We are all familiar with the lifestyle brand ‘Good Earth’. Get set to welcome its cousin, Nicobar, with Raul Rai and Simran Lal as co-founders. But, here’s where the comparison ends, Nicobar, we find, takes on a life quite of its own…
Indian at heart and yet free from nostalgic reference, Nicobar, the new lifestyle store at Kala Ghoda is aptly located right in the middle of Mumbai’s cultural heart.
The brand is named after the sultry island Nicobar, so expectedly, a tropical ambience is central to the store. “The design reimagines whitewashed walls on a holiday, colonial furniture of the old villas, large tropical palms and exotic safaris. With a design and colour theme that centres on relaxing whites, earthy neutrals, subtly modern visual merchandising and fun pops of tropical greens, the store is modern with an Indian undercurrent passing through the Nicobar looking glass,” explains Simran Lal, Creative Director.
Not surprisingly, an easy, relaxed and joyful vibe permeates the space. It all starts at the entrance, where potted palms hung from the ceiling herald a holiday mood. A quote on the wall, alluding to the spirt of travel sets the tone for this beautiful journey. As one enters, the free-flowing 2000 square feet area enhances the sense of openness. Products are displayed in a clean and uncluttered manner. One wants to pause at the huge swings that break the displays, and soak in more of the vacation feel.
The Nicobar store is designed to offer a holistic experience where every detail is carefully implemented, from the signature scent to the lighting and music, through to a selection of carefully curated books that visitors are welcome to flip through.
The products from the home, clothing and travel lines are laid out in their own islands of discovery that are floating spaces, interpreting tropical living for urban lifestyles. This invites guests to linger about, slow down for a few moments as they take in the Nicobar idea of mindful living. The aesthetic design of the clothes rails, beautiful arrangement on the tables and neat displays on the shelves help the client savour the products without being overwhelmed.
As one passes through the store on the cool marble floor, one can also admire the fact that each display unit has a little bit of decoration, in the form of motifs and objects like a pair of binoculars, an anchor, or a coffee table book, which adds to the ambience. An absolute favourite are the walls – some of them with whitewashed bricks and some painted in soothing neutrals.
The product line covers clothing, home decor and travel accessories. The house and home collection comprises some great tableware, barware, serve ware, bedding, cushions and table linen. “We create the designs in-house and then source the products,” explains Lal. Indeed, this process ensures that the design-story told by the products are true to the aesthetic of the brand.
In design and through its products, Nicobar seeks to establish a modern Indian aesthetic. This is a spirit that is free from the symbolism laden shackles of the past. Its namesake island has also inspired the design aesthetic of the brand. “We have just opened our shop and I think our guests love the vibe! We are humbled and feel lucky at the wonderful reception,” says Lal.
Text By Dhanishta Shah
Photographs Courtesy Nicobar