Sporting their own styles

India's sportspersons are not just working hard to up their game; they are working equally hard to look fashionable.

It’s a good time for sports in India and the country’s sports stars are in the limelight like never before. This, perhaps, is one of the main reasons for the unique personal styles of sportspersons today.

He started getting noticed as a talented cricketer but it is also his style and groomed looks that have melted
thousands of hearts. It could be the
pressure of being seen at Bollywood events with his
girlfriend Anushka, but he seems to be enjoying his ‘style icon’ status!

Virat Kohli

Take for instance Hardik Pandya, Saina Nehwal, Babita Phogat, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and more recently, P.V. Sindhu. Almost as soon as these champs won laurels for the country, and came under the spotlight, they were seen in completely different avatars.

With stylists working on these sports celebs to make them look their best at events, their fashion statements and style is no lesser than that of movie stars. Cricketers like Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina have, in fact, become style icons of sorts, unlike cricketers of yesteryears. Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag for example, seem to have set their game on top priority but now, millennial sportspersons don’t just slay it on the field but also on the ramp!

Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya
This cricketer’s love affair with his hair is a tale that’s widely known. He has a huge appetite for experimentation with cuts and colours, and has no qualms flaunting it

Hardik Pandya

Nirali Mehta, a style consultant who has styled Sindhu, Saina as well as Sania Mirza, talks about what the reason for this transformation could be.

“I think the transition has happened because of social media. Millenials have the pressure of being watched all the time. Sportspersons realise that an attitude and the need to look aspirational not just in their sport but also in their style and looks, is what connects with fans. A lot is about money these days and they know that if they make an effort to look good, more brands will want to collaborate with them and give them endorsements. Today, it is not just about the game but also about how one projects themselves,” she says, explaining the matter in depth.

P.V. Sindhu

This young champion’s style has metamorphosed, and one look at her Instagram account will tell you how she’s been increasingly putting in effort to look gorgeous
P.V. Sindhu

Concurring with Nirali’s social media point, Arjuna Award-winning shooter Heena Sidhu gives a first-hand view of why sports people are being so nattily dressed. “Before Facebook or Twitter became popular, the only time that you would be expected to dress up would be for an ad shoot or a television interview. Now, even your most casual moments are captured on camera and you are tagged in them. Sports stars are more visible than ever before and people don’t connect to them if they are shabby,” she says.

Nirali, however, mentions that it’s also a personal choice. “Virat Kohli’s personality is such that he wishes to look the best even off field. But when you take Saina or Sindhu, they dress up only for a photoshoot or an event and dress casually otherwise. Sania has chosen to take a path that she likes — hair and make-up to a tee, which she seems more confident in,” she adds.

Ravindra Jadeda

He pulls off his various beard styles with top-notch swag. Suresh Raina is another cricketer who has been rocking different beards
Ravindra Jadeda

Ayaz Memon, the renowned sports writer, offers his two cents. “I think sports stars who are increasingly trendy now reflect the way we are evolving as a society. Even with film stars, if you go back about 30 to 40 years, you will see that actors like Waheeda Rahman, etc, dressed more soberly. Now, in the case of actresses like Aishwarya Rai and Deepika Padukone, the glamour quotient has gone up. For anybody, the peer group is very influential. Today’s society is such that they pay more attention to style and being fashionable. If you see a cricketer or any other sports person who has gotten a tattoo, it is not just him doing it but so many others of his age doing the same thing too! These days, there is so much more exposure with social media, etc and sports people have also started being looked at as iconic figures. They are now being seen as worthy of being the face of a brand, so they take it upon themselves to carry themselves off accordingly,” he says.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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