From an ubiquitous ugly appendage to a design accessory worthy of flaunting, the fan has come a long way. By KRIPA KRISHNAN
An apparatus with rotating blades that creates a current of air for cooling or ventilation. So goes the definition of fans in the hallowed pages of the Oxford dictionary. But the droolworthy concoctions now available in the market put the boring description to shame. Crafted with single or multiple wings in materials as varied as leather and rattan and topped with enough bling to satisfy a wannabe rapper, this must- have device has transformed from a utility item to a coveted lifestyle product.
These stylish avatars come in several options to fit in with the rest of your home décor. If you are a minimalist maven, opt for a silver single blade one from the stable of Suryaveer Kohli Home, a Delhi- based store that specialises in retailing designer fans from across the world. Alternatively, you can opt for an intricately carved wood and copper number from fan boutique Anemos, which has outlets in Mumbai,
Gurgaon as well as Ahmedabad.
So, what is it about these new age items that make them different from their predecessors. For, at the end of the day they still serve the same purpose. Prateek Kumar Sah, owner of Gurgaon- based Fan Studio, begs to differ. “In the days before electric fans, traditional hand- held ones were popular and they were often used as a status symbol or an ornament by the high and mighty. The same holds true today for designer fans and the business is booming,” says Sah.
Now you have pieces which double up as lights and some even look straight out of a Duchamp exhibition, yes after toilet as art, here is fan as art. So say hello to some of these spiffy gadgets with names such as Savoy, Monarch and Stella, which are proudly displayed on the the shelves of the lifestyle stores along with other popular décor staples like chandeliers and vases.
From reproductions of vintage pedestal fans crafted in copper to futuristic designs featuring multiple adjustable motor heads and remote controls, you can take your pick. These modern appliances come with all the decadent luxury trappings usually associated with haute couture objects, be it Swarovski crystals, leather inlays or gold finishes. These fans, some of which come with a handmade tag are definitely an owner’s pride. But like all things pretty, they too come at a price.
While a customised piece from Fan Studio, clad in a precious metal of your choice, can cost you upto 1.5 lakh, the products in the retinue of Suryaveer Kohli Home come with a price tag that can go upto 95,000.
The market though still at a nascent stage is a lucrative one. So, we have players like Prizm which
retails fans sourced from around the world in their Delhi store. Their Sycamore and Fanaway ranges for instance, with transparent blades and muted colour palette fit well both in outdoor and indoor settings. You can take one of these beauties home by paying between 20,000 and 50,000. “The metal contraptions of our childhood, or industrial fans as they are called by their posher counterparts, still account for almost 90 per cent of fan sales across the country,” says Suryaveer Kohli, proprietor of Suryaveer Kohli Home. But the remaining10 per cent is a profit spinning one and is rapidly growing every day due to the country’s rising incomes and aspirations, believes Vijay Arora of Prizm.
As a result even old players like Usha, better known for its affordable and sturdy product profile, has entered the fray. Their collection of decorative fans, launched in collaboration with the American brand Hunter includes the Fontana Maple, an elegant mix of a fan and a chandelier, made in brass. Another of their bestseller is Savoy, a nifty creation in steel.
Yet another label plying their wares in the market is Havells, which offers features like antirusting lacquered surfaces and timer settings combined with eyecatching forms and colours. These brands are easier on the pocket and the price tag falls between 5,000 and 15,000. This category too is set to expand along with the high- end one.
Now that we have fanned your curiosity with these cool creations, you can go ahead and replace the old with the swashbuckling new.
While Fanaway from Prizm has transparent blades; Fino from Anemos ( right) comes with a remote and is easy to mount
Anemos offers a similar design with adjustable motor heads The Shalimar model from Fan Studio is perfect for a traditional living room
Aurus is a five- winged fan from Havells which comes with a lighting kit
Blade, made of silver, from Suryaveer Kohli Home is a sleek product Savoy from Hunter combines wood with metal The Shalimar Cane is reminiscent of vintage longues
Sole from Anemos can double up as a minimalist chandelier