Creative Strategist @Instagram
A social media strategist with an introverted side, Niran Vinod is the definition of Yin & Yang, which is apt as it’s also the name of the blog that launched his career. Based in the brightly hued offices of Instagram’s London HQ, Vinod is explaining how at the youthful age of 27 he came to work as one of small team of creative strategists who curate the content for the world’s most successful visual apps, “I went to LCC to study ‘Creative Advertising’. Being in the industry right now I think you can’t really teach it. They’re trying to teach principles from the ‘70s, 4 p’s and 7 p’s, but none of that stuff ever comes up.”
Born and raised in London, Vinod’s first break came in the summer of 2009, “I was bored so I designed this blog called ‘Yin & Yang’ and it was about me as ‘Yin’ and my best friend as ‘Yang’ and we just spoke about girls, sneakers, fashion, and music, anything we liked. It was really raw and organic, we didn’t know any ‘influencers’ or ‘strategy’.” The blog ignited the interests of menswear fans and PR agencies that asked the duo to integrate products into their editorial, all before they’d graduated.
"Everyday dressing means to me is simplicity, minimalism and comfort."
A Don Draper for the internet generation, Vinod’s two year tenure at the global agency AKQA working on Nike’s campaigns eventually led to his position at Instagram, “I tweeted ‘Do I know anyone at Facebook or Instagram?’ and I connected someone in San Francisco and someone in London and that led me to my current boss. We had a quick skype chat two weeks later and he referred me and I got to job two months after that.”
Though Vinod curates strategies for a visual platform, his tastes veer to a more pared-back look, “my palette is quite monotone, quite Scandinavian, blacks, blues, greys but usually all black everything. The most over used item in my wardrobe are my black T-shirts. I own around 20 and I’m just trying to find the perfect cut.”
When asked to sum up his approach to the morning routine, Vinod encapsulates thoughts of many men the world over, “What everyday dressing means to me is simplicity, minimalism and comfort. It depends on how I feel; most days I’m lazy and I just wear all black, but it’s my uniform.”
All photography by Samuel Bradley