Rahul Khanna is a “boutique actor”, whose sartorial statements and good looks often send hearts aflutter; Styling: Frisky Ridgewala(Paul Gregory)
Rahul Khanna is a “boutique actor”, whose sartorial statements and good looks often send hearts aflutter; Styling: Frisky Ridgewala(Paul Gregory)

Fashion doesn’t interest me. Style does: Rahul Khanna

India’s style icon and actor on his debut as the new HT Brunch style and grooming columnist this Sunday
Hindustan Times | By Shruti Nair
UPDATED ON SEP 03, 2020 11:18 PM IST

Fashion changes, but Rahul Khanna always makes heads turn (or perhaps, makes fingers double-tap) for his effortless and dapper sense of style. Whether it’s a simple tee or a ripped-body look, style is no sweat for this “Bollywood boutique actor”.

On his ‘gram, his aesthetics have a mood for everyone. In Brunch, Rahul has advice for everyone. Boys, take notes from this connoisseur of grooming and style. Girls, we are ready to reveal some secrets.

On your Instagram bio, you call yourself a “Boutique Bollywood Actor”. We know you have been part of movies that were ahead of their times, such as Earth (1999), Bollywood/Hollywood (2002) and then Wake Up Sid! (2009). Have your movie choices been very particular because you are Vinod Khanna’s son?

I jokingly refer to myself as a “Boutique Bollywood Actor” because people have always struggled with how to slot me! I had been hearing the term “boutique” used to describe everything from hotels to investment firms that occupied a more unique space and realised it was also quite apt for me. I decided to try using it and found it always got my point across — plus a good laugh.

I’ve loved being part of mainstream films like Love Aaj Kal, Elaan, Raqeeb, etc. but I’ve also enjoyed the several projects that were outside that arena, be it Fireflies or The Americans — or even TV commercials, hosting live events or shooting magazine fashion editorials.

For me, the joy of being in show business is being able to work in different mediums, formats, countries, and languages. If it’s something creative and fun, I want to be part of it!

“I love it when people use their creativity to express their personalities,” says style icon and actor Rahul Khanna

The industry is also changing, with mini-series taking on the scale and quality of feature films, exhibition moving from cinemas to streaming. Projects that would have once been considered off-the-beaten-track are now part of the mainstream.

We know you’re a fantastic performer, but what’s your relationship with fashion? Was it something that you were always interested in or did you pick up the game with time?

Fashion doesn’t really interest me. Style does. I love it when people use their creativity to express their personalities. It could be the way they dress, the words they use when they write, how they configure their living spaces or the way they throw a dinner party — it’s about presenting your point of view to the world without saying anything.

Indian men are now starting to come into their own sartorially and are increasingly interested in developing their own distinctive style. Personally, I’ve been really lucky that, through my work, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the best stylists and designers from all over the world. I credit them with cultivating that interest in me and honing and refining my style over the years.

Rahul Khanna says his social media allows him to present a more real side of himself to his fans as he is otherwise quite a reserved person
Rahul Khanna says his social media allows him to present a more real side of himself to his fans as he is otherwise quite a reserved person

Your Instagram aesthetic in terms of fashion and styling is on point! Whether it’s a simple white shirt and shorts or a bandhgala suit, you leave your ‘gram audience wanting more. Especially since you posted some rather ‘bold’ pictures. What’s your thought on leveraging social media for men’s fashion and do you think it’s a good feedback mechanism?

I’m a private person by nature and a classic introvert. In real life, I’m socially awkward — which many misinterpret as stand-offish or snobbish! But social media has given me a great platform to engage with people who are interested in me. I can be myself and connect and share on my own terms, at my own comfort level. I find it can be fun, cheeky and innovative. If you follow me, you’re getting the most authentic, direct-to-consumer version of me, without any third party, in-between!

Your Instagram feed has caused a lot of hearts to flutter. So, with those dapper looks and ripped physique, how come you are still single? Or are we wrong about that?

Thank you for your Right to Information application. I can confirm I am either single or committed. It’s most definitely one of the two. Hope that clears it up!

Could you please give our readers some fashion and styling advice?

I would love to! And that’s why I’m going to be doing a new bi-weekly column in HT Brunch, which debuts on September 6. I will be answering all your burning style questions and handing out all sorts of useful (and frequently useless) advice on men’s style. If you have any such pressing quandaries, you can send them in to the HT social media handles or to mine:

Instagram: @mrkhanna

Twitter: @R_Khanna

Follow @ MissNairr on Twitter

From HT Brunch, September 6, 2020

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