Local Labels To Love: Five Mumbai Indie Designers Worth Checking Out

The pop-up shops and trunk shows that frequently take place in the city provide a terrific alternative to shopping at chain stores. It’s true that their wares are usually more expensive than the stuff of high street stores, but unlike popular chains such as Zara and Mango (which are quite pricey anyway) the clothes made by indie designers are not mass-produced and, hence, unique. Another reason to shop from them is that many designers use handloom fabrics and help popularise traditional textiles. From among the multitude of designers that frequently participate in pop-up sales, here are five labels in Mumbai worth checking out.

Akuri by Puri

The Rivulet Kaftan by Akuri by Puri.

Who’s behind it: Theatre and film actor Amrita Puri (Aisha, Kai Po Che!) and her mother Smiley Puri started the Mumbai-based Akuri by Puri in January 2015.
What: Akuri by Puri makes kurtas, dresses, jackets and skirts from fabric sourced from all over the country including silk and cotton and, this season, scuba and poly crepe.
Why we like it: Their floaty full-length dresses, crop top and skirt sets and loose shirt-kurtas are perfect for the city’s balmy weather.
Where to get it: Order via the Facebook page. You can also call 91674 41593 or email akuribypuri@gmail.com.  
How much: Prices start at Rs3,000 for tops.

Printed pant-suit.

A printed pant-suit by House of Sohn.

Who: Mumbai designer Sohni Patel started this contemporary clothing label in 2014.
What: House of Sohn makes dresses, tops, kurtas, jackets and suits.
Why we like it: Patel’s use of graphic prints, tops and pants with overlapping panels of material and the overall minimalist aesthetic. Her roomy white dresses are particularly covetable.
Where to get it: Creo (Chinoy Mansion, Ground Floor, 162 Warden Road, Kemps Corner. Tel: 022 2367 2720). Get in touch with the label directly by sending an email to info@houseofsohn.com or calling 77188 44061. For more information, visit the Facebook page.
How much?: Prices start at Rs4,000 across all categories of clothing.

The Revival Project

A candy-striped silk dress by The Revival Project.

Who’s behind it: Preeti Raja, a former banker, who moved to Mumbai from Chennai a decade ago. After being a homemaker for ten years, she started The Revival Project in February.
What: The Revival Project retails western wear such as dresses, jackets, tops and palazzo pants made from Chettinad saris that Raja procures from weavers in Kanchipuram, Aruppukkottai and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
Why we like it: Raja’s clothes are designed in a way that shows off the fabric, which comes in winsome checks and stripes and combinations of solid colours and patterned borders.
Where to get it: Raja’s clothes will be available for purchase through the The Revival Project website in two weeks. Until then, you can visit her Kemps Corner studio by booking an appointment. Call 98330 30809. For more information, visit the Facebook page.
How much?: Prices start at Rs2,500 for tops.

Bomber jacket in 'Rasta maroon'.

Bomber jacket in ‘Rasta maroon’ by State of Play.

Who’s behind it: Mumbai designer Ayesha Singh started this label in 2015. This is her first collection.
What: Singh uses the Assamese mekhela-chador, a traditional two-piece ensemble, to fashion tops and jackets. She also makes scarves from hand-spun ahimsa silk and totes in bright prints.
Why we like it: We would buy pretty much everything in her limited collection, from the mekhela-print bomber jackets to the ‘lab’, a long, Nehru-style jacket with tuxedo-like lapels. They’re great for dressing up a plain outfit.
Where to get it: You can place an order by emailing ayesha@stateofplay.in or via her Facebook and Instagram pages.
How much: Prices start at Rs2,500 for tops.

Two-tone Kolhapuri chappals.

Two-tone Kolhapuri chappals by The Sole Sisters.

Who’s behind it: Mumbai-based Chondamma Cariappa, who began a blog in 2010 called The Sole Sisters, on which she posts pictures of herself and other women, shod in a variety of shoes.
What: In 2014, Cariappa launched The Sole Sisters footwear label, which sells a line of leather sandals and shoes.
Why we like it: Cariappa’s footwear, which includes sandals with Ikat, khadi and tribal-print straps as well as jewel-bright two-tone Kolhapuri chappals, is a contemporary combination of evergreen styles and traditional patterns.
Where to get it: The shoes are available at Good Earth and Bungalow 8 (inside Wankhede Stadium, North Stand E & F Block, D Road, Churchgate. Tel: 022 2281 9880). You can also email thesolesisters@gmail.com to ask for a catalogue and order a pair. For more information, visit the Facebook page.
How much: Prices start at Rs2,200 for a pair of two-tone Kolhapuris.

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