For the US media, Narendra Modi is the latest style icon

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Jun 23, 2014 17:18 IST

PM Narendra Modi stands out, said the New York Times. “Literally and strategically.” Because of his colorful, neat and crisp kurtas and love of branded wearables.

Washington Post asked the stylish Michelle Obama to make way for Modi.

And TIME called the PM the next big thing in Indian fashion.

American media has devoted more news space lately to Modi’s sartorial sense than his politics or policies. Not a word appeared about Modi accepting President Obama’s invitation.

But his kurtas — with their own Twitter hashtag (#ModiKurta)? “Objectively speaking, the Modi Kurta itself does not exactly represent an extraordinary aesthetic advance; rather it symbolizes a set of values,” said NYT.

His kurtas paired with Bulgari shades and Movado watch reflected “old national values while boasting the sophisticated commodities of Western life, which have been eagerly embraced by the upwardly mobile country in the 20-some years since its economy opened up to the world”, said TIME.

NYT called it “aspirational dressing” that mirrored Modi’s vision for the country.

Modi, of course, has his own story about his short-sleeve kurtas — he got rid of the long sleeves to make the kurtas easier to wash and carry during his days as a wandering RSS pracharak.

And he has said his colour sense was a gift from God.

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