He’s one of Bollywood’s highest-paid actors and in the seven years since he has been in the industry, he has bagged five Filmfare awards. Through his performances in Wake Up Sid, Barfi! and Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year, he has proved that he shares the passion for acting with his parents, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh. But off-screen too he is out to make a style statement which is far removed from the colourful knitted sweaters that his father was famous for.
Kapoor is a sharp dresser who is equally comfortable in a creation from Maison Martin Margiela as he is in a shirt from the corner shop. Ask him to define his personal style and his eyes light up. “My style is something I am feeling on that particular day,” he says. “I usually borrow it from the movies I am working in and the characters I am playing. Therefore, my style reflects the character I am playing at that point in time.”
In his next film, Bhushan Kumar’s multi-starrer Roy, he will be seen sporting a sexy stubble, tailored V-neck beige sweaters with collared shirts, windowpane check coats and leather jackets.
He does, however, have some favourite brands which he carefully picks after tracking the creations that appear on international catwalks. He enjoys the Italian craftsmanship that Prada offers and the painfully camera-shy Belgian guru Maison Martin Margiela’s structural integrity. He is equally fond of the crisp pin-tucks of minimalist designer Rajesh Pratap Singh and the sheer bohemia of Mumbai-based designer Kunal Rawal.
“I am also a watch addict,” he adds. “Tag Heuer has been my favourite brand ever since I understood the value of watches and brands. It was the first watch my parents had gifted me.” Kapoor is the ambassador for the brand.
Patiently answering questions over coffee while he juggles the shooting schedule of two films — Anurag Basu’s upcoming Jagga Jasoos and Imtiaz Ali’s Tamasha —, Kapoor says his standout style statement is all about the right mix of “personality and positivity”. “If you can carry these two things, you really stand out,” says the 32-year-old.
His personal style models, he says, are Amitabh Bachchan and Waheeda Rehman. “Waheeda Ma’am is fabulous because she is classy and very Indian in her approach. I think she reflects the idea of the beautiful Indian woman. And Mr Bachchan, everyone knows why,” he grins.
Kapoor is not a trend addict. He feels that style is not about labels, but about confidence. He loves high-street brands as much as avant-garde labels. “When I travel, I opt for certain brands that I feel comfortable wearing,” he says. “But at the same time, if I am shooting somewhere around India and I see a small store where I like something, I would definitely buy it and wear it. So I think I am a mix of both.”
Besides clothes, there’s another thing women judge men by: the shoes they wear. “I am more of a shoe-lover. And when I say shoes, I am referring to sneakers,” says Kapoor. “I especially like the Nike brand of sneakers, the Air Jordan and the new Nike Air Yeezy II (reportedly priced at approximately $245) which Kanye West has designed,” he adds. It has been reported that a pre-ordered pair on eBay sold for $90,300 in an auction!
Kapoor enjoys the “eclectic meets crazy” collaboration of West with Nathan Van Hook, which offers animal-inspired designs with snake skin mirrored panels and reptile heels. This shoe is a limited edition; Nike will only sell it at select stores.
But brands apart, Kapoor reaffirms, “I think, to look fashionable, all you need is a positive outlook in life and a charming smile.”