When they set out on a roadshow in Ahmedabad with Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie caught everyone’s eye because they were attired in Indian clothes — he in kurta-pyjama and a blue jacket, and she in pink salwar-kameez and white dupatta.
JadeBlue, the menswear chain that designed and tailored these clothes, said it had also designed a similar jacket, though of a different colour, for Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to Ahmedabad with Modi in September 2014.
Bipin Chauhan, one of the founders of JadeBlue, told The Indian Express: “We received measurements of the Japanese Prime Minister in advance and started making the entire set. We had earlier designed a Modi jacket for the Chinese President as well. The Chinese President wore only the jacket. For the Japanese Prime Minister, we designed and made the jacket, kurta and pyjama.”
“For the Chinese President, we designed a cream-colour Modi jacket which he wore over his shirt. For Abeji, we thought of a blue jacket since it goes well with white pyjama and cream kurta. It is a mix of khadi and Matka silk,” Chauhan said.
According to Chauhan, there is a difference between a Modi jacket and a Nehru jacket. “Nehru jackets are heavy and are a thing of the past. We only make Modi jackets. They are lighter and fit better.” JadeBlue has been designing Modi’s clothes from the time he was Chief Minister of Gujarat.
On the clothes that Akie Abe wore, Chauhan said: “We were asked to pick the outfit for the lady as well. We do not make clothes for women, so we called a few people and finalised a Bandhani print dress because it is a piece of our Kutchi tradition.”