Maxim talks style with the multitasking design maven who also happens to be the creative director of online portal Amazon ashion (India) and a gamechanger for menswear in the country.
By Meher Bajwa
Maxim: Right now, how important is fashion for Indian men on a scale of 1 to 10?
NK: Fashion over the last decade has become an integral part of our lifestyle and we have seen a great explosion in the last two years. It has moved from being restricted to just occasion wear to an everyday element attached with you. I am happy with the progression, and would say that it’s somewhere between 5 and 6 on 10, but I would like it to be a perfect 10.
Maxim: How is men’s fashion evolving in India...say, from what it was 10 years ago?
NK: It is heading towards being smarter, edgier and quite hippy. Again, with the boundless reach that e-commerce provides, international fashion is spreading its wings in the Indian industry as well, making international brands accessible with just a few clicks. Power dressing, occasion dressing, workwear, casual dressing—all have witnessed tremendous attention from men.
Maxim: More designers are getting into the menswear space than ever...
NK: India is finally realising that fashion is beyond a specified gender. With increasing awareness and exposure, men are now brand- and fashion-conscious, making menswear a large market growing at an immense speed. Keeping in mind the potential and the demand in menswear, designers are now getting into the space—it’s like tapping the untapped. You have the luxury to define trends and create a market in line with international trends.
Maxim: And what are the key trends for the season?
NK: ‘Winter is coming.’ Micro prints are dominating wardrobes across the globe. You’ll see them everywhere, from casual polo T-shirts to formal shirts. Puffer coats and jackets are back again but with a more colourful palette. Pick a navy blue instead of regular boring black. Two-button and double-breasted blazers will be seen on the fashion-savvy among us. Then there’s comfortable jogger pants entering as the hottest new bottomwear trend. For your feet, stick with ankle boots, brogues, hiking boots in tan and the all-season favourites—loafers.
Maxim: What’s the easiest way to incorporate these trends in everyday wear?
NK: When wearing micro prints always keep it simple and never go overboard with too many prints. If you’re wearing a micro print shirt, team it with solid/pastel trousers. Puffer/quilted jackets are casual and go well with well-fitted jeans and a V-neck T-shirt. Two-button blazers are the best option for business meetings—it’s hard to go wrong with this style. Double-breasted blazers work well on lean guys. Jogger pants are basically dressed-up sweatpants. Treat them like your regular pants and wear them with casual shirts or T-shirts and sneakers
or ankle boots.
Maxim: Tell us about three men whose style you admire and why?
NK: Amitabh Bachchan for his formal dressing style. With a more subtle and classy style statement, his sense of formal styling makes him the style king in the industry. I like Ranveer Singh for his quirkiness—he’s flamboyant and full of energy which reflects in his style as well. Rahul Bose, for his mix of casual, sporty and formal styles. His style is always charming, especially the way he carries off casual as well as red carpet looks.
Maxim: How would you describe your personal style?
NK: Eclectic and fun!
Maxim: Do you only wear clothes you design for yourself?
NK: Not necessarily. But since we don’t design T-shirts and jeans, I prefer G Star jeans for their fit and I prefer American Crew T-shirts.
Maxim: Do you remember your first fashion buy?
NK: I remember creating my first fashion bag for myself with khadi and handpainting it.
Maxim: Tell us about your current muse.
NK: My current muse is a fictional young man who is in his late ’20s, who travels the world, is adventurous and has a sense of intellect.
Maxim: What are the essentials every well-dressed man’s wardrobe should have?
NK: I believe every well-dressed man’s wardrobe should have: Contemporary slim-fit jeans, a crisp white button-down shirt and tan shoes—tan is the new black! Trust me, your wardrobe is incomplete without a good pair of tan shoes.
Maxim: Is there anything in your wardrobe that is in excess?
NK: Shoes! I have over 175 pairs of shoes.
Maxim: What do you like to wear when you’re at home and relaxed?
NK: Jogger pants with V-neck T-shirts.
Maxim: What’s the most important style advice you have for Maxim readers?
NK: Your self-confidence should also reflect in your styling. Experiment more with layering, breaking down ramp fashion and mixing it with basics. Tweak and mix and match patterns and designs. For inspiration you could follow Amazon Fashion’s trend report.
Maxim: What’s in store for Amazon Fashion in the future?
NK: The store today offers more than 5,000 brands and over 5,00,000 styles. Amazon.in is designed to meet the varying tastes and style preferences of everyone by providing a broad selection of designers and brands so that you can easily and instantly find and buy exactly what you are looking for. We recently launched an international Shoe Store with brands like Roberto Botticelli, Desigual, CR7, Galliano, Allesandro Del Acqua.