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Versus Hires Jonathan Anderson November 29th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Cacharel Unveils New CEO, in Major Corporate Revamp November 21st, 2012 @ 00:56 AM


Kane Drops Out of Versus in Major Shake-up November 20th, 2012 @ 10:14 AM


Pucci’s Madison Avenue Store Debuts Massive Expansion November 16th, 2012 @ 00:35 AM


Ghesquière Departs Balenciaga in Major Surprise November 05th, 2012 @ 00:43 AM


Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Between Optimism and Fear November 02nd, 2012 @ 00:28 AM


London Unveils Men’s Season Schedule November 01st, 2012 @ 00:36 AM


Azzaro Releases Castello Branco October 25th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Revenue Soars 22 Percent at LVMH in First Three Quarters October 16th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Rykiel Names Geraldo da Conceicao Artistic Director September 21st, 2012 @ 8:12 PM


Brazil’s New London Pop-Up September 21st, 2012 @ 7:20 PM


McQueen Men Returning Home to London September 12th, 2012 @ 7:19 PM


Roitfeld, Mum and Son, Open in Brazil September 07th, 2012 @ 00:54 AM


Berluti Opens to Big-Time Business in London September 06th, 2012 @ 3:27 PM


Stefano Pilati Back with a Bang at Zegna September 05th, 2012 @ 7:10 PM


Hugo Boss Wows in Berlin, Plans for New York July 06th, 2012 @ 00:17 AM


Salvatore Ferragamo: Crusin’ the Louvre June 13th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Michel Klein Gains New Backer; Launches Sunglass Collection June 13th, 2012 @ 00:48 AM


Sykes Jettisoned by Aquascutum; Maurer In at Rabanne June 06th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



 
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Eclectic Bombay Electric: Mumbai's Next Wave

Renata Espinosa
October 16th, 2007 @ 8:03 PM - Mumbai

When you wake up in Mumbai, the first thing you hear is not the chirping of birds, but rather the non-stop honking of horns. This is Mumbai’s soundtrack, with every motorist announcing their presence on the road as they weave in and out of dense, pulsating traffic, a gentle reminder of one’s existence in this city of over 20 million.

It’s also a literal reminder that there’s a buzz in Mumbai at the moment, a city developing at a pace faster than practically any other on the planet. As New York City transforms into a suburban strip mall, slowly erasing any traces of its history, Mumbai just builds up around itself, with the traditional mixing with the new. This eclectic sensibility has been apparent on the runway all week at Lakme Fashion Week, but it’s also apparent in the way people attending the shoes are mixing designer bags and shoes with their kurtas and saris.

“Everything is new and exciting here, whereas everything elsewhere has been done,” said Sujata Assomull, communications director of the Murjani Group, who is bringing brands into India such as Gucci, Jimmy Choo, La Perla, French Connection and Calvin Klein. “We have such a great history of fashion, and I love that we’re the only country that still wears its traditional clothing, though now is the time where we mix both.”

A retail concept mirroring this clashing and meshing of ideas and cultural renaissance in Mumbai is Bombay Electric, a totally innovative shop in Mumbai that is as chic as it is down to earth and inviting, with a carefully curated selection of clothing, accessories and other assorted design objects - almost all by Indian designers - that possess that little extra special detail or story that finds a place in the heart of owners Priya Kishore and Deepak Rajegowda, who they are banking their customers will love and appreciate, too. There are bomber jackets made from vintage sari fabrics, hand-painted silk caftans with the most delicate embroideries and stiching, necklaces made up of 4000 year old beads and many collections made exclusively for the store, with Kishore, the creative director, working with the designer to come up with new concepts.

“It’s Indian, without being self-consciously so,” explained Kishore. “ We’re taking traditional Indian ideas but made them modern and contemporary, and we’ve picked things with the aim of being able to wear them anywhere in the world.”

Their customers run the gamut, from 16-64 years old, and they come from all different parts of the world. “We’ve had Japanese grannies come in who’ve literally picked the six best things in the store,” said Kishore.

Kishore and Rajegowda moved to Bombay from London two years ago, and found an abandoned and totally dilapidated building - originally it was a gift from Burma to India - that they renovated from top to bottom, keeping old, beautiful details like 120 year old teak beams, wrought iron gates and lush greenery. You enter the store through a charming courtyard, where if you’re lucky you might be treated to one of the best cups of chai you’ve ever tasted before sauntering through the brightly lit space, a contrast of clearn white walls, dark teak beams and fixtures that merge minimalist contemporary design with antique display cases.

When they opened the store nine months ago, the only other place to go shopping for high-end good was the Louis Vuitton store across the street, situated in Mumbai’s poshest hotel, the Victorian-era Taj Mahal Palace, but within the last six months a whole slew of designer emporiums have opened in the area - Fendi, Ermenegildo Zegna - along with new art galleries and high-end eateries.

Though the majority Indians with the means to partake in the burgeoning fashion scene are still more inclined to go for the bling versus the less traditional offerings at Bombay Electric, but Kishore believes that is changing.

“Consumption has moved onto curation,” said Kishore. “At first, people didn’t really know how to put things together, and we had to style everything for them.” Partially, explained Rajegowda, this stemmed from the typical Indian mode of shopping where the local tailor came into one’s home with a spread of saris, which the customer then picked and had custom-made for them.

“But people are learning,” continued Kishore. “It’s not just about wearing something based on what other people think, but instead it’s about buying for yourself and what you like.”

More and more, she said, are choosing design over flash and want a more sophisticated approach to shopping. The mellow Kishore just wants people to enjoy every moment they spend in the store - no rush or pressure to buy - where shopping is a leisurely, social activity amongst friends. “I want people to have an intimate relationship with the clothes,” she said, as she marveled over the exquisite finishings of a newly arrived collection with infectious enthusiasm.

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