Be it his snug fit uniforms in ‘Dabangg’ or his simple style in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, from his perfectly tailored trousers in ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ to his worn-in kurta-pyjamas in ‘Sultan’, Salman Khan owes his sartorial choices to Ashley Rebello. “The first time I designed for Salman (Khan) was for the film ‘Wanted’. My association with him has entered the tenth year,” said Rebello, who was in Chandigarh for the annual convocation at Inter-National Fashion Institute (INIFD).
Having worked with the actor for so long, Rebello tells us he’s lucky to have found the perfect client. “I have helped build a trust level and Salman is very easy to work with. He lets me take over when it comes to not just his on-screen clothing but personal wardrobe as well,” informs the designer whose designs have gone on to become trends. “I remember spotting many policemen in snug, fitted uniforms after ‘Dabangg’ released. In fact many times, local tailors tell me I should share lookbooks before Salman’s film releases as later everyone wants to dress like him,” Rebello laughed to say.
Speaking of on-screen characters, the designer is hard at work putting together outfits for two forthcoming films starring Salman Khan, of course. “One is ‘Tubelight’ and the other is ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’,” lists out Rebello as he goes on to add, “In ‘Tubelight’, we have gone retro as Salman plays a Himachali. Since the film is set in the early 1960s, you will see Salman dressed in check shirts paired with hand-knitted sweaters, caps and gloves. His shoes play an important role in the script as well.”
Interestingly, Rebello likes to work with local tailors and artists when he is putting together the actor’s wardrobe. “I remember getting a local tailor in Chandigarh to stitch up kurtas for him during the shoot of ‘Sultan’. The sweaters and woollens that Salman will be seen wearing in ‘Tubelight’ have been hand knitted by a women’s group in Ludhiana,” informs the designer. For ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, Rebello says Salman will be seen in a stylish avatar wearing slick suits and formal shirt and trouser combinations.
Given the fact that he puts together seasonal collections for the actor, what do they do with the old stock of clothes, we asked the designer. “I am in-charge of that as well. Salman gifts a lot of his clothes to friends and family. We also distribute many of his clothes at the orphanage and in charity,” says Rebello. And black, he adds, is the actor’s favourite colour.