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regular-article-logo Monday, 04 March 2024

A look at Raw Mango’s new store in Chennai

The outlet imbibes the DNA of the brand to the core

Saionee Chakraborty Published 30.08.22, 03:34 AM

Stark, white and striking. And, of course, statement. Raw Mango’s fifth store in the country clearly bears the ethos of the brand. Cutting edge and gorgeous in all its simplicity. The store has an art gallery feel with a lived-in spirit and a mysterious charm. The intrigue factor, a quintessential in Raw Mango’s DNA, envelopes the store too. We caught up with Sanjay Garg, the man behind Raw Mango, to know more.

Sanjay Garg

Sanjay Garg

Congratulations! Tell us all about the new store...

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It is a play of minimalism and maximalism and it is an art deco building from the ’60s and we really enjoyed doing it.

Adityan (Melekalam; architect and visual creative director), who has worked with us for the last 10 years, has worked on this. It is our biggest, with around seven-eight rooms.

We know you love Chennai...

I loveeee Chennai. Thank God you remember. It is my favourite... the cultural capital of India. The food, the flowers, the temples, the textiles. I am a kid in a candy shop when I go there. It is sensorial in many ways.

You have always said that the touch-and-feel factor of a brick-and-mortar store will never die. Is that what is giving you the confidence to open a new store?

I must share that it has been one of our best months ever. I’d like to give you as real a picture as possible and yes, there was a problem (caused by the pandemic), but I think things will jump back... it is looking 100 per cent better. We want to do Hyderabad next, but haven’t found a place yet.

Where do you think retail stands now?

I am hopeful for retail but I also hope that we are not hit with another spell of Covid. We need to learn how to live with Covid, that’s all that I can say. I think people aren’t just buying for an event. And, I have been saying that our brand is not just a wedding brand. My idea of the sari followed my brand. People have been asking me if I want to give competition to Kanjeevaram. That’s not the idea at all. Please wear your Kanjeevarams. I myself love it so much. There are many different occasions around a wedding.

Have brands really cut down on creativity to opt for safe options?

I think the world over brands like Schiaparelli have gone mad. People are exploring more than ever before. They have gone more surreal. I think we have structured our business in a way that we have realised that people may not like to experiment too much at their wedding. At the same time, people want to buy textile innovations too. We did not have that kind of divide but it is a reality that we need to accept. One collection is going to be avant-garde, which is separate from the wedding collection. That is how I am looking at it.

What did you buy last? Now when you buy, what do you look for?

(Laughs) I couldn’t travel to Europe and I got things made in India. I loved a couple of brands and I shopped online for the first time. I really enjoyed wearing them. I know I can alter the garments if they don’t fit me. I end up doing that with almost everything.

Personally, what has kept you busy? You are so private! Are you there on social media now?

Now, I am. It’s a private account. I don’t want to share my private life in public. I know who is following me and I am okay with that.

So, when are you coming to Calcutta?

Maybe in October.

For the Pujas?

Let’s do this. I have never been there.

Pictures courtesy: Raw Mango

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