It takes a lot to be able to infuse a mélange of Indian craftsmanship with modern elegance and sophistication. At Nappa Dori, it all began with the simple combination of leather and thread…
Six years ago, an idea was born. Gautam Sinha, a NIFT graduate in Fashion Design explored the nuances of Indian leather and artisanal craftsmanship through Nappa Dori, his store nestled in Delhi. Just a few days after its 6th birthday, Nappa Dori opened the doors to their first store in Mumbai.
The quaint charm of South Mumbai finds its way into the store. It is located just a few steps from the historic Gateway of India, and right behind the famous hotel, Taj Mahal Palace. Indeed, the location demands a classy and highly elegant ambience. True enough, the store flaunts a grand entrance, tall French windows that let an abundance of natural light rush in, and a high ceiling that adds to its grandeur.
“The colour scheme is black, white and brown. That’s our signature look and colour scheme for all our store interiors, packaging and website,” explains Ishaan Bharat, Head Visual Artist, Nappa Dori, indicating how the unified brand identity seeps through the store décor seamlessly. While the store is way bigger than any of the other stores of the brand, it still exudes a similar vibe and visual language as the stores in Delhi.
Yet, on closer look, one can see that the décor imbibes some unique features typical to Mumbai. For instance, this space has a mix of old wooden and metal beams, so reminiscent of construction prevalent in the Bombay of the days gone by. These are massive and sturdy, and make a statement by themselves. The space is interspersed with signature teak and rubber wood tables and shelves. The floor goes from wood to raw concrete; in most parts it is dark wood, with some areas in raw cement. The lights too are a mix of vintage deconstructed lamps and simple modern ones.
The very striking staircase and the mezzanine were inherent parts of the structure. The mezzanine is reserved for the display of home accents. But, very soon, patrons can look forward to Cafe Dori where they may enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee. The mezzanine is going to be converted into a sitting space where one can pause, take a seat and enjoy their cup of coffee while flipping through the various books themed around India and Indie magazines which are on sale.
Covering a floor space of 1200 square meters, the space showcases the entire range of Nappa Dori products. The display looks highly organised and neat, aptly segregated category-wise, based on collections and styles. Of course, there are the beautiful handcrafted leather products and travel accessories that Nappa Dori is so famous for. “While the middle island has a mix of products from our various collections, the rest of the store is organised with shelves designated to collections. There’s a separate section for stationery and the mezzanine mostly holds overnighters, box bags and home accents,” says Bharat.
Many products are small in size and the displays take that into consideration. The brand used to make furniture long ago, but is currently expanding into Home Decor with smaller table top items.
All items are handmade by Nappa Dori artisans in the workshop cum design studio in Sultanpur, New Delhi.
Remaining true to its essence and still imbibing the charms of Mumbai (or rather, old Bombay), here is a store that never fails to work its magic on you. When you walk in, you almost always want to walk out with a part of it!
Text By Dhanishta Shah
Photographs Nappa Dori