Aaquib Wani, experiential designer

Experiential designer Aaquib Wani celebrates crafts from his hometown in Kashmir. He has even included Indian crafts in the kits for the Indian cricket team and served as creative director for Lollapalooza India.

“My Kashmiri heritage has deeply influenced my style. Being surrounded by artisans while growing up led me to cultivate respect and appreciation for craftsmanship, which constantly inspires me to create pieces that tell a story,” Aaquib tells The Word. Magazine.

Aaquib in jacket and pants by Pero, and shoes & Jibbitz by Crocs.

Agou Sitlhou, content creator

Content Creator Agou Sitlhou went from working in a call centre to following his dream of creating striking fabulous, editorial-style photographs. Playing with gender, make-up, and both style and imagination, Agou’s unique eye has earned him a spot in one of the country’s most creative.

“When I look back and reflect on my journey, I feel extremely proud of  how far I have come in life. To be able to live my dream, and create content for brands that I live is a big milestone for me,” Agou shares with The Word. 

Agou deeply admires Doja Cat for her style. “I think Doja Cat is a fashion chameleon in the true sense. She constantly shatters conventional beauty and fashion stereotypes and that’s very inspiring,” Agou tells us.

Agou in a dress by Vaishali S, earrings by Amama, and shoes & Jibbitz by Crocs.

Nida Merchant, DJ and musician

Delhi-based DJ, designer, and music curator Nida Merchant has performed at all the major festivals in India, including Magnetic Fields and Echoes of the Earth. She made her international debut with the legendary DJ and record producer Armin Van Buuren in Dubai; introduced her project, Paradisco, in Delhi, this year, and performed at Boiler Room in Delhi this June.

Nida is a dress by Rimzim Dadu, earrings by Amama, and shoes and Jibbitz by Crocs.

Alicia Kaur, model

The world is her stage, or rather, billboard, for supermodel Alicia Kaur, who made India her home 10 years ago, rose to fame, and recently graced Sabyasachi’s covetable campaigns on New York’s starry billboards.

“It’s not so much who, but ‘what’ has influenced my style. And the answer is modelling. I have a wardrobe for every situation, love mixing and matching pieces to create a look that makes me feel confident and comfortable in my body,” Alicia shares.

Alicia a whole food, plant-based vegan, and, in her spare time, she pursues hobbies like yoga, swimming and sunbathing, cooking, sewing, digital drawings, and playing the handpan, a musical instrument. She is most proud of ‘Supermodel of the Year’ in India in 2023…and will soon be seen in a series on Netflix.

Alicia in a biker blazer by Rajesh Pratap Singh, shorts by 431-88, earrings by Tuula Jewellery, and shoes and Jibbitz by Crocs.