The Shantanu & Nikhil store in Hyderabad, designed by Mumbai-based, Design Office, is a shrine dedicated to displaying fashion’s elegant best.
This store is chic, spacious, and so restrained in tenor that you would be forgiven for thinking that this is your own private walk-in closet. Adding to that effect is the non-claustrophobic display pattern of the clothes. Nothing is crammed or overpowering here, and there is enough space for any prospective buyer to wander around and ponder peacefully on choices.
The Shantanu & Nikhil store in Hyderabad wanted just one simple thing out of Mumbai-based Design Office – to be the best luxury store in the city! “Given the city’s royal taste and Shantanu-Nikhil’s priceless couture we had quite a task at hand!” admits Rushda Hakim of Design Office.
But the team has delivered in style. The outlet is fashioned more as a viewing gallery than as a retail escape crammed full with a confusing array of clothes. This bodes well for the fashion designers’ repertoire of pieces that have strong individual characteristics themselves.
The warm glow of the lamps bounces off all the veneer and the polished wood, setting up an effect of being inside a Hollywood star’s vanity cocoon. The expansive floor is a beautiful spread of fluidity, with a herringbone shaped detailing according it distinction.
The lounge is a spectacular zone, made of herringbone wood inlaid with a beautiful lattice work of black Bisazza. Here is where guests can soak in the colours, cuts, silhouettes and other nitty-gritty of the garments, while conveniently watching runway shows of the designer duo on a monitor.
In effect, the store too is a veritable live fashion show, where all the garments stand in readiness for the guests, seeking their attention, before they pick up something that clicks.
The clothes themselves, divided on the basis of men’s and women’s wear, are housed in small cabinets in the walls. These cabinets are lined with tufted fabric, aping a jewellery box no less. Fine jali work atop these cabinets adds further finesse to the interiors, and also efficiently hides away air conditioning ducts.
The clothes though are not the only items that become the cynosures of all eyes. A custom-made installation near the lounge is a superb 20-foot piece of lit rectangle that can legitimately stake claim to being a show-stopper.
Trial rooms, tucked away in cosy corners, embrace privacy and glamour in equal measures. There are mirrors on three sides in here, and the fourth is clad in embroidered wallpaper. Even the powder room extends this elegant intimacy, stands as it does in beige travertine and brown mirror glory. Some more warm glow emanates from this marble space.
Even the ‘branding walls’ are finely-thought out pieces of ingenuity. One unleashes 3D drama, with triangular shapes jutting out of it, forming a rough backdrop to the clean lettering of the brand’s name. Another is a bling board made of 30,000 diamond-shaped pieces of bevelled brown mirror, stretching across a 40-feet corridor.
For a store to make a fashion statement means a deft play of materials, light and detailing. For it to represent a brand’s ideology and ambition is even trickier business, however, Design Office manages to fulfill both these parameters.
Design Office had earlier worked with Shantanu & Nikhil on its Mumbai store, so they well knew what elements of their vision to be inspired by. As in the previous store, in Hyderabad too the designers have added their own dashes of panache to the interiors, while keeping the brand name and legacy as top priority. And what’s more, it is all Vastu compliant as well! This one is bound to be the flavour of many seasons to come.
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photographs Courtesy The Designer