KL Rahul is commonly known for his impeccable work with a cricket bat in hand. But did you know he’s also a massive hypebeast, sneakerhead, and the founder of a cult street style label, Gully?
If you’ve ever seen KL Rahul off-pitch, you’d know that he’s no slouch when it comes to making an athleisure statement. His label, Gully, is also pure testimony to that. Recently, he introduced ‘Gully Evolve’, a platform for fashion icons to collaborate and showcase their collections, starting with KL Rahul and his special capsule. We caught up with the ace batsman to know more about this idea and what makes Gully a name to remember.
Tell us the story behind the name Gully and how you wanted its aesthetic to stand out in today’s menswear industry?
Gully in the Caribbean Islands refers to a designated hangout spot for your gang. I discovered this on one of my trips to the Big Apple. I liked that gully was such a versatile term and understood in many countries and cultures. We all already know the meaning of gully back home and its also a very common cricket term. While connecting the dots for this label, GullyBoy, a blockbuster Bollywood film made its debut; it was perfect timing for us. While the movie was about Hip-Hop and Rap music, Gully was about streetstyle and hypebeast silhouettes, two sides of the same coin. Hence, it stuck.
Streetstyle is built on authenticity, and that’s a core design philosophy we follow at Gully. It’s also about collaborating and taking inspiration from like-minded individuals of the community and creating something for the community itself. We’ve done several successful collaborations including with the Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals, these are teams of the Indian Premier League (IPL); it’s a cricket league similar to the English Premier League for football. This makes our approach to fashion very different from our competitors.
What was the idea behind ‘Gully Evolve’?
Just like all cultures of media, millennials follow the influential. They aspire to live like them and dress like them, but unfortunately, high fashion brands and styles don’t always work well with budgets. I decided to launch Gully Evolve as a platform within Gully, where celebrities and fashion icons can release their fashion collections, making their authentic styles accessible to millennials. It’s a perfect blend of premium design and price without compromising on quality.
Gully’s aesthetic language is a fusion of cult streetwear, lightweight comfort, and vibrancy. What was the idea behind this?
Upon close inspection, you’ll see that streetwear brands focus on design more than quality. I wanted to ensure that our products are not only authentic in design but also affordable with the promise of quality. More so, streetwear is about collaborations and taking inspiration from your collaboration partners and creating clothing that is trendy yet comfortable.
Tell us about how your personal style influenced the brand’s designs.
My personal style is – Eclectic. Understated, but one that still makes a statement.
I’ve had the privilege of travelling the world over the past few years, so I’ve curated my wardrobe with pieces I’ve picked up from the places I’ve visited; it helped me mould my overall sense of style. I love streetwear as it’s what I’m in most of the time when not playing cricket/training. And that’s been the inspiration behind my personal clothing collection ‘Gully Evolve’ as well. That being said, I’d still never turn down the chance to wear a suit.
At Gully, we aim to capture how we all start somewhere and evolve into something beautiful. I’ve put effort into every piece we’ve made to extend a part of my vibe through it.
Who is the audience Gully looks to attract with their designs?
While we primarily cater to millennials who are fashion-forward, we strive to have something for everybody. We are body neutral, which is why we offer ranges of XXS to 4XL. Apart from that, we also aim for gender-neutral designs as we aspire to be a destination for female hypebeasts as well.
Sustainability is always at our core. After a lot of trials and errors, we developed our patented D Square technology. This is our unique and proprietary technology for designing, manufacturing, and selling fashion in a sustainable but yet scalable way. It’s one of the reasons why we don’t mass produce and hence offer no discounts. This enables us to launch unlimited authentic fresh designs as per the requirements of followers of the community built around our brand called Gully Gang.
Tell us about how Gully has evolved your personal style?
Athleisure clothing is something that has always caught my eye, and I love how it evolved to be this stylish over the years. Gully was simply an expression of my interest in this cult. This brand speaks a lot about my style and the story. Over the years, I’ve experimented with tons of athleisure garments like structured jackets, baggy silhouettes, and conspicuous colours. I wanted to see a label that fuses this with culture, music and fashion of the streets, that’s where Gully and I meet.
How did you develop a passion for sneakers?
My sneakers have undoubtedly taken over my wardrobe. I’ve been a serious collector for quite a while now. There’s always something new to discover with every new pair I find. That’s what keeps me going.
When it comes to picking up Gully pieces, what must one look out for?
The one piece to own is definitely the Gully Bomber Jacket. The biggest stars of Bollywood approve of this garment. As we focus on sizing, we have a variety of fits, slim-fit polos, oversized tees, tapered joggers, and sweatshirts I’d love for people to try.
All images: Courtesy brand