His father is one of the biggest names in Bollywood. But that's not who we are going to talk about, today. The world's kept their eyes peeled for Aryan Khan's first introduction to cinema, and we think he has certainly got off to the perfect start. With confidence and charisma in his DNA, the Gen Z fashion icon has made one style statement after another. And he, along with Bunty Singh and Leti Blagoeva, brings this and his know-how of everything's that trending and cool to SLAB Ventures' D’YAVOL brand, which recently announced King Khan as the face of their highly-anticipated limited-edition luxury streetwear brand.
The D’YAVOL X ad film, Aryan Khan's directorial debut, has been the talk of the town for all the right reasons, and we can’t wait to find out what's in store.
Speaking about the brand's journey, co-founder Singh feels that things are shaping up exactly as they had envisaged it. "It is a gutsy brand. One that places an extremely high value on quality and design, and isn’t afraid to go into uncharted territories.” Along with Khan, Singh has teamed up with Blagoeva, to bring the luxurious street pieces of D’YAVOL X to the forefront of fashion. Blagoeva knows how to make the newest entrant in the world of fashion stand out. “Our model is based on delivering small capsule collections throughout the year, in very limited release runs. For example, in this drop, no single piece has more than 100 pieces up for sale. A key aspect of luxury for us is an unrelenting focus on quality and craftsmanship. We use some wonderful natural fabrics, including a great cotton and bamboo blend that is very breezy and pleasant to wear even in hot weather.”
Whether in front of the camera or behind it, Aryan, much like his father, and sister, who is soon to make her film debut, knows how to make his presence felt. In an exclusive interview with Bazaar India, he talks about his very-first ad film, shooting with his father, the perfect shot, his views on street fashion, and much more.
Harper’s Bazaar India: It’s the very first ad film you’ve made. Take us through the thought process.
Aryan Khan: I wanted this to be an origin story for the brand logo. The goal of the video was to make the logo memorable and recognisable at a glance for recall value. But if you are asking for a deeper meaning, I guess you could say, sometimes the best solutions are the simplest. And in this case, ironically, the right solution is an X.
HB: In the first go, D’YAVOL X adds a lot of curiosity. What’s the reason behind choosing the name?
AK: There was a musician by the name of Robert Johnson. People derided him, called him talentless and said he would never amount to anything. He went on a two-year sabbatical where he honed his craft, trained day and night, and came back to produce some of the greatest music the world has heard. People said he only got good because he sold his soul to the devil. But it was his hard work, self-belief, and perseverance that let him amount to greatness, and his new vision inspired the likes of Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan.
People will always judge and try to deride anything new and path-breaking, and will try to ascribe success to anything, even something as foolish as 'selling your soul to the devil'. The story inspired me and Blagoeva told me the Bulgarian word for devil is D’yavol. For the full story of X, you’ll have to watch our announcement video, but essentially, it stands for the fact that sometimes the best solutions are the simplest.
HB: What does the perfect shot and scene mean to you?
AK: If I got into the technicalities of the perfect shot, I could spend hours talking to you about the right lighting or the perfect angles, but a perfect shot is subjective. And the truth is, you can never get it. Thus, when I first look at what I’ve made, the first thing that jumps at me is the mistakes, despite the supposedly perfect light set-up and camera angles. But that’s the beauty and the fun of making movies; you are always trying to capture that elusive best shot. And maybe one day I’ll get it. And if not, there’s always the editing crew.
HB: What’s the first thing that your parents said when they saw the ad for the first time?
AK: They asked me to keep some pieces from the collection aside for them, in case it sells out. I am still considering their request.
HB: Was working with your father challenging? Or was it the most easy part of the entire shoot?
AK: Working with my father is never challenging, because, with his experience and dedication, he makes everyone’s job easier on set. He also makes the entire crew feel at ease and has tremendous respect for everyone. When he’s on set I always make sure to pay extra attention, so I don’t miss out on anything I can learn.
HB: Did he share his input or let you do your own thing?
AK: Of course, he did, and everyone involved in the project gave their input in some way. And it is important to at least listen to them because filmmaking is a collaborative effort. If my dad's input is different from mine, and if both seem valid, you can always shoot it both ways; but don’t tell my producer.
HB: Why streetstyle fashion and not anything else?
AK: Fashion, for the most part, should not come at the expense of comfort. Outside of special occasions, I feel that most people gravitate towards a streetwear style. Some mix and match to give it a more formal look, but the sheer versatility of streetwear appeals to me. It’s also a unisex style and can have a whole range of interpretations—from quite minimalist to graphically intense.