Indian luxury makes itself at home at The Leela Galleria in Bangalore
Shopaholics now have a new venue to get their fix of retail therapy, with the relaunch of the shopping arena, The Collonnade, at The Leela Galleria in Bangalore. It has been conceptualised and curated by Mickey Bawa of In2 Luxury, the company behind Chennai’s Bergamo.
Having originally planned to launch the likes of Hermes and Gucci, Bawa, along with Amruda Nair, the corporate asset management head of The Leela Group, decided to change track and go with Indian luxury brands instead. While they are open to international names setting up shop at The Collonnade, the focus for now is on bringing the best Indian designer labels. “My vision was to bring modern Indian design to the fore, and the brands we have here are true representatives of that,’’ says Nair. There are about 15 designers who do not have outlets anywhere else in the city.
With Abraham and Thakore having opened their doors last month, other designers joining them are Shivan & Narresh, Namrata Joshipura, Neeru Kumar, Pankaj & Nidhi, Play Clan by Himanshu, Out House by Sasha and Kaabia, Meenu Jaipuria Art Gallery, AKFD and Anantaya – Interiors, Portside Café, and Andraab. All designers open with their latest collections, from Joshipura’s elecTRON, offering a quirky range of patterns from artificial intelligence and brain mapping, to Pankaj & Nidhi with the House of Cards, inspired by playing cards. ‘‘I love the glam factor of Namrata, the elegance and commitment to textiles at Abraham & Thakore and a personal favourite is the bespoke swimwear by Shivan & Narresh,’’ adds Nair. Bawa felt that the most challenging part of the journey was the location, and getting designers to set up in a basement. “But they understood the concept and vision I had, so it wasn’t too difficult to convince them. At a place like The Leela, no space is undesirable,” he explains, adding, “I also let the designers choose their neighbours.” At The Leela Palace, Old Airport Road. Details: 080 25211234.
— Rashmi Rajagopal