Second home

For a brand that embodies the modern Indian way of living, dressing and looking at the world, we couldn’t think of a better location in the city for a store. Pearl Mathias steps into the new Nicobar store in Bandra to see what it has to offer.

For those of you who are familiar with the brand Nicobar, you’ll know that the decision to move in to the heritage Patkar Bungalow, nestled in the heart of Bandra, is exactly in keeping with the brand’s philosophy. We entered the villa to find it adorned with earthy Shahabad stone, warm timber and beautiful high ceilings. Inside we were surrounded by an eclectic mix of found furniture, handmade extras and artisanal cane work. You’ll notice how easily you can leave the bustling city noise outside as you engage in the serenity of its surroundings.

The little nooks and spaces are perfect for settling into, picking up a book or simply cosying up in and chatting with friends. The store promises to be more than just a space to shop and hop. There is a homeware room that mimics a potter’s studio, with shelves stacked with goods. There’s even a styling wall where one can potter about with various collections to mix and match and get a real sense of the products on display. Our favourite was the travelers room, with windows overlooking lush palms, a library of books and a community table at which to settle down for a bit of work or a friendly chat. It gives you a sense of comfort that allows you to linger a while longer. In keeping with the brand’s community spirit, the room is also intended for workshops, conversations and happy gatherings.

With hand-painted walls, beautiful barware displays and a styling area, the menswear room is more like a man cave than a shopping display, while the womenswear room houses personal styling racks, a long table on which to throw together different looks and plush seating for friends and family to settle in for browsing through the collection or mere conversation.

We caught sight of a writing desk equipped with stationery and a post box in which to save your love notes. You’ll also find iPads with exclusive styling advice related to products in-store and Wi-Fi- enabled workstations for people to plug in and get a bit of work done while browsing. What’s more, they’ve also got an exclusive gifting section this time around, in case you’re in the mood for some spontaneous gift-giving. After setting up shop in the cultural district of Kala Ghoda last year, the brand has kept up with their philosophy but abandoned the conventional open plan retail space for a more quaint and cosy home experience.

Simran Lal, co-founder and creative director, says, “My relationship with Bombay is the happiest one! The city makes me feel free and floaty and this is truly where my spirits belong. I am so happy we are opening Nicobar here in Bandra because it is the combination of the energy of the people here and being so close to the sea, that it makes for the perfect spot for Nicobar.”

According to Raul Rai, co-founder and CEO, “Nicobar was created to establish a modern Indian voice. We are a design-led digital brand with physical experiential stores to complement our online experience. We want to create a democratic design identity that extends beyond the commercial realm into a new way of experiencing design in our everyday lives. My dream is making Nicobar a design hub by bringing together a team passionate about design and digital.

Borrowing from our island namesake, Nicobar, each of the seven rooms in the store has its own personality, including an island dedicated to men and, for the first time, one dedicated to travel. We have designed our stores not just for commerce, but to create a cultural experience too.” There’s something for everyone at Nicobar, so head over and make yourself at home in their new abode.