India’s most beautiful designer stores
Where shopping becomes a sensory overload
When the Indian shopper prepares to drop a handful of zeroes on a handcrafted designer garment, she’s looking to have her senses seduced. Every moment from the minute she’s crossed the store’s threshold is an opportunity to be convinced of the designer’s unique vision, why one label on the back of your lehenga or cocktail dress is worth more than another.
More attuned than ever to the demand for a 360 degree experience, designers and store curators are investing heavily in their brick and mortar spaces. Sabyasachi treats his stores like museums, cramming them to the hilt with collector’s items sourced from as far as Kerala and Kashmir. The decor of Tarun Tahiliani’s Mumbai outpost is a reflection of his sartorial sensibilities, and at Anita Dongre’s Qutub store, hand-carved fountains and Pichwai paintings make the argument that she’s the only one who can translate your whims into clothing.
Take a tour of India’s most beautiful designer stores
Le Mill, Mumbai
Le Mill's Colaba outpost is housed in a heritage structure near the Gateway of India. Designed by Ashiesh Shah, the space feature large arched windows that light up the pristine white space and the racks of designer clothing from Saint Laurent, Rosie Assoulin and Indian labels like Nimish Shah.
In the private shopping room called Salon Prive, Rajasthan-inspired frescoes line the wall.
Tarun Tahiliani, Mumbai
Facing Mumbai's yacht-dotted coastline, Tarun Tahiliani's recently-refurbished 4,000 sq ft store sits a stone's throw away from the historic Taj Mahal Palace and Towers hotel.
One wall of the store is dotted with antique mirrors, drawing your attention to the floor-to-ceiling brass sculpting of the ‘T-jaal’, the ornate jaali pattern printed on the tissue paper used to wrap the clothes. Mother-of-pearl motifs, similar to that of a peacock’s plume, decorate taupe-coloured walls across one section of the store.
The restored haveli, spread over a lavish 13,500 sq ft, is divided into two sections. Naturally, Sabyasachi's booming bridal wear business dominates one wing of the store.
In the other wing — amidst ittar bottles, glass chandeliers and vintage artefacts — sits his ready-to-wear collection of saris and kurtas for women. There's also an entire floor dedicated to menswear.
Dev R Nil, Kolkata
Located in the industrial part of Kolkata, Dev R Nil's flagship store is housed in an old Port Trust warehouse. The design house was among the first to move into the space, taking up shop in 2014.
Designed by the designers themselves, the doorway features a collage of windows and doors bought from auctions. Meandering walls of different heights divide the floor into 'gullies', creating personal spaces for shoppers. As you walk through the lanes, you'll chance upon some of the designers' favourite quotes printed on the the walls.
Good Earth, Jaipur
Every Good Earth store is designed to transport you back in time, but their Jaipur outpost at the Sujan Rajmahal palace is, arguably, prettier than most. Located on the open gardens, the 857 sq ft boutique is an extension of the haveli.
Spot buta, cypress and the floral patterned borders and geometric shapes inspired by stone carvings that embellish India's forts and palaces weaved into the store's design language.
The third outpost of Chennai's most beloved multi-designer store, curated by Kiran Rao, was christened the Amethyst Room.
It also shares its space with jewellery brand, Amrapali.
Manish Malhotra, Delhi
In a 9,000 sq ft haveli in Delhi's Mehrauli neighbourhood, Manish Malhotra brings his idea of opulence to his most loyal clientele.
A palette of grey and gold dominates the space, with architectural features that include high ceilings and arched windows.
Anita Dongre, Delhi
If you were looking for the store's best design feature, you'd be torn to pick between the hand-carved marble fountains and curated Pichwai paintings at the designer's 10,000 sq ft Qutub outpost.
Mughal trellis pillars and Rajasthani watercolours provide a palatial setting for the couture garments themselves.
Ogaan, Delhi (Malcha Marg)
In Ogaan's second outpost in Delhi, each designer gets their own dedicated room to fit their individual design sensibility.