Shop­ping in­side a kalei­do­scope

Krsnaa Mehta’s In­dia Cir­cus mixes the quirky and the con­tem­po­rary with a burst of colour in its first brick-and-mor­tar home dé­cor store in the city

The Hindu - - CHENNAI - :: PRIYADARSHINI PAITANDY

Walk­ing into the In­dia Cir­cus store at Pal­la­dium is like en­ter­ing a kalei­do­scope. Bright cush­ions, colour­ful wall art, vi­brant crock­ery, flo­ral rugs, el­e­gant lanterns and other home dé­cor es­sen­tials line the walls. The de­signs and prints are all very quirky. “Ac­tu­ally a fair mix of quirky and con­tem­po­rary clas­sic,” says de­signer Krsnaa Mehta who started the brand in 2012. Back then there was no phys­i­cal store, it was just on­line. “We couldn’t af­ford a store at that point. That was the time when on­line com­merce was pick­ing up and there was no one do­ing what we were, so it took off,” says Mehta.

Ini­tially, clients placed small or­ders, and once they got a feel of the qual­ity, the num­bers grew. Mehta says, he knew a brand couldn’t be built with­out cre­at­ing an ex­pe­ri­en­tial space. “I’m all about light and shadow and none ........................................................ ........................................................ of this can re­flect on­line. So we started the first store last year in Kala Ghoda, Mum­bai, fol­lowed by an­other in Pal­la­dium there and now we are here in Chen­nai,” he says adding, “Chen­nai is among the top five mar­kets when it comes to our on­line sales. Mum­bai, Delhi, Ben­galuru and Hy­der­abad are the oth­ers.”

Mehta re­calls when he was stu- dy­ing de­sign in the US, ev­ery time he came to In­dia, he never found any­thing to carry back as sou­venirs. “I wanted to make some­thing that peo­ple could take with them as gifts and be proud of the coun­try,” he says. The idea of the name came af­ter he de­signed a poster for a brochure. It was called In­dia Cir­cus and it de­picted a train with cir­cus hap­pen­ing on it. “That name stuck in my head. In­dia is like a cir­cus. There is al­ways some­thing hap­pen­ing, a med­ley of things,” he adds.

In­dia Cir­cus con­tin­ues to add new prod­ucts their col­lec­tion. Mehta and team is al­ways in­ter­ested in the ini­tial re­ac­tion the new launch evokes. “When we launched mo­bile phone cov­ers in 2013, we sold al­most 800 in a day,” he says. The de­signer has also given trendy makeovers to prod­ucts that have over the years been la­belled un­cool. These in­clude large steel tum­blers with in­tri­cate prints in red, yel­low and green among oth­ers, and lunch bags with roses, flamin­gos, cranes and Mughal-in­spired prints.

Their for­tunes have now changed, with them be­com­ing in­stant hits among clients. The new line of shower cur­tains too have a bunch of ea­ger shop­pers flock­ing around them, feel­ing the fab­ric and com­par­ing mo­tifs. “We are cre­at­ing a life­style around our de­sign. What­ever prod­uct a de­sign looks good on will do well,” he says.

In­dia Cir­cus is now launch­ing bed­ding. In­ter­est­ingly, be­fore Krsnaa Mehta be­came a brand, the first thing he ever de­signed was a line of bed­ding and cush­ions with or­ganza and du­pion sari bor­ders for Zeeba, a tex­tile brand owned by his fam­ily. Over the years Mehta has also col­lab­o­rated with West­side, The Bom­bay Store and Good Earth. For Big Bazaar he’s cre­ated The Dream Line, a col­lec­tion of bed­ding and tow­els, and has just signed a deal with Bom­bay Dye­ing.

Next, the la­bel will launch stores in Ben­galuru, Delhi, Hy­der­abad, Cal­cutta and Pune.

We are cre­at­ing a life­style around our de­sign. What­ever prod­uct a de­sign looks good on will do well

SPE­CIAL AR­RANGE­MENT ■

(Be­low) Krsnaa Mehta is giv­ing new life to prod­ucts that have over the years been la­belled un­cool, such as steel tum­blers and lunch bags

A trendy makeover

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