Raw Mango has a new address. The brand just launched a store in Bengaluru – and it’s nothing like you’ve seen before.
“We wanted to rewrite the experience of the consumer,” says designer Sanjay Garg. “We only seem to find heavily decorated stores – it’s almost a competition about how flamboyant you can get. Even the shop windows are designed to draw in customers – designers hire visual merchandisers for this.”
The Bengaluru store has no show windows. Not a single sari on mannequins. “We’re not trying to lure in people. There’s no logo. No catalogues lying around. No hangers lying around,” Garg adds. When you enter the store you see a huge mirror, and you explore the cabinets. “The inspiration comes from old libraries – I really wanted a store that wasn’t trying to hard sell.”
The 300 sq ft store is set within a 150-year-old building. And it’s very, very sparse. (“We almost considered calling it Raw Mango Room or Raw Mango Wardrobe. It’s not a flagship store,” he says.) There’s only one baithak-inspired sofa – behind which hangs a minimal, white matka silk fabric – a bed, and cabinets.
Garg of course has legions of fans, but he has some sensible advice for them: “You should buy something if you think you’ll like it after three years, not because it’s Raw Mango; it should communicate who you are. For that very reason, we never do photo shoots with models.”
Why Bengaluru though? “Because the clientele is very cosmopolitan, and there’s a heavy emphasis on culture. Everyone says Bangalore is a difficult market to sell but we’ve always done well here.”
Mumbai isn’t on the radar, sadly. Not until he finds a space away from the malls anyway. And he reveals he has even bigger plans for Delhi: “We’re planning a much bigger store – almost eight times as big.”
Price range: Rs 3,500 to 70,000. Raw Mango, Cinnamon, 24, Gangadhar Chetty Road, Sivanchetti Gardens, Bengaluru. Tel: 080 4121 3161