Star and Style

Celebrity menswear stylist Kalyani Desai Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Dulquer Salmaan always cuts a dashing figure in the latest fashion trends, whether it’s to film promotions, an award function, an inauguration, or a night out in town. While DQ, we imagine, has an innate sense of style (he’s Mammootty’s son after all), the young heartthrob, in his regular fashion updates to his legions of fans on Facebook and Twitter, always makes it a point to thank his stylist, ending his posts with ‘Styled by #Not Just Black by Kalyani Desai.’

“It’s been nearly a year-and-a-half now since Dulquer got me on board as his stylist. He and his dad have a great sense of style. So, when I signed up, I just had to understand his likes and dislikes and style him based on his personality. I didn’t want to style him in anything that would take away from that. I like that Dulquer is open to experimenting with new trends, yet he has a certain simplicity that makes his style unique and endearing,” says celebrity menswear stylist and designer Kalyani, in an email interview.

In just over a year since the Mumbai-based lass began her styling company, Not Just Black by Kalyani Desai, she’s become a go-to stylist for not just Dulquer but also many male celebrities (and business honchos) up and down the country – Prithviraj, Susanth Singh Rajput, Nagarjuna, and Mammootty too, in fact – all of who appear to have Kalyani on speed dial to help them rock their looks.

She styles them mainly for events. “I contact designers for looks that would suit the particular actor and event well and put together a couple of looks I think will work for them to choose from. Sometimes, I do work with designers to design a look specifically for an actor for a particular event as well. Prithviraj’s brief to me for events, for example, has always been to keep it simple and classy and that’s what I’ve always gone for,” she explains. A graduate of Raffles Design International, Mumbai (marketing and management in fashion, to be exact), the 24-year-old says that fashion has always been a part of her since she was a child.

“I would always find myself gazing at pictures in magazines, eventually graduating to reading them. I started styling soon after I graduated from college. However, since I have a degree in marketing management, I interned with many design houses under their marketing departments beforehand,” she says.

Her interest in styling began rather off the cuff, when she had to style her brother, Madhukeshwar Desai, for an event. “He got a lot of appreciation for what he wore. It was then that I told myself that menswear styling might be a possibility. I actually had to take up a menswear topic for an assignment in college because by the time I got to picking, all the women centric-ones were taken! I was given an option to opt out of it considering no one at the time, my juniors or seniors, had worked on menswear. But I chose to stick to something I had not done before and I haven’t regretted it, considering this was what gave me my initial push into menswear fashion,” she says.

The fashionable youngster doesn’t give out too many of her wardrobe secrets when it comes to styling men, which, we’re guessing, couldn’t be as easy as styling women, simply given the sheer variety of garments and styles. Nonetheless, she does let out that one of the most important aspects of styling with menswear is the fit.

“Getting the fit right is a challenge sometimes. Sometimes you see a really nice garment that would work well for the actor and event, is measured to their size but when actually worn wouldn’t fit because every designer/brand’s cut varies,” she says.


As a stylist we help you understand your sense of fashion and what suits you best. Keeping in mind a celebrity’s personality and likes and dislikes are our foremost priority. I think styling is necessary not just for actors but for every one in general, because you get that extra confidence and assurance when you know what you’re wearing looks good on you and you look good.


Kalyani has clients who are industrialists, for some of whom she design clothes too. “Since I’ve got a good response for this, I will soon be launching my menswear only, e-commerce brand under the name Not Just Black.”

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Printable version | Jul 22, 2021 5:45:14 AM |

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