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Ranjha talks Ranveer Singh

Instep talks to Mohsin Naveed Ranjha about landing a Filmfare cover with Ranveer Singh and his follow up strategy.

Ranjha talks Ranveer Singh
“My company and I couldn’t afford him but we did it because we knew we wanted to have him represent our clothes,” says Mohsin Naveed Ranjha.

Apart from the flair with which he’s played some great characters on the silver screen, Ranveer Singh will always be remembered for his sense of style, albeit as strange as it may be. Bizarre fashion choices aside, he is a veritable dream come true for designers for his ability to carry off simply anything with confidence. And whose dreams was he bringing to fruition lately? Lahore based designer, Mohsin Naveed Ranjha who launched his fledging brand four years ago.

Ranveer Singh wears MNR’s designs on the cover of the December issue of Filmfare magazine; he shared a photograph on his Instagram and the designer’s phone hasn’t stopped buzzing since. Even for a king’s ransom – for that is what it must have cost – it must have been no easy feat to land the coveted Ranveer Singh. Mohsin says he had been in touch with the actor’s team for the past two years and luckily for him, their plans worked out closer to the #DeepVeer wedding.

“I wanted to shoot it for a Pakistani magazine but they said it wasn’t possible because he’s the brand ambassador for multiple Indian brands and eventually Filmfare came on board,” the designer shared. “There was a long back and forth on what we were going to make and his team did such extensive research on my work as part of a background check. They found pictures of things that even I had forgotten I had made.” MNR really had luck on his side with Ranveer’s upcoming nuptials and the fact that the whole world currently has their eyeballs glued to his social media. The Filmfare team further pushed forward the release date “as it’s a big time for Ranveer”.

On the day of the shoot in the summer of this year, Ranveer came on time and was very keen on getting his best angles and the right locations. “He wanted to get the best content out of the shoot, even more than I did, and was a thorough professional about all of it. We even discussed the food in Lahore, Imran Khan, Ali Zafar and Teefa in Trouble and he shared that he’d love to come to Lahore one day.” Ranjha shared that he would only feel like he was shooting with a celebrity of that caliber when Ranveer would step in front of the camera. Everything seemed to fall into place.

“We (Ranveer Singh) even discussed the food in Lahore, Imran Khan, Ali Zafar and Teefa in Trouble and he shared that he’d love to come to Lahore one day,” shares the designer.

“We (Ranveer Singh) even discussed the food in Lahore, Imran Khan, Ali Zafar and Teefa in Trouble and he shared that he’d love to come to Lahore one day,” shares the designer.

The actor’s style though, is quite divisive – his wife now, Deepika mentioned (on Koffee with Karan) that his fashion choices are something she merely ‘tolerates.’ What were Mohsin’s reasons for planning the shoot with Ranveer for two years straight? “He’s young, he’s edgy and his personality is such that he can pull off everything. My company and I couldn’t afford him but we did it because we knew we wanted to have him represent our clothes.” One has to admit that he can pull off a sherwani with the same ease and flair that he can carry a unitard.

The designs that Ranveer wore were edgy and cool but unlike designs that MNR usually puts out. He reveals that the actor’s personal stylist Nitasha Gaurav wanted something quirky and colourful but he was firm about that clashing with his brand identity. “I personally wanted him in something classic with a blend of the east and west along with some embellishment, which is the strongest part of our brand and culture.” In the end, the designs that made it to the cover had textured fabric, strong cuts and a little bit of embellishment. “We are getting a lot of queries on the shoes and jackets and I think people’s curiosity is piqued.”

Since the cover’s come out, congratulatory messages have been pouring in and Ranjha is riding high on the energy that comes from Instagram appreciation, from the likes of Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Tiger Shroff. However, everything on social media comes with a bang and goes away with a whimper if one doesn’t have a plan in motion. People tend to move on to the next big story fast. Naysayers say that the reason the brand is making headlines is because Ranjha has paid for it but investing money in the right place, at the right time is not something every brand has done either; it’s definitely not a bad thing.

“I feel that the responsibility on the brand has increased and now people will expect more from me. Now that I’ve shot with Ranveer, people will not expect even the slightest error on my part. If my sherwani doesn’t fit impeccably people will ask me if I could dress Ranveer, why couldn’t I get this right?” He feels that peoples’ expectations have increased and he has to make sure to not disappoint them.

The designer’s BCW showcase is coming up early next month but he frankly shares, “It’s going to be a very commercial collection with bridal pieces and nothing out of the box – I need to recover the money I’ve invested. I do want to work with Bollywood stars in the future but I need to hold on to those ambitions for a while otherwise I may need a body part to fund the shoot,” he jokes.

Mehek Saeed

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