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    At Italian luxury  brand, Stefano Ricci’s new store in India, find fine suits and accessories in exotic leather

    STEFANO RICCI is not the first name you think of when it comes to luxury menswear from Italy. But ask a few discerning Indian clients like the Jindals and Mittals and they will swear by the Florentine designer’s fine suits, dress shirts, neckties and casual wear. After all, the brand has been accessible to only a select few till now. On a visit to Mumbai in February, to launch his store at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Ricci, 65, revealed that he has had Indian clients from across the world for over 40 years. Taking pride in the craftsmanship seen in Italy, his brand has suits in super 200s wool that is exclusive to only a few designers, a special grade of crocodile skin that is seen on everything from his baseball caps to bags and shoes, and a line of personalised porcelain and crystal dinner services, handpainted in gold and platinum. All this is now available at the store, which has menswear, home décor and bespoke.
    Fine art of suitsOptiogaala-liite. Jackie Manglani / Manglani Oy . Kuva Kirsi Tuu
    ‘‘The Indian buyer, especially at the Stefano Ricci level, is highly educated in fashion,’’ begins Jackie Manglani, president of Stefano Ricci India, and a friend of the designer for years. With clients willing to pay `4,00,000 to `5,00,000 lakhs for a suit, there are certain expectations. The style is discreet, with no gaudy piping or details, and the suits come in both regular and slim fits. ‘‘For someone like me, who is constantly travelling, and who has what my family refers to as ‘the family pack’, the regular fit works,’’ admits Manglani. They all come in very fine wool, but Manglani recommends the summer suits in mohair that are light and wrinkle-free, and the safari jackets. There are casual short-sleeved shirts designed specifically for India, that don’t have to be tucked in, priced from `50,000 to `80,000.
    ‘‘Our prints are exclusive, and the Blue Ricci, a shade between navy and indigo and seen in suits and jackets, is often requested,’’ says Manglani, adding, ‘‘Customers have confessed that the brand is like an addiction and once you have tried it, you can’t settle for anything less.’’ A good way to begin is with the neckties, given that Ricci started his career with them. ‘‘Our pleated ties are a big hit. And nobody has a collection of bow ties and cummerbands like us,’’ Manglani concludes.
    At Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai. Silk ties from `17,000, crocodile briefcases at `18 lakhs. Details: 022-22040135

    — Team Indulge

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