Persona Non-Grata To Fashion Icon : Modi’s Sojourn

Persona Non-Grata To Fashion Icon : Modi’s SojournIndia discovered the panache Narendra Modi packed quite a while ago, with his khadi Kurtas and Bvalgari glasses, not to forget the quintessential Mont Blanc pen that he carries around, without giving it a miss.

Till some time ago, the US went gaga over Michelle Obama’s fashion sense. Now, the time has come for her to make way for the Indian Prime Minister. For, the US media has been discovering the fashion icon in this man who packed an astounding victory two months ago to occupy the most influential office in India. Prime Minister of India – Narendra Modi comes from a community that deemed not-so-powerful, yet made strong inroads into the power corridors. His fashion sense, impeccable — so much so that one would think he always assumed that he would be a leader some day and undertook the grooming all by himself!

Modi’s fashion sense made waves in New York too, where the experts called him a leader who stands out ‘strategically and literally’ both with his persona and his wardrobe.

What does the Indian Prime Minister’s signature style look like? It’s majorly undertones, Indian-yet-formal and Modi chooses to go formal in western sense, rarely. His traditional trade mark cotton Kurta (can sometimes be silk too), usually paired with a vest in neutral tone.
In more ways than one, this asserts his nationality, thus laying stress on the need to spread Indian-ness even in international politics.
A nationalist, indeed! Jade Blue used to be the place where he stitched his clothes for long. This company, based out of Modi’s home-state Gujarat was his all-time favourite probably a polite reminder of his roots.


Modi is very particular about the way he arrives to meetings. In a country where a crumpled kurta or a suit is an accepted thing for politicians who jump from one meeting to another, Modi comes across as someone who means business. So much so that his counterparts often took a dig at him saying the leader spent more time changing his attire than at the meetings. However, this wouldn’t have any impact on Modi who stayed put to his real style.

Though at the outset Modi portrays a nationalist image and prefers colloquial style of dressing over western outfits, his inclination towards western brands is quite palpable with the accessories he wears. His glasses are said to be Bvlgari, and his watch – a Movado. Quite a clash of cultures at play here, or is it a peaceful combination of both Indian and western values?

It is also interesting to note the colour tone preferred by the Prime Minister evolve over the years. Earlier, when he represented his home state as its chief minister, his colours were usually bright and would stand out loud. But, after he positioned himself as the Prime Ministerial candidate, he started wearing more undertones and was even careful with the choice of fabric that was used to make his Kurtas.

Though Orange has been his most preferred colour, owing to his Hindutva ideology that he and his party swear by, he is rarely seen in that colour in the recent times. And there is one colour he NEVER ever wears. That is Green.

Since he has had to leave behind his love for saffron or orange, Modi now goes for alternative shades of those colours that carry a tinge and aren’t too loud.

On the dias, Modi’s gestures are theatrical and magnanimous. His hands move away from the body, revealing a true leader who gestures to reach out to the masses. While some politicians would like to touch people’s lives by hugging a common man, or pose with a child – Modi has had a trademark difference here too. He prefers to wear the hats that represent the region to relate to the native culture than allow people in close vicinity.

His pictures are quite another topic of debate. There are hardly any pictures that show Modi in an awkward gesture. His images are well-curated and distributed on networks that the leader always (and always) looks like he means business.

In a world that is closely connected and every step is being watched, Modi has managed to keep his image (literally) clean and crisp with his preferences. This has raised the curiosity of west, so much as India already knows his leader!