He made colour blocking the trend of the season with Kareena Kapoor’s styling in last year’s Kambakkht Ishq. Now the stylist and designer known for his colourful and quirky sensibility is taking on the high street with a new collection designed for Puma that hits the stores on Tuesday. Edited excerpts from an interview with Aki Narula:
Why did you decide on Puma as your first association with a fashion brand?
Actually it was Puma that chose me. It’s a great honour for me to tie up with an international brand and design an entire line, including everything from apparel and shoes to accessories. I’m excited to be in the same line-up as Alexander McQueen, Yasuhiro Mihara and Sergio Rossi, who have also been associated with Puma.
Flip-flops and T-shirt from Aki Narula’s collection
How does your design sensibility match with Puma’s style?
My track record will show you that my thought process has always been about doing things out of the box. I’m very inspired by street fashion and clothes that are easy to wear. Everyone above 14 years of age who has a strong sense of style can wear these clothes. There are a lot of separates, jackets, tanks, tees, etc that are priced reasonably.
What are the Indian influences in the collection?
There are a lot of fluorescent colours that meet the colours of Holi and rangoli. I have designed bright braided belts inspired by the long braids of hair, the tank tops are inspired by the katori cuts of Rajathani cholis, some footwear has been inspired by the Kolhapuri chappal and there’s a floral mehndi pattern circling the edge of one of the flip-flops.
A lot of Indian designers are associating themselves with high-street brands. How do you view this trend?
I think it’s a positive step. With designers making prêt collections for brands, it makes their work so much more accessible to everyone. Even internationally, designers regularly tie up with brands.
Which movies are you working on right now?
I’m working on Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan, which stars Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif and Akshaye Khanna. I can’t speak much about the movie right now, but it is something to look forward to.
What are your plans for your own label?
As of now I’m really busy with the movies and ad campaigns that I have been working on. I have styled Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan for Lux, Deepika Padukone for Pepsi, Saif for Airtel etc. I haven’t had a break in three years. But I’m going to start work on my label in September and hopefully show in the next fashion week.
The collection is priced between Rs399 and Rs5,499. It’ll be availabale at all Puma stores across the country.