Kings of cool: These 11 Asian celebrity dads are redefining fashion on their own terms
Age has nothing on these men who have aged better than wine. From Aaron Kwok and Shah Rukh Khan to Christopher Lee and Rain, look and learn, gentlemen.
There is a curious phenomenon sweeping across the world. Fashion labels can’t seem to get enough of celebrity dads and, sometimes, even granddads.
Recently, the legendary 84-year-old actor Anthony Hopkins was unveiled as the newest male model for Spanish fashion label Loewe. Jurassic Park alumnus Jeff Goldblum, 69, and Twin Peaks actor Kyle Maclachlan, 63, also strutted down Prada’s Fall/Winter runway earlier this year.
Meanwhile over on this side of the world, Asian celebrity dads have also been thrust into the limelight, though not so much for their superstar clout but for their insouciant personal style. Embracing fashion on their own terms, these famous fathers make looking good seem like an afterthought.
Surely, Kimura needs no introduction. Undoubtedly, one of the most popular members of Japan’s foremost boy band SMAP, the man is a Japanese icon in his own right. The 49-year-old’s wardrobe tells a tale of a true dapper who handles a tux as effortlessly as laidback everyday staples. Last year, the singer-actor further flexed his sartorial prowess, reimagining two Ray-Ban classics – the Aviator and the Wayfarer – in sell-out limited editions.
Arguably, the best-dressed Heavenly King, Kwok understands why it is necessary to suffer for style. “To look like a gentleman, you have to dress the part even if it involves some suffering like bearing with soaring temperatures when donning a jacket,” he told CNA Lifestyle in an interview once.
As for how he manages to look this good at age 56: “I started to take care of my skin from way back in 1995. That’s 26 years of persistence. Taking care of the skin is not just what women do; men should do it, too.”
Taking care of his appearance doesn’t stop at the face. “I don’t control what I eat but I counter this indulgence with what I call ‘punishment exercise’ which means I exercise for at least an hour every day, even if it means that I get less rest.”
He added, “We cannot afford to get lazy about taking care of our skin because our face is the first thing everyone sees.”
Standing at 1.88m, it’s not difficult to imagine that the 51-year-old was once a much sought-after runway model. His strapping physique caught the eye of directors, and he went from modelling to acting, starring in hit K-dramas such as Bodyguard, The Greatest Love, A Korean Odyssey and most recently, Our Blues. Fans of K-reality shows will also recognise Cha as the chef with the most swag in Three Meals A Day, as well as Korean Hostel In Spain.
Throughout his career, Cha has collected more fashion-related awards than he can count: Super Icon (Male) by Elle Style Awards, Asia Star Award at the 10th Asia Model Festival Awards, Best Dressed of the Year – Male at the 9th Korean Lifestyle Awards, Style Icon of the Year at the 4th Style Icon Awards, Fashion Icon Award at the Korean Fashion & Design Awards, among others.
Messy hair, don’t care. The king of Bollywood took on the controversial man bun that many believe to be an unattractive hairstyle. But judging from the 3.35 million likes he got from that social media post, it’s obvious it’s who wears it that matters. (That said, the jury is still out if it's the top knot or the 56-year-old’s perfectly sculpted abs that got all the attention.) Estimated to be worth US$600 million (S$833.80 million), the father of three is believed to be one of the richest actors in the world.
One half of Malaysia’s hottest celebrity couple (he's married to actress Nur Fazura) this leading man perpetually looks groomed, no matter on or off camera. How does he do it? The new dad has a taste for easy classics such as plain designer tees, distressed denim and up-to-the-minute kicks. Scroll through his Instagram feed for a show-and-tell on elevated casual chic.
These days, the Initial D actor is better known for his fashion label Common Sense, a streetwear label that specialises in collaborations with hype brands such as Converse, New Balance, Adidas, G-Shock and Vans. Needless to say, the 40-year-old’s personal wardrobe is chockfull of the latest and hardest to score limited editions.
The Young And Dangerous actor edged out 32 contestants to clinch top spot in Chinese reality series Call Me By Fire last year. What’s his secret sauce? The 54-year-old’s inimitable high fade pompadour hairstyle ensures that he always looks the part of a star.
It’s easy to forget that the singer-actor is a father of two. Especially after the 39-year-old famously tabata-ed his way back to his 20-year-old physique – the Ninja Assassin actor shook off 10kg in three months and has never looked and felt better. Founding fashion label Six to Five hasn’t stopped the Korean star from cosying up to fashion labels such as Gucci, Burberry and Levi's.
This leather and textured velvet combo is not meant for the faint-hearted. In the wrong hands, this Dolce & Gabbana getup could go very wrong. But instead of going to town with a loud look, the stylish 35-year-old Crazy Rich Asians star chose to pair it with a plain cotton tee and leather boots. All that’s missing is some arm candy – Golding’s one-year-old daughter Lyla will do nicely.
A former model, the 43-year-old actor-chef has a shoe fetish and is proud of it. Like shoe maestro Christian Louboutin, Yeo believes that shoes have the ability to transform one’s body language and attitude. A bona fide sneakerhead, the man’s shoe wardrobe is made up of hard-to-snag kicks such as Nike x G-Dragon collab Air Force, special edition Vans, and elusive Red Wings, all to match his casual but carefully curated personal style.
The man can act so don’t let his "ah pek" togs on Dishing With Chris Lee fool you into thinking that style doesn’t run through his veins. The 51-year-old has no problem rising to the occasion, be it an award ceremony or gracing a luxury store opening. At a drop of the hat, the father of one can Clark Kent his way to a spiffy gentleman or an achingly cool hipster, whatever the occasion calls for.