Narendra Modi out to make strong fashion statement in US; hires high-profile … – Economic Times

NEW DELHI: When it comes to dressing up, most Indian male politicians have a wide range of clothing to choose from, as long as it’s a white kurta-pyjama made of khadi. For added variety, there’s the Nehru jacket, and for trips abroad, a bandgala in black or grey does the trick.

Indian male prime ministers have never been known for their flamboyance (think Manmohan Singh) but when it comes to packaging and presentation, Narendra Modi has few peers among politicians. Having marketed himself with resounding success as a no-nonsense man of action with his half-sleeved cotton kurtas, he is ready now for the role of global statesman.

In his first important overseas visit, to the BRICS summit at Fortaleza in Brazil, Modi didn’t experiment too much with the template of the Indian dignitary abroad, shedding his traditional kurta-pyjama in favour of the bandgala. But he may be planning a bigger sartorial splash for his trip to the US, the country that famously denied him a visa but has now opened its arms wide welcoming the Indian prime minister.

In charge of the wardrobe change is Mumbai-based fashion designer Troy Costa. The designer’s clients include the Bollywood Khans and members of the Ambani family. Ashish Soni, known for his bespoke suits, says professional advice could do wonders to boost Modi’s image.

“For example, when it comes to the cut and fitting of the suits he wears, a professional designer could work around it better to suit his body type and proportions.” Costa refused to make any comment on his latest assignment, but people aware of the development said the new wardrobe will take around a month to get ready. Modi’s visit to the US, where he will address the United Nations General Assembly and meet President Barack Obama, will take place in September.

During his trip to Brazil, Modi left his signature Modi kurta behind for more business-like formal bandgala suits designed by his long-time Ahmedabad garment maker Jade Blue, which has been designing and stitching Modi’s clothes for years, even before he was chief minister of Gujarat. The latest collection, including the suits he wore to Brazil, were dispatched to Delhi from Ahmedabad soon after the May 16 election wins.

Modi’s popularity has reflected on his personal stylist Bipin Chauhan, co-owner of the family-run Jade Blue. As Modi’s popularity grew, Chauhan also found himself in the limelight and was cited in numerous articles about the politician’s clothes. As Modi engages with the international community, Costa is likely to get a similar boost in profile.

Known for traditional cotton and silk kurtas that reflect his image, Modi’s clothing style and its colour palette has evolved over the years. As Gujarat chief minister, he would mostly favour bright colours, especially orange. There has been a shift to more neutral and pastel shades of late.

Top designers and stylists have hailed the way Modi turns out and his sense of style. “Modi has cultivated himself really well from the beginning of his campaign to now,” says popular menswear designer Narendra Kumar.


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