RS Style: Nikhil Chinapa
Festival director, producer and now a fashion designer, Chinapa tells us how his latest range of jewelry and clothes for Koovs.com is a reflection of his personal sense of fashion
Throughout his decade-long career in the music industry, Nikhil Chinapa has donned the hat of a VJ, an MC, a music promoter, a festival director, and has now added the label of fashion designer to the list. Aptly titled ”˜Underground with Nikhil Chinapa’, his range of clothing and jewelry for men, created in collaboration with online fashion store KOOVS.com, features a selection of urban fashion that embodies the vibe of the music scene that Chinapa has been a part of. It’s the second line he’s doing with KOOVS, but what’s different is that this time around, there’s also a selection of men’s jewelry to choose from. Taking time off from his music, Chinapa spoke to Rolling Stone India about his new collection and what style is to him.
What would you describe your personal style as?
I’m largely a jeans and t-shirt kinda guy but I like the cuts to be unique. I’m a big fan of cotton for its absorbent qualities and a hint of lycra woven in for stretch and durability. The dance floor does involve a fair amount of “wear and tear”. Over the past few years I’ve found myself gravitating more towards melancholic shades – particularly grays and blacks and this, despite red being one of my favorite colors. If it sounds a bit contradictory, then that’s exactly what I am I guess. For the past 20 years I’ve chosen clothes based on how comfortable they are to dance in and now as an artist, getting the change to design a range of clothes based on my personal music preferences has been an amazing experience.
Are you conscious of what you wear while performing?
I try not to look like a douchebag. Besides that ”“ not really. The focus should be, and is, on the music – not on hair gel or the superstar pose (that one with the arms spread wide, accompanied by a benign smile). Most times, I wear a t-shirt and comfortable jeans and shoes while playing. I’ll occasionally wear a cotton shirt if I’m in the mood. All are usually different shades of grey or solid colors. No bling, no large logos or visible brands – in fact I’ll even take the label off the bottle of water I’m drinking on stage.
What does your wardrobe look like?
Too many sneakers and too many t-shirts! I like esoteric styles and cuts, but what I wear largely depends on the mood I’m in. In that respect I’m not unlike the next person. My sense of fashion also goes through “phases” like everybody else. Asymmetrical draped jackets and hoodies was the last phase I remember!
What do you feel is the essence of a man’s style, especially for musicians?
To be comfortable in your own skin. That’s more stylish than any designer brand or logo that you’d want to cover yourself with.
Do you have any style icons?
Just all the hairspray heroes from my days as a heavy metal fan.