Shades of India, one of Delhi’s most loved premium lifestyle brands, opened its first flagship store on September 11, in Mumbai’s buzzing suburb of Bandra.
The company is managed by Mandeep Nagi (Design Director) and David Housego (Chairman) and each year they launch four collections, every season. The new store opens with the pre-festive collection Afsana and the Home & Living 2019 collection.
The inaugural event was a star-studded affair with Gul Panag, Nandita Das and Tisca Chopra as attendees. “It took us a long time to find a space that we could make ours. Our search led us to this location in Bandra, reminiscent of old-world architecture and a hub of trendy alternative culture. One look and we knew we were ready to set foot in Mumbai.” says, Housego. The store houses fine handcrafted products like home apparels, jewellery, bags, soft furnishings, clothes and more. “I wanted a minimalist space that would bring out the beauty of colour, texture and detailing,” says Nagi.
The store has contemporary interiors with high ceilings, large glass French windows, overlooking the adjacent zen garden. The brand’s design philosophy is to marry contemporary design with the workmanship of traditional craft. Their forte lies in creating beautifully handcrafted textures by layering different fabrics. “We have created a muted but perfect amalgamation of the crafts with modern contemporaries. This year, we have focused a lot on using organic fabrics and layering them with accent textures. Like we have done some gold work, which is again muted down with jute,” says Roshni Sethi, Head of Interiors Department at the Mumbai store.
The cushions, textured cotton blankets and the organdy curtains look chic, yet have a raw feel to it. “You can blend the products in today’s world, even though they are made using old handmade techniques,” she adds.
Though both Mumbai and Delhi stores have the same range of products, there are a handful of intricately designed curtain ties, which the store is offering for the first time. “I feel all the products here are very classy and it is also in the genre of minimalism. And I think one is now consciously seeking out minimalism and I am definitely one of them,” shares Gul Panag, who was checking out some quilts and bedsheets.
The style and design of the clothes, quilts and bedsheets, involves texturing of fabrics and mixing bright colours with pastel hues. Shades of India does not use polyester, so a lot of pure fabrics are utilised – pure silk, organic cotton, jute, mul, cotton silk, organdy, bamboo, chanderi, tussar silk and handwoven camel wool. Few products are made from crochet and wooden beads too. “It is interesting to see how Mandeep clubs natural fabrics and weaving techniques and sticks to the Indian ethos while contemporising it. Their home furnishing collection is superb and I am eyeing their bedsheets and cushion covers,” says Nandita Das.
Founded in the early 90s, the brand has over two decades of experience in exporting textiles and so has its presence across the globe. Their products are sold at Harrods and the Conran Shop in London and at ABC on Broadway in New York. It is after enjoying the international reputation and establishing themselves as a brand that specialises handcrafted products, they opened their first stand-alone flagship store at the Meharchand Market in New Delhi, in 2012 followed by one in Gurugram in 2017. And now after Mumbai, the founders are eyeing Bengaluru.