Aki Narula Wiki, Age, Girlfriend, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

Aki Narula is an Indian fashion and costume designer, and wardrobe stylist in Bollywood films, who got acclaim for styling some A-list stars in movies like Bunty Aur Babli (2006), Dostana (2008), Rockstar (2011), and more. One of the most sought-after fashion designers in the Bollywood industry, Narula runs his brand label “AKI,” which introduced the new chic fashion in the industry. The designer is commonly known for his eclectic style, and clothes that are bright, fun, and cool, with a variation in drapes and texture.

Aki Narula is an Indian fashion and costume designer, and wardrobe stylist in Bollywood films, who got acclaim for styling some A-list stars in movies like Bunty Aur Babli (2006), Dostana (2008), Rockstar (2011), and more. One of the most sought-after fashion designers in the Bollywood industry, Narula runs his brand label “AKI,” which introduced the new chic fashion in the industry. The designer is commonly known for his eclectic style, and clothes that are bright, fun, and cool, with a variation in drapes and texture.

Wiki/Biography

Aki Narula was born in 1968 (age 53 years; as of 2021). Born and brought up in Kolkata, he completed his schooling at the La Martiniere Calcutta in 1987. He graduated from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata with a bachelor’s degree in commerce, and after graduation, he worked with the Lintas Group as a management trainee. After working for ten months there, he went to Arizona State University in the US to do a course in communications. Aki returned to India in 1992 and got engrossed in his cost accountancy programme. [1]

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 6″

Hair Colour: Black

Eye Colour: Black

 

 

Family

Parents & Siblings

His father is an engineer and his mother was a homemaker. [2]

Wife & Children

Aki is unmarried and has no children.

Relationships/Affairs

The designer is openly gay and is in a close relationship with Shakeel Sutarwala, a publicist. Reportedly, the couple met in 2008 at a beach house in Juhu, Mumbai near an empty swimming pool, and has been together since. [3]

Aki Narula and Shakeel Sutarwala featured together in a magazine

Religion

Aki follows Sikhism and goes to the gurudwara once in a while. [4]

Address

Aki Narula’s address is C/O Swaraj Designs, F 322 3rd Floor, Lado Sarai, New Delhi, 110030.

Career

Formative Years

Aki Narula’s move to fashion happened in 1994 when he won the ‘Best Fashion Designer award’ from Kolkata, held by Damania Airlines across five Indian Metros cities. [5] His win accelerated his fashion career in Kolkata. Three years later in 1997, Narula launched his signature fashion brand label “AKI.” The designer showcased the collection for his newly launched label at his first fashion show with “Melange,” which is a designer boutique at Opera House, Mumbai. Melange paved the way for Aki to start selling his designs at 11 stores across India. [6] In 2000, the stylist was invited by the Fashion Development Council of India (FDCI) to participate in the first India Fashion Week, which according to Aki, received an overwhelming response and boosted his career in the fashion industry. [7] Following his debut at the fashion week, Narula’s complete collection was taken up by Selfridges, a high-end department store in the UK. In February 2002, the Sheetal Design Studio in Mumbai appointed Aki as the Design Director, and after a year, the designer started retailing in international markets at Zingara, Cannes, and St. Tropez. Aki was also a part of the Grand Finale of India Fashion Week in 2004, where he presented his collection themed around the 1950s. [8]

Bollywood Calling 

In 2005, Aki got his Bollywood calling in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding after showcasing his collections at various runways. Though he also went on to design actors in other films, the stylist considered his big break into Bollywood to be Yash Raj Films’ Bunty Aur Babli in 2005 directed by Shaad Ali. The project made Aki popular in the fashion fraternity for his new look to Patiala salwar and Kurtis, and it landed a number of films in his lap, which got noticed for clothes designed by him. [9] When Aki was asked about his initial days as a stylist in the film industry, he said in an interview, [10]

I hated it. Coming from the fashion fraternity into films, I absolutely hated my first day on a film set. Just the whole process seemed different and the experience wasn’t pleasing at all.”

Aki Narula’s styling for the film Bunty Aur Babli

In the subsequent years, however, Aki’s association with film projects steered him away from mainstream fashion designing, and he was seldom seen in Fashion Weeks. The designer admitted the same in an interview: [11]

I did my last fashion week in 2009 and the reason I am not participating in them now is because I am working on films. I do roughly about two to three films every year and one film takes up more than a year or sometimes even more than that.”

Other Ventures

In 2009, Narula signed a collaboration with the sports-lifestyle brand Puma to create ‘Black Label’, a range of apparel, footwear and accessories that hit the Puma stores in February 2010. Aki had also designed costumes for theatre and a national award-winning Bengali film. Apart from clothes, Narula also tried his skills for designing lifestyle linen, candle stands, and screens. [12] In 2011, Belvedere Vodka worked with designer Aki Narula to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS. For the endeavour, Narula designed the bottle for (Belvedere) Red Special Edition in India with a line of limited edition red chiffon scarves, which were retailed at select design stores in early 2012. [13] Aki also debuted on TV as a host for TLC’s show “What Not to Wear India,” with actor Soha Ali Khan as his co-host in September 2012. In the 13-episode show, Narula educated the Indian viewers about body types, fabrics and prints, and techniques, along with some style tips. He said in an interview, [14]

I could not have had a better TV debut. For me, the high point was talking to real people and getting some real insights. I could share what I’ve learnt in the past 10 years with real people and dealt with personal and emotional issues.”

Filmography

Aki Narula has styled actors in these Hindi movies:

  • Monsoon Wedding (2001)
  • Bunty Aur Babli (2005)
  • Garam Masala (2005)
  • Bluffmaster! (2005)
  • Don – The Chase Begins Again (2006)
  • Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007)
  • Tashan (2008)
  • Bhoothnath (2008)
  • Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008)
  • Dostana (2008)
  • Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008)
  • Kambakkht Ishq (2009)
  • Shortkut (2009)
  • Kurbaan (2009)
  • Paa (2009)
  • Housefull (2010)
  • Lamhaa (2010)
  • I Am (2010)
  • Tees Maar Khan (2010)
  • Chillar Party (2011)
  • Rascals (2011)
  • Rockstar (2011)
  • Agent Vinod (2011)
  • Housefull 2 (2012)
  • Highway (2014)

    Some Bollywood films styled by Aki Narula

Controversies

Accused of Copying a Creation

Aki was accused by another well-known designer – Suneet Varma for copying a creation from Varma’s 2003 Fall/Winter collection to dress Rani Mukerji in the Yashraj film, Bunty Aur Babli in 2005. Suneet also considered suing Aki, Yash Chopra, and Rani Mukerji for infringement of copyright; however, he did not go ahead due to a lack of substantial evidence. Aki had denied all such allegations. [15]

Awards, Achievements

  • Aki won the Regional Damania Fashion Award in 1994.
  • He won the Bollywood Style Awards in 2009 for styling Kareena Kapoor in the film “Tashan.”
  • In 2013, he was honoured with the IIFA Award for Best Costume Design in the film “Barfi.”

Favourites

  • Indian Fashion City: Delhi
  • Stylist: Arjun Bhasin

Facts/Trivia

  • Aki Narula has got “Swaraj” inked at the front of his neck.

    Aki Narula’s Swaraj tattoo on his neck

  • The designer’s other interests include painting, reading, and experimenting with interiors, props and set dressings. Aki also revealed in an interview that he loves cooking after fashion styling. [16]
  • When Aki was pursuing his graduation, his newfound passion for apparel designing prompted him to design clothes for concerts, college plays, and his annual college fest Xavotsav. The designer admitted in an interview that he had received no formal training in fashion designing and said, [17]

    While studying commerce at St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta, I was completely taken up by fashion. And despite no formal training in fashion designing, I began to design outfits for my friends.”

  • The established designer’s apparels are available at some of India’s finest designer stores like Ensemble in Delhi and Mumbai, Melange in Mumbai, Ffolio and Cinnamon in Bengaluru, Ogaan in Delhi and Kolkata, Sosas in Goa, Kali in Kolkata, 1 MG Road, Camelot, You Grasshopper, etc. [18]
  • Narula has dressed several A-list Bollywood stars including Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif, Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham, and many more.

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