As we sit at the famous pizzeria in Tilakwadi Belagavi, it overlooks the exact place where Kushal Paramanand, Bollywood’s ace stylist, fashion editor, and one part of the brand KuGar (with Asgar Munshi), spent all his childhood summers. He can barely look at it now, where a tall building stands in place of the home of his mother.
Kushal Paramanand is in Belagavi this summer, maybe for the umpteenth time ever since he was a child. Son of Alka Paramanand who hails from the Kalghatgi family, he says Belagavi has changed a lot. Kushal has changed too. From someone who meandered through many vocations including computer science and management, he finally found his calling in fashion, a field he had loved since childhood. It required quite some convincing back home, but then he succeeded.
Soon after graduating from Fanshawe College in Ontario (Canada), he started his career with the famed couturiers Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla after which he moved on to working with Nandita Mahtani. Styling came knocking at his door in the form of a Fashion Directorship at Seventeen India, followed by stints at L’Officiel India, L’Officiel Homme, Hi!Blitz and Noblesse India. His stellar repertoire also boasts of styling Bollywood beauties like Bipasha Basu, Sonakshi Sinha, and Sonali Bendre among others. He was offered a role in a fashion publication and he took it. That led to a successful career as Fashion Director -Editor and stylist over the past two decades.
In the course of an illustrious career, he has also worked with Anaita Shroff Adjania and Superna Motwane, as the creative editor with Man’s World, Rolling Stone magazine, Manager (Content) with Nyka Man, etc. Currently, he is the Creative Consultant for Aza Fashions. With the advent of digital media and social media, the way fashion is looked at and fashion-related content is consumed has changed drastically, he says. Being an editor of a fashion magazine is a role that requires putting together an ensemble considering the star’s personality as well as keeping in mind the brands associated which becomes very challenging at times. His sharp acumen is evident when he articulates the fashion industry’s many facets in precise words.
Kushal has fond memories of spending his summers in Belagavi, he knows all the eateries, the film theatres and the roads. Even today, he never misses his visits to the Laxmi Temple in Basavan Galli and the Hindalga Ganapati Temple. In spite of having achieved great success in the Hindi film industry having worked with almost all the top film stars, he rues the fact that fashion designers and stylists still don’t get the due credit. Kushal comes across as an intelligent, observant person who can connect with anyone easily. He has forged great friendships but his closest gang of friends are those from his childhood and school days with whom he spends most of his leisure time. Kushal’s mother has now bought a home in the same place where she was born. It is time Kushal strengthens his roots too, now that he has got them back.