Golf is far from a fuddy-duddies game these days. Leave aside the eyebrow-raising prize money and sponsorships, there’s also the question of how trendy you can be on the golf course. No more is it your grandad’s sport, played in baggy trousers with a mashie-niblick. Today’s top professional golfers adopt colours (red, yellow, pink) and trends (jungle- printed trousers, plus fours, argyle sweaters) with aplomb and many own their range of golfing apparel. Stetson-wearing golf icon, Greg Norman brought style to the forefront 20 years ago with his label, Great White Shark, still hugely popular. Ian Poulter has his IGP Design range of apparel, and golf’s biggest star, Tiger Woods, has his own clothing line by Nike.
In India, golfers have had to depend on trips abroad to pick up their gear, and it was expensive to boot. Until young golfer JJ Chakola, Asian Games silver medallist and a former top-ranked India amateur, decided to do something about it as he decided to take a break from professional golf. Being young and fashion forward himself, he decided on a golfing fashion business as his new startup. Today, his brand 3 B E L O W, retails online (www.3below.com) and at top golf courses in Bengaluru, besides selling in Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. “Growing up, I could never afford the top brands, and I started thinking seriously about producing a line of golf apparel and accessories (caps and belts) which offered style and quality at great prices,” he tells me. Together with a friend, Ashik Jaffer-Ali, a design professional from Parsons Design School in the US, Chakola was able to actualise his concept in 2014 with a bright zippy young range of affordable T-shirts, trousers, shorts, belts and caps. Looking ahead, Chakola plans to expand his ladies’ apparel range and make customisable golf bags with a strong design element.
“In golf, an important part is how you’re turned out on the course,” Chakola points out. “A shabbily dressed golfer doesn’t inspire confidence in his game. Some of the best golfers are incidentally the best dressed.”
From Ben Hogan’s black, grey and white ensembles to Tiger Woods’ final round dress code of black and red, to Payne Stewart’s memorable plus fours and flat caps, golfers have always made a style statement. Chakola himself enjoys dressing to play and is a fan of Adam Scott’s understated style and Billy Horschel’s colourful dress palette: “When playing my best golf I enjoyed wearing bright colours.” Meanwhile 3 B E L O W has been busy kitting out sporting stars. Murali Kartik has worn it, as well as Croatian tennis star Ivo Karlovic during the Champions Tennis League last year. “Karlovic was 7-feet tall, so everything was custom made for him,” says Chakola. With a growing number of enquiries from international markets, he says his biggest joy is to see golfers he doesn’t know personally wear his apparel on the golf course. “That’s a big thrill for a young startup label like mine.”
Artisera is a one-stop shop for curated artistic pieces for your home. Promising luxury, the Bengaluru-based site helps you pick unique pieces of fine art, collectibles, home décor, and furniture, from galleries, stores, artists and designers. Started by husband-wife duo, Varun Backliwal and Lisa Jain, the site has a unique curation process.
The duo descends from four generations of a Delhi-based family that has been associated with the Indian arts and handicrafts trade for over a century. “We noticed that for a discerning client who is looking for something that isn’t mass-manufactured, and who is willing to pay for high quality, craftsmanship and finesse, the choice available online was disappointing and confusing,” says Jain.
The site has an invite-only model for the sellers and they exercise complete control over what they sell. Like the lapis lazuli and white jade table they have in stock. Rare and exquisite, the side table is 70 years old and is a replica of old European styles. “We carefully handpick our selection by working closely with our partner brands to better understand trends and client preferences. Everything on Artisera is either one of a kind or limited edition,” says Backliwal. Some of the brands who sell on Artisera are Sarita Handa, Vadehra Art Gallery, Tasveer, Jaipur Rugs and PortsideCafé Furniture, amongst others.
Next, the site is looking at introducing collections and lines designed by some partner brands, exclusively for Artisera, in the next 6-8 months.
— Anagha M
The Pinkapple Studio launched their online portal (pinkapple.co.in) in June this year. Archana Ganapathy Poonacha, the founder, could not be more thrilled. The company, with a studio in Indiranagar, is a one-stop solution for interior products across residential, corporate, retail and hospitality spaces. They design and produce products from decorative lighting, furniture, wall art to custom blinds, rugs and bed textiles.
Poonacha, who worked in the design teams of corporate brands like United Colors of Benetton, Levis and Wrangler, wanted to start her own studio. She tells us, “The idea was on my mind right from my first pregnancy. I received a cash gift to do whatever I wanted to, so, I went ahead and registered the studio.” Today, they have worked for brands like Puravankara Builders, Mercedes, Dell and HCL.
What sets the studio apart is the work they do with artisans from villages in Mandya district. Most of these Muslim women artistes are from homes of daily wage workers and are skilled in embroidery and stitching. The pieces are all part of the collection in the studio. They are in the process of setting up the back end incubation for production for their B2B clients so that they can provide a better livelihood to all these artisans.
“Bengaluru is very tech-oriented, and there are many success stories, which is very inspiring to those that are starting out,” says Poonacha an avid traveler.
— Anagha M