New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANSlife) Over the last decade Nappa Dori, the Delhi-based design house has long established itself as a brand that is anchored in India’s rich heritage and artisanal craftsmanship. It has evolved as one of India’s foremost contemporary design brands, with founder and creative director Gautam Sinha at the helm. The brand features an expansive range of luggage and bags to minimally designed stationery and accessories.
In 2019, Nappa Dori opened its flagship store in Covent Garden, London and come February 2022, there will be a store in Dubai, UAE and Bandra, Mumbai. The offering caters to the India proud customer, who is well-travelled, adventurous, and feels a sense of pride carrying an Indian brand that conforms to international standards. IANSlife caught up with Gautam Sinha, Creative Director and Founder to get talk about the brand.
Nappa Dori stands for a lifestyle… Do you agree?
Sinha: Of course, Nappa Dori is a lifestyle brand more than a leather goods company. It’s in our design ethos to have an emotional connection with clients rather than just be a possession they purchase.
Luggage, bags, stationery and accessories, do you believe these are underrated in the Indian context and only a niche clientele appreciate craftsmanship and design in this segment?
Sinha: I believe everyone appreciates good design and craftsmanship. It’s not about having unrelated product segments in one space, but how you present them is important as well. The market segment is big, not niche, but the awareness about how approachable design is to the common person is limited in India. That’s where a less intimidating approach to design is needed, which is what we try to create in our retail spaces.
stationery and accessories
You are one of a handful of Indian brands who have a flagship store in London, how does that feel and has it been tough to sustain it through the pandemic?
Sinha: It’s a true testament to our design philosophy and approach that we have a product that appeals to a global palette and is for everyone. The fact that we do not need to alter our product line says a lot. We have an international design sensibility while retaining our Indian roots. And yes, it feels great to be able to showcase India on a truly international platform.
While the whole world is turning to e-commerce, come February 2022, you are opening stores in Dubai, UAE and Bandra, Mumbai… is this part of a larger expansion plan and brand building exercise?
Sinha: The pandemic has been really hard, especially with the fact that we opened our London location just 6 months before the world came to a standstill. But we have a resilient team and have had a great response from the market, which gives us immense hope that when things get normal, we will be able to expand things a lot quicker.
You’ve always been ahead of the curve, especially when it comes to being Vocal for Local and creating a Make-in-India brand… are you happy that the concept has gained popularity, especially amongst GEN Z and millennials?
Sinha: Yes, definitely. I think the younger Indian audience is a lot more mature and accepting of brands like ours. Nappa Dori would not have been where it is today and expanded if it did not have the support of the Gen z or millennial audience.
Which brings me to my next question, how do you see the future of Indian handcrafted luxury?
Sinha: I feel the next decade will be amazing for brands emerging from India and will have a real impact on the global market. It still amazes me that we do not have a truly global fashion or retail brand. I feel you will see many more Indian brands sprouting all across the world and making the country proud.
You have diversified into cafes’… is this part of a larger Nappa Dori ecosystem you are trying to create?
Sinha: Cafe Dori is a part of what you would call our venture into all aspects of lifestyle. It’s not only about purchasing something and stepping out. With our cafes in our stores, we want you to be a part of our world and have a complete sensory experience. And who doesn’t like the smell of freshly brewed coffee surrounded by design and a creative environment.
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