Though in the U.S. we think of Indian women clad in flowing, colorful saris, you’re as likely to see them strolling around the country’s major cities in business suits and modern dress. And the teen and tween girls and young women in the stores and mall on the weekends are likely to be clad in stylish designer-label jeans. Indian youth has a passionate interest in Western brands of denim. Stores in the major cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and the rest – are stocked with Levi’s, Lees and Wrangler.
Arvind Brands, the Bangalore-based company that owns the Indian licenses for many of the international brands, also owns the Flying Machine brand, a 27-year-old fashion-forward label that decided it needed to step up to keep pace with the rising trends in the country. And part of that stepping up was new merchandise in a new retail setting.
“We are reaching the point in India where consumers are demanding higher levels of fashion-forward clothing ranges,” says J. Suresh, Arvind’s chief operating officer. “So, coupled with our own research, we have collaborated internally to develop a clothing range and a store concept that reflect the ‘Indo-Italian electic fusion’ philosophy of the brand.”
The merchandise came from Chicco, the Italian designer with the rising reputation who has worked with Replay and Puma and designed jeans for Brad Pitt and Beyoncé. The store was courtesy of JHP, the London-based retail design consultancy.
The new concept is rich and moody, full of theatrical pieces, with a diverse mix of objets d’art, backlit screens, over-sized classical furniture bathed in precision spotlighting. And the environment enveloping it all is what the designers call “Indo-Milanese sleek.”
The first Flying Machine store opened in Bangalore, India’s third-largest city, often referred to as the country’s resort city because of its mild climate. The next one is planneds for Rohini Park in Delhi, the capital and the country’s most commercial city.
Client: Arvin Brands Ltd., Bangalore, India; Design: JHP Design, London – Raj Wilkinson, creative director, Martin Williams, senior retail designers
Photography: Prasad Durga, Bangalore, India