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A few years ago, when Indian-Canadian comedian Russell Peters first used the punchline "Be a man, do the right thing" on stage, little did he know that it would have a drastic effect on trends across the world. Whether he can really be credited with the comeback of the glorious handlebars or not might be open to debate, but there is no escaping the moustache.
Bhagyashri Shinde, founder of SheepStop, an online store, believes that the moustache is the symbolic representation of the comic punchline that is being used as an icon for different movements. "We held a competition for people to come up with quirky lines and prints for T-shirts, and some entries incorporated this famous punchline. Even though it started out as a fun thing, it has become a symbol of standing up for women's rights after the Delhi gang rape," says Shinde.
The store also sells badges for people to distribute as part of various campaigns, one of them being a movement to appreciate the moustache itself. "At the NH7 Weekender music festival last year, there was a group of middle-aged men sporting moustaches who bought a bulk of these badges and randomly distributed them. The idea was to appreciate the moustache," she says. Besides, shot glasses with the moustache motif are already a sell-out, and beer mugs will be launched soon.
For their spring-summer collection, designer-duo Gayatri S and Shradha R, who founded the label Treasure Trunk, have decided to print the British flag on the traditional handlebar or paint it with neon colours for those who are up for funk. "Our accessories set out the wild side, serving the quintessential moustache trend with a twist. Iconic motifs have been incorporated in our work primarily because of the power quotient it adds to an androgynous wardrobe," says Gayatri.
For Pune-based designer Rachael Gurjur, the inspiration to use the motif came while watching an episode of Guinness book of World Records, featuring a man from Rajasthan who held a record for having the longest moustache. She believes that the comeback of the moustache is a trend started by industry biggies such as Zara, which has used the moustache print on T-shirts and flip-flops."My label, Miss Moxie, is known for being loud. We have clips, rings, long chains and more, with the moustache in hot pink, purple and electric blue," says Gurjur.