The singer owns a 90-year-old hat bag filled with an eclectic collection of headgear. And he has a thing for jackets with floral and comic prints — the bigger, the better.
He is one of the more fashion forward singers in Bollywood. Benny Dayal (32) is often spotted in unconventional ensembles – dhoti pants, long line tops paired with sneakers or flashy boots. At his Andheri (W) pad, we were welcomed by his ear-to-ear smile and loads of quirky hats, jackets and rows of shoes. “I have phases. For a while, I will love hats. Then I will move on to experimenting with my glasses, followed by shoes, and then go back to hats. But these three have been a constant throughout my life,” he says.
Custom-made: “One of my favourites is a hat with my name on it. Malaysian rapper Yogi B gifted it to me when I was there.”
The hat collector: “My wife, Catherine, gifted a hat bag for my birthday. It’s an antique, dating back to the 1920s, bought off eBay. I personally love the boater hats – flat, low top and mostly, made of cane. These are generally sported by barbershop quartet bands. They complement every attire. My favourite boater hat is from a local store in New Orleans, USA.”
Closet staples: “Jackets, hats and shoes. I love buying all sorts of jackets — whacky, colourful, simple. My favourite jacket is the Suicide Squad one from a mall in Malaysia. The Scratch, Boom, Bang, Pow jacket has been with me since 2008, and still is a favourite. One of my newer buys is an Adidas jacket.”
Street shopping: “I shop all over the world. I splurge in malls in Bangkok (Thailand), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), and Jakarta (Indonesia). I also enjoy shopping from boutiques in the little alleys around Trafalgar Square, London. But the best deal I have found till date was in Barcelona, Spain. I don’t recall the exact street or place but I got three vibrant pairs of Oxford shoes for 123 euros (Rs 9,200 approx).”
Culture exchange: “I love to pair Indian outfits with western accessories. For example, I like the combination of pyjama pants and sneakers.”
Buying MJ’s shoes: “I am a Michael Jackson fan. I used to love his jacket from the Billy Jean video (1982). It was studded with rhinestone. So, when I saw a pair of Gucci shoes with rhinestones on them, at Bloomingdales (Dubai), I just had to buy them.”
Framed: “I love to experiment with my glasses. My new favourites are a pair of Tom Ford glasses I picked up in New York. I love them so much, I have an identical spare set.”