Sabyasachi’s Largest Flagship Yet Features Over A 100 Chandeliers, 18th Century Chairs, And More
- 17 Apr '23
- 4:45 pm by Nuriyah Johar
There’s something truly inimitable about the world of Sabyasachi. The brand’s perception of luxury, heritage, and craft revolves around authenticity above all else. It revels in India’s legacy, but through a contemporary lens; capturing what was and what is, with a goal to create modern heirlooms. Undoubtedly, in the glittering world of luxury Indian fashion, Sabyasachi stands out as one of the brightest gems. Unveiled in Mumbai’s Fort district, Sabyasachi’s largest flagship yet is a 25,000 sq ft immersion into unabashed Indian decadence.
Sabyasachi Mukerjee was from a middle class Bengali family; his hometown, the city of Calcutta is almost personified through his brand. Reflected through the attention to detail, the uncompromising value placed on artisanship, and the overall ethos, ‘Sabyasachi’s Calcutta’ shines through in the designer’s Mumbai store. “Crowded narrow lanes with balconies jutting out of beautiful old mansions and homes, jostling for space in North Calcutta. So rich in its nonchalance, between the clamour of grandeur and decay. It’s almost spiritual, the neglect of luxury and the casual existence of glamour. It makes Calcutta unforgettable,” he says.
The new store is housed in ICP Fort Heritage – a grand neo classical landmark envisioned in the Italianate revival tradition. Built in 1913 by Chambers & Fritchley, this Grade II A heritage structure was originally used as the British Bank of The Middle East. Sabyasachi has transformed the interiors of this landmark into a royal retail space that blends the house’s signature cultural savoir faire with Indian opulence, craftsmanship, and history. From the detailing on the elevator (featuring the brand’s iconic Bengal tiger) to the meticulously curated cabinets of curiosities in the bathrooms, every design element exists to create a holistic experience.
The word maximalist seems insignificant in the face of this flagship. 100 chandeliers, 275 carpets, 3,000 books, and 150 works of art created by the Sabyasachi Foundation decorate the store. Every piece of furniture and decor in the store houses a multitude of stories – those of Persian Qajars, 18th century Venice, the Tang Dynasty, and French Art Nouveau. Leather-bound books, rare vases, and odd antiquities lie on retrofitted turn of the century furniture, alongside the brand’s signature block printed silk velvet lined busts, vitrines, and lampshades. Layered with age-old Tanjore paintings, vintage photography, Mughal miniatures, antique bronzes, and rare lithographs, the store is a veritable museum of culture.
The store is spread over three levels, each of which serves as a backdrop to a specific experience. The ground floor houses the Sabyasachi bridal collection, the first floor features the brand’s largest showcase of jewellery in the world, and the second floor showcases womenswear, menswear, the international collection, and Sabyasachi Accessories. Concealed lounges and dens lie sequestered throughout the space, with a gorgeous tearoom tucked away behind silk velvet drapes. On offer is a list of Sabyasachi’s favourite blends, and a chance to slow down.
Sabyasachi’s Mumbai flagship is ultimately an homage to the multiculturalism of India, the casual glamour of Calcutta, and our country’s royal legacy. Amidst the meticulously crafted clothes, rare Canton vases, and 19th-century paintings, it allows one to step away from the chaos and into a timeless sense of being, complete with age-old heritage and slow luxury.