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For the promotions of his forthcoming film Lootera, actor Ranveer Singh has made over 12 appearances in less than a fortnight. That he has managed to look effortlessly stylish is not a mere coincidence. Hours of detailed planning and fittings have gone into making the actor look suave and sophisticated, in everything from designer suits to premium casual wear. He's been sporting brands such as Zegna, Burberry, Paul Smith, Etro, Cue by Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, along with Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger, Superdry and Zara, all thanks to the machinations of a professional stylist.
Singh figures among a growing list of young male actors, who are increasingly paying attention to the cut of their suits and fit of their shirts. While their female counterparts have for years been dressed by the likes of Dior, Gucci and Sabyasachi, Bollywood's leading men have so far been relegated to bringing out their Armani and Tom Ford suits for formal red carpet events only. Whether it's for premieres or promotional appearances, Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan, Arjun Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Ayushmann Khurrana and Sushant Singh Rajput are hiring stylists to stay ahead in the sartorial rat race. "Thanks to social media, visibility and public scrutiny has shot up exponentially. They're not only being seen all the time, but their appearances are also being commented upon," says celebrity stylist Nitasha Gaurav, who lends her expertise to Singh, Rajput and Arjun Kapoor.
With their every move being dissected and every look being analysed on fashion websites, Facebook and Twitter, the pressure to look good is increasing. "Whereas, earlier, actors were inaccessible and a limited number of pictures were seen in the media, today, even if they go to the movies or do a radio interview they are photographed," says designer and stylist Kunal Rawal, who makes sure his clients Ranbir Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and Arjun Kapoor are seen at their spiffiest best before a camera. Because, as Gaurav points out, styling is inextricably linked to image management. "It's a visual medium and what you wear is ultimately what you are perceived as. Endorsements depend on what values are attributed to you. Before people have met you or spoken to you, they've seen your pictures and formed assumptions based on your appearance," she says.
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