You have heard of him, you have seen him sliving with the stars—from Janhvi Kapoor and Nysa Devgan, to Kylie Jenner—but do you really know who Orry is? We, at Cosmopolitan India, didn't either, but now (we think) we do. Orhan Awatramani, aka Orry is a sassy socialite, who is based in South Bombay. He worked as an intern at a now-defunct newspaper called DNA, and now shares fashion rooms with Anne Hatheway to Anna Wintour, no less. On one fine afternoon, over lunch, Awatramani gets candid with us about his fashion game, why he wishes he could be cooler (if that’s even possible), and what he really does.
Cosmopolitan India: Let’s get straight to the point—what does Orry do?
Orry: Everyone wants to know this? I’ll tell you exactly what I said in my first job interview to my boss as of today, “You know, ma’am, growing up I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. But what am I today? I’m a singer, a songwriter, a fashion designer, a creative director, a stylist, an executive assistant, a shopper, and sometimes a football player, I don’t know. I feel like life is about having dreams. Inflate your dreams, give them wings to fly, and seize every opportunity.” I looked her in the eyes and said, “I’m the kind of person that if you ask me to paint something for your wall, I’ll paint the entire house.” And mic drop.
Cosmopolitan India: And you got the job with that?
Orry: And I got the job.
Cosmopolitan India: Instagram makes us feel like you party every night. What’s that other part of Orry’s life that people don’t know?
Orry: I’m sleeping or I’m working. I work very hard.
Cosmo: Like a 9 to 5 job?
Orry: No. I go to the gym and do a lot of self-reflection. Sometimes I do yoga, get a massage. You know, I’m working, but on myself.
Cosmopolitan India: Why does it say on Google and LinkedIn that you are a social activist?
Orry: I was really bored one day and I put “activist” on my Instagram bio for like four days, just for fun. I’ve done a few things here and there though—few seed plantings, beach clean-up—but not enough to define me as a social activist.
Cosmopolitan India: Do you remember a particular post or moment that switched people’s attention and made them notice you over all the celebrities one keeps spotting you with?
Orry: It’s not any one post or picture. Every time I put up a picture people say, “He’s outdone himself and he won’t outdo himself again.” Then, two days later, I outdo myself again. I keep hitting different departments. You have to keep it popping. If you say one picture with a celebrity that grabbed people’s attention, then yeah, I went to Kylie Jenner’s house for my birthday and we put up a picture together, and that put me on the map.
Cosmopolitan India: What was that one pivotal moment where your followers started shooting up?
Orry: There were countless moments. You know, a lot of people think “He’s suddenly shot up,” but no, I haven’t. This New Year’s though, I made my first reel and I went up like 20k followers. Isn’t that really weird?
Cosmopolitan India: It’s not weird, it’s kind of like you’re having your moment now.
Orry: But I’ve had my moment many times. In the last year, I’ve had my moment five times. I had my moment when I went to the Valentino show in Rome where I bumped into Anne Hathaway. We were chatting for hours and everyone said, “Oh, he had his moment, he got Anne Hathaway.” To that I replied, “No, she got me.”
Cosmopolitan India: When we see your Instagram, there’s a lot of mystery around your life. IRL, are you a mysterious person or are you an open book with the friends we keep seeing you hang out with?
Orry: I’m an open series, I think. I feel like there are several books in this series. I’ve changed personalities like 30 times in the last few months.
Cosmopolitan India: What were you like growing up?
Orry: My parents are really cool, very chill, never bothered. We had rules growing up and I’m not really a rule-breaker. I’m a square that way; you’ll never really catch me breaking rules.
Cosmopolitan India: Except with fashion, because there you break all the rules.
Orry: But there you’re meant to break the rules—the rule is to break the rule.
Cosmopolitan India: Where did this love for fashion come from?
Orry: Who doesn’t love fashion? If you’re a creative person and want to express yourself, how do you express yourself on a day-to-day basis? You do it with your clothes and, of course, style.
Cosmopolitan India: What are some of the brands that you absolutely love?
Orry: I went to a boarding school in Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu. No uniforms. While they allowed children to experiment with their looks, they did have some rules—you couldn’t wear mini-skirts, you couldn’t come to school with a mohawk on your head and so on. Also, because it’s a boarding school, your parents have no say about what you’re wearing.
Cosmopolitan India: It’s not Student of The Year.
Orry: It’s not Student of The Year. Anyway, it started there. And then I went to New York, where everything is about fashion, fashion, fashion. I went to Parsons, which is the top school for fashion. Of course, when you start earning, you spend on what you like and get more experimental. As for brands that I like… as of now, I love Balenciaga. They’re pushing boundaries; they’re doing things that haven’t been seen before, things that are really cool. It’s a high-end brand but it’s also a street brand. I just got invited to their show in Paris which was in a mud pit! No one’s ever done a show in a mud pit. Iconic.
Cosmopolitan India: How did you end up knowing so many industry insiders? Bollywood, Hollywood, socialites—you’re hanging out with everyone.
Orry: I wouldn’t really say I’m friends with anyone in the ‘film industry’—the people I’m friends with are actually my peers. We’re the same age; we all went to school and college at similar times. There are only a few people who I consider industry friends and who I met only in the industry, like Bhumi Pednekar. We didn’t know each other until a couple of years ago, but we’re really good friends now. Hollywood people are not the easiest to be friends with because they don’t care to meet random people. I met Kanye backstage at the Burberry show and he just happened to like what I was wearing. We chatted for a few minutes, and I somehow managed to get invited to his show in Paris. But they are all very friendly people.
Cosmopolitan India: Is there a long-term goal?
Orry: No, I feel like I’m living a great life. This is where I want to be. You interviewing me today means I’ve poked someone somewhere enough. I’m already really cool, but my goal is to be cooler.
Cosmopolitan India: What’s your social media strategy?
Orry: I’ve always had the least number of followers compared to all my Instagram-y friends. Obviously, you can’t compare your following to that of an actor or a cricketer in India, that’s absurd. Maybe I’m catching up just a little bit. But I learned at a young age that the point is not how many followers you have, but how cool your profile looks. I want context. I want the narrative because without the story, what’s the point of the picture? Your Instagram should give a small insight into your camera roll, and into your life.
Cosmopolitan India: What do you look for in a friend?
Orry: A good heart. My friends are there for me on days when I’m sad, say if something’s wrong. I had called up some for the Kunal (Rawal) show. I called up Janhvi and said, “You’ve walked so many shows, should I do it?” She said, “Just close your eyes, don’t even think about it, just do it.” She shared her confidence with me…
Cosmopolitan India: What do you think about paps, will it trouble you if it’s not there one day?
Orry: I love paps! Who doesn’t? Fame and attention hurt no one. Being papped is also a sign of relevance like you have gotten enough to be photographed. Wouldn’t it trouble anyone if they made it into the limelight and then lost everything?
Cosmopolitan India: Do negative comments and people, don’t bother you, at all?
Orry: What is sadder is me walking like a goat and people questioning me who I am or asking that in the comments section. Like you could just scroll but you took the effort to sit and comment. Then clearly, there’s something there, right?
Cosmopolitan India: Is there a Bollywood debut happening anytime soon?
Orry: I get offers all the time. But I don’t speak Hindi very well. A friend of mine loves Hindi movies, so we got together at her house to watch Padmaavat. It took me three days to watch the movie, because she had to keep translating it for me. I just didn’t know what was going on. Great film. Loved it. And now I’ve watched it like 30 times. So no—no Bollywood for me right now.
Watch the entire interview here: