Little red hearts, Japanese women with umbrellas, blue polka dots, vermilion splotches, baby pink candy stripes and black checks... these pretty prints and patterns find themselves in Nicobar’s collection at the label’s just-launched 2000-sq-ft store in the city. The clientèle that walks in, eventually rushes to the changing room to try on the clothes. A mother and daughter try on the exact same tunic. A lady in her 40s picks a striped asymmetric top, and another an ivory chanderi dress. “That’s our clientèle. We cater to a youthful mindset,” says Simran Lal, co-founder and creative director of Nicobar, the Delhi-based lifestyle brand that’s also present in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Jodhpur. “Our clients have an eye for detail. They are keen to know about our collection and are able to express their individual style,” adds Raul Rai, the other founder and CEO of the label.
Started last March, Nicobar is now a year old. Other than Lal and Rai, the team consists of designers Aparna Chandra (Design Head-Clothing), Arya Nerker (Design Head-Home) and Divya Kapoor (Design Head-Travel). “The secret of our success is that I am not allowed to design anything,” laughs Rai. But that doesn’t stop him from animatedly discussing Nicobar’s design aesthetics. “You’ll always find elements of surprise like these,” Rai says, holding up a checked kurta and pointing to a little red star behind, and at the printed lapel.
“You can wear it all day to work, and for the evening, dress it up with a scarf and jewellery,” says Lal, who’s wearing a dress with a print of Japanese women on it. “This is a limited edition collection for Chennai. There are only 24 pieces,” she adds. The other collections in the store include their latest, titled Summer Picnic, and others such as Heart to Heart, Suzushii and Stripey. There are tops, tunics, kurtas, skirts, overlays, just-introduced sleep wear even, mostly in cotton, linen and silk blends. The clothes stand out but don’t overpower the wearer’s personality.
For the women’s wear, a new collection is added every month. The men’s wear gets a new one every two months, and this comprises shirts, kurtas, Nehru jackets, pants and their bestseller: jammies, a cross between trousers and comfy pyjamas.
As someone who loves travelling, the brand’s travel clothes and accessories are something Lal is excited about. “When I am travelling, I don’t want my clothes getting crumpled. That’s why we use a lot of knits for this segment,” she says. There are also scarves, canvas bags, hip flasks, shoe bags, and specially sourced, limited number of artefacts like compass and binoculars, from Africa and Japan.
(Nicobar is located just above the Good Earth Store at Rutland Gate, Fourth Street, Thousand Lights, Nungambakkam)
Story as it appeared.