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    Priyadarshini Rao on her flagship store and retailing one of our own

    Priyadarshini Rao, the talented but elusive designer, launched her flagship store last month in Mumbai. Her high street brand Mineral, already has five stores in India. Priyadarshini-raoWe got talking to her on the ‘late’ development.

    Known for minimalistic and clean designs, the Mumbai-based designer explains the launch of her new store. “The design label had a distinctive signature that was recognised by the customer I was catering to. Besides, I wanted a larger space,” Rao says.

    The store, which showcases her latest collection of women’s wear, men’s wear and capsule line for kids, has a minimal and rustic feel. And for the first time, the designer is retailing jewellery and leather bags, too. We found an interesting Chennai connect there: the fine jewellery available at Rao’s store is by designer Bharathi Raviprakash of Studio Tara—who Rao met at Collage, Chennai, in 2010. “There is most certainly a synergy between the clothing and the jewellery,” says the designer.

    Rao feels the Indian luxury market “is synonymous with anarkalis, ghagra cholis and ethnic wear. Customers buying what we refer to as everyday luxury wear are the evolved ones and are still small in number.” She hopes that there will be a more effective way to promote Indian labels than to have Bollywood actors as  showstoppers. Rao, who has never had a celebrity show stopper, says, “My fashion shows are always about my clothes and about the woman.”

    While Rao feels that bringing in international luxury brands could be a good idea—“Luxury probably will do well here. And if desgners have the capital to bring them, then why not.”—she would rather get her brand out to the world. “My own label sells out of Spain, Israel and Japan, while Mineral sells in Luxembourg and   Finland,” says the designer, who also wants to expand to other cities — Bangalore and Hyderabad being top priority.

    From Rs4,500 onwards. At  the flagship store in Mumbai. Details: 022 26487097

    Sumitra Nair



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