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‘Sonam is my muse in styling and films, we will always work together’: Rhea Kapoor

"People have different ideas of how Sonam and I actually are. I know they misconstrue how Sonam is, but if I speak for myself, I am pretty laid back and not very fussy. I am just very pragmatic," she says

Written by Shweta Sharma | New Delhi |
May 15, 2021 5:30:28 pm
Rhea Kapoor, Rhea Kapoor interview, Rhea Kapoor age, Rhea Kapoor Sonam Kapoor, Rhea Kapoor photos, Rhea Kapoor films, Rhea Kapoor parents, Rhea Kapoor instagramSonam and Rhea Kapoor. (Photo: Rhea Kapoor/Instagram)

“Producer, stylist, all-around control freak — but my hearts in the right place,” reads Rhea Kapoor’s Instagram bio. Ask her how she juggles between the two starkly different roles and she credits her “commitment” and “passion”, along with the fact that she likes to keep trying out new things.

“I want to challenge myself, and I feel we subconsciously go towards what inspires us at that moment… I am in a state of discovery right now; I am finding new aspects in myself in terms of creativity,” she says.

In an exclusive email interaction with, Rhea, who is sister to Bollywood fashionista Sonam Kapoor, talks about her working mantra, pandemic learnings, and her latest collaboration with Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve for its latest campaign #PourofGold in association with ace designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla.


You are a producer and stylist, two absolutely different roles. How do you strike a balance?

I think my circumstances help me strike a balance. I take each day as it comes, and complete the task at hand. Life does it for you. If you are committed and passionate about what you do, then you will only have that much space at that time for a particular thing. Not saying that you ignore the other thing but sometimes it takes a back seat. When I am making my films, I am first working on them and then I end up styling, too. So, in that way celebrity styling does take a little bit of a back seat. But it is also like I am growing and evolving and my interests are changing. I want to challenge myself and I feel like we subconsciously go towards what inspires us at that moment.


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A post shared by Rhea Kapoor (@rheakapoor)

Which do you enjoy more and why?

I, right now, think am into my movies and creating products and entrepreneurship. I am in a state of discovery right now; I am finding new aspects in myself in terms of creativity. I have been styling for 12-13 years, and now I just feel like it has to evolve into something else — which it is — and I am really enjoying it.

If you had to curate a style checklist for the modern Indian bride, what would it include?

I would make sure it included everything she needs to be comfortable. Comfortable shoes or a change of shoes that don’t hurt — something like an ankle slip-on, and hooey socks that can keep her comfortable. I would make sure that she has weather-appropriate clothing, a little handbag (or whatever is comfortable for her) for holding the phone. I would say that a stylist’s checklist should have things you need to have a good time.


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A post shared by Rhea Kapoor (@rheakapoor)

Your sister Sonam is known for her impeccable fashion choices. But a lot of ideation goes behind creating the final look, and you are often a part of it. How is it styling her, and could you share the BTS process?

The behind-the-scenes for creating a look always starts with a story. But sometimes the outfit inspires us, sometimes Sonam’s mood, sometimes a piece of jewellery, and sometimes the location. Then we go on from there. If the look is reminiscent of Japanese streetwear, then you take inspiration from Kabuki or Harajuku Girls. You use the little nuances to have fun with makeup, hair but make sure that it doesn’t look too costumey. So, historical figures, photographs, anything can give you inspiration and you just work backward and modernise elements, make them individual and then put it all together.

Your association with designer duo Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla goes way back and you have often donned their creations. What is special about the latest collaboration?

Sonam and my association with Abu Jain-Sandeep Khosla goes way back. My mother, aunt knew them, and it’s a name that I have always heard to be synonymous with utmost luxury, originality, knowledge, ethnic wear, and Indian fashion. My collaboration with them is special because they know how to make you feel special not only in their clothes but also when they host you at their home. It’s just so fitting because they are all about glamour but also comfort, and this idea of glamour, luxury, bling, and celebration feels like home and embraces you. I feel that’s what makes it special — it’s not just glamour and excitement, but it is also family.


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A post shared by Rhea Kapoor (@rheakapoor)

What is the most challenging thing about being a stylist?

It is to make sure that you are not letting the trends run your work. You are instead using them to your advantage to keep things exciting and fun. But it’s essential to remember that that’s not all you are about, and that you have your own style. You just have to make sure that your own and your client’s style are coming across. That is difficult when there is a trend every five minutes that everyone feels like they need to embrace.

It is not only films and fashion — #rheamade dishes look equally impressive. Is cooking something you indulged in more during the lockdown?

I have made a lot of burgers during the lockdown. I think a burger is the ultimate comfort food. It is just amazing and it makes you feel complete. Nothing like taking a big bite of a good burger, and also lots of fries. I have made fresh potato chips with thyme, lemon zest and pepper, and I have made spicy fresh potato chips, sweet potato fries and even cinnamon and Cajun sweet potato fry. Yeah, lots of fried potatoes (chuckles).


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A post shared by Rhea Kapoor (@rheakapoor)

What has been your biggest lockdown experience?

Having so much time with my family. Sonam and Anand came and were locked up in the house for so long and it was actually really nice. I miss them. The biggest thing is that I have not seen my sister in almost a year. We have been inseparable since we were babies. So that’s the biggest thing that I have faced. Also, all our birthdays during lockdown have been pretty special because they have all been different.

While you and Sonam regularly share snippets from your life on social media, if you had to share one thing about you both that not many people know, what would it be?

I am actually a super-private person. Also, I am media-shy and only share certain snippets of my life on social media, and keep my personal life to myself. It is just recently that I have started sharing my relationship, which I have had for 12 years. I think people have different ideas of how Sonam and I actually are. Or at least of me. I know how they misconstrue how Sonam is but I am pretty laid back and not very fussy. I am just very pragmatic. There is a very dreamy quality to me, but I am also straightforward and chilled out. I feel people think that we just wear gowns and go into fancy places, but I am happiest in my sweatpants chilling on the couch with my friends without wearing any make-up. Sometimes I even forget to even brush my hair (chuckles). But yeah, that is who I am.


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A post shared by Rhea Kapoor (@rheakapoor)

One celebrity you really wish to work with (in the film) and also as a stylist?

I really want to work with Alia Bhatt; as an actor, I think she is special. And also Anushka Sharma. I want to keep working with Kareena Kapoor Khan as a stylist and as an actor. She is the best. And obviously, Sonam is my muse in styling and films together. Sonam and I are going to work forever.

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