Shades of In­dia For­ays Into Menswear, Launches Third Store in Delhi

The unique­ness of the brand style lies in the tex­tur­ing of fab­rics, the co­or­di­na­tion and con­trast­ing of col­ors, and the in­ven­tive, un­ex­pected use of sur­face treat­ment…

Business of Fashion - - Contents - IM­AGES Busi­ness of Fash­ion IM­AGES Busi­ness of Fash­ion

Shades of In­dia, the brand that com­bines con­tem­po­rary de­sign with in­spir­ing work­man­ship of tra­di­tional craft, has tripled its space to cre­ate a unique con­cept store for ap­parel, menswear and home.

Shades of In­dia, the brand that com­bines con­tem­po­rary de­sign with in­spir­ing work­man­ship of tra­di­tional craft, has tripled its space to cre­ate a unique con­cept store for ap­parel, menswear and home.

Led by De­sign Di­rec­tor, Man­deep Nagi and for­mer UK jour­nal­ist, David Housego, the brand has sep­a­rated ap­parel and ac­ces­sories from home and the new space spreads across 800 sq. ft. All the in­te­ri­ors have been de­signed by Man­deep Nagi in the same spirit as the pre­vi­ous col­lec­tions.

Store In­te­rior

The in­te­rior is min­i­mal­ist with an em­pha­sis on open ar­eas. As cus­tomers en­ter they look across to a shoji screen in wood and fab­ric that slides like a shut­ter in old Ja­panese homes. The walls are white and bare to al­low the colours of the clothes and ac­ces­sories to find their voice. The other el­e­ments are ce­ment, iron and glass.

The home store is a few steps from the ap­parel and ac­ces­sories. They form dif­fer­ent el­e­ments of the Shades of In­dia shop fa­cade. The heart of the store re­mains tex­tiles for in­te­ri­ors. But to this have been added iconic items that can give an un­ex­pected touch to a home.

Tex­tile hang­ings or hand crafted jew­ellery are treated as works of art. Ceram­ics – many again in­spired by Ja­pan – give an un­ex­pected touch to a shelf or a ta­ble. The an­tique is mixed with the

con­tem­po­rary. Tex­tures are con­trasted by colour or by mix­ing mas­cu­line or fem­i­nine. The mes­sage is that a room or an in­te­rior space can be rethought to pro­vide the un­ex­pected, the imag­i­na­tive and the cre­ative.

Menswear – A New Cat­e­gory

Along with these col­lec­tions, Shades of In­dia has launched, for the first time, a men’s cloth­ing col­lec­tion. This has been de­signed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Anu­pam Pod­dar, a col­lec­tor and cu­ra­tor of con­tem­po­rary art who has a pas­sion for tex­tiles. Pod­dar be­lieves men – even the more con­ser­va­tive – are ready to ex­per­i­ment with their cloth­ing. The col­lec­tion breaks away from the tra­di­tional but re­spects that men are still less will­ing to take risks than women. To­gether they have brought in­no­va­tion to shirts, kur­tas, waist­coats, jack­ets and men’s ac­ces­sories. The new men’s col­lec­tion is called Duet. The name is a trib­ute to the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Man­deep Nagi, De­sign Di­rec­tor and Anu­pam Pod­dar, dis­tin­guished art col­lec­tor who has a pas­sion for tex­tiles. The two joined hands be­cause they feel that there is a gap in the menswear mar­ket. Men – who once were so con­ser­va­tive – are look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent. This is as true in In­dia as in the US and Europe.

Duet brings to­gether one of the few men in Delhi who is in­no­va­tive in how he dresses, with the cre­ative skills and re­sources of Man­deep Nagi and Shades of In­dia.

Ac­cord­ing to Pod­dar, “Fash­ion for me has al­ways been an in­ter­est be­cause it is a way of ex­press­ing your­self. What you wear is in a sense who you are and a way of cre­at­ing your own per­sona.”

“We called our col­lab­o­ra­tion a duet be­cause it felt a lit­tle bit like a dance

– a fash­ion and art tango of sorts. The syn­chronic­ity of two in­di­vid­u­als who move as one, can take a lit­tle prac­tice to achieve, but it’s a beau­ti­ful thing in the end,” he adds.

Man­deep Nagi says, “As a women’s wear de­signer, I can imag­ine in ad­vance how a dress or kurta will look. But I have no ex­pe­ri­ence of men’s fash­ion. It has been a great joy to col­lab­o­rate with Anu­pam and to com­bine our dif­fer­ent strengths.”

The col­lec­tion has both in­for­mal easy-to-wear clothes and also for­mal wear for a party or a spe­cial oc­ca­sion. It is de­signed for men who want to ex­per­i­ment, but still be com­fort­able in their clothes. It can be worn by men of all ages from the young to the fa­ther, who want to look unique and stand out from the crowd. The col­lec­tion in­cludes shirts, kur­tas, jack­ets, waist­coats and men’s ac­ces­sories from scarves and shawls to men’s pocket squares and cuf­flinks.

The unique­ness of the brand style lies in the tex­tur­ing of fab­rics, the co­or­di­na­tion and con­trast­ing of col­ors, and the in­ven­tive, un­ex­pected use of sur­face treat­ment.

Fu­ture Plans

Founded al­most two decades ago, Shades of In­dia has built up a strong in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion and has sold to lead­ing de­part­ment stores around the world in­clud­ing Har­rods and the Con­ran Shop in the UK, ABC and Gumps in the US, Le Bon Marche in Paris, and Lane Craw­ford in Hongkong. The com­pany has par­tic­i­pated in ma­jor in­ter­na­tional fairs in­clud­ing Mai­son et Ob­jet in Paris and the New York Gift show.

“In around 2008, when most of the mar­kets col­lapsed, In­dia wasn’t re­ally af­fected, and we de­cided to take a chance in In­dia,” re­veals Nagi.

Build­ing on its in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion, Shades of In­dia es­tab­lished its own first stand­alone re­tail store in Me­harc­hand Mar­ket in New Delhi in 2012. It has al­ready be­come an iconic shop­ping des­ti­na­tion and cov­ers Shades of

In­dia’s full range of ap­parel, fash­ion and home ac­ces­sories and home fur­nish­ings. Shades of In­dia now sells through over 20 out­lets in In­dia in­clud­ing Good Earth stores and the Jay­pore on-line site.

“In terms of profitabil­ity, it is more in In­dia. We are look­ing for­ward to ex­pand­ing the brand pres­ence. The next store of Shades of In­dia will be open­ing in Mum­bai next year,” she con­cludes.

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