The dapper, dynamic and dashing CEO and Founder of Smoke Lab dances to his own sartorial tune, a feat few are able to accomplish. That’s why we got together with the ‘smooth operator’ to talk brands, heirlooms, and how he’s always true to himself.
HELLO! Loves: Arguably the coolest looking man in the capital, with a charming personality to match, Varun is known for his enviable wardrobe, replete with the finest accessories money can buy, from which his effortless style ebbs and flows…
HELLO!: When did your sartorial journey begin?
Varun Jain: “I believe I started developing my personal style during my formative years, intuitively. Influenced by artists and athletes during my formative years, I admired their talents and artistry, but I also began blending elements of their fashion choices with my aesthetic sensibilities. Eventually, my style became more personalised to reflect my individuality.”
H!: What’s your signature look?
VJ: “I have two fail-proof looks that have served me well over the years. One is a classic button-down suit, perfect for something formal. In a drastic contrast, the other is a well-put-together combo of a hoodie or an over-sized tee, paired with a good pair of sneakers for a more relaxed and comfortable vibe. But what truly completes these looks is my signature scent—Jean Paul Gaultier.”
H!: What are some pearls of fashion wisdom that you’ve received and never forgotten?
VJ: “A timeless lesson that has influenced my journey is the value of simplicity. My father [Ashok Jain] embodied this principle flawlessly—less, when chosen with care, can indeed be more. Focusing on a few key elements in your attire is sufficient to create a stylish statement.”
H!: Brands that a man simply cannot go wrong with?
VJ: “A few brands that I’ve consistently remained loyal to are Hermès, Tom Ford, Loro Piana and Berluti. For a more relaxed fit, it’s of course SMOKE LAB WEAR from my wife [Sanya]’s collection. I love Adidas, Nike and currently, my favourites are On running shoes because they are super comfortable.”
H!: Four items every man should invest in?
VJ: “A well-tailored suit, a nice watch, shoes or sneakers and a stylish travel or office bag.”
H!: An heirloom that’s been passed down to you that you’ll forever cherish?
VJ: “My father’s Patek Philippe watch.”
H!: Men whom you admire for their style and why?
VJ: “I admire the refinement of Daniel Craig, along with the fearless vibe of Sean John, also known as P. Diddy.”
H!: How does your wardrobe remain current while still being true to your sense of style?
VJ: “I believe in living responsibly, so you don’t need to buy into trends to keep pace with the ever-changing fashion landscape. Instead, I invest in timeless classics and a few statement pieces. The magic lies in mixing and matching, creating looks with those timeless pieces. It’s a sustainable approach where less is truly more.”
This is an interview from HELLO! India’s November 2023 issue. To read other such stories, check out check out the latest issue right here.