Deep within the frenetic lanes of what this editor’s mum ominously refers to as “The Market”, past the light stores jazzed up for Diwali and the shoe stores on sales and the endless streams of cargo being unloaded and packed up, is a cool new spot, lined in soft cottons, shielded by leafy plants.
“In fact, we intend for it to be partly that – a place you can take a break at during your Crawford Market runs,” explains Anuj Kothari, founder of the No-Mad Fabric Shop, which opens inside Mangaldas Market on Friday, October 12th. Ask nicely and they’ll even share their stash of shortbread from The Paris Bakery nearby.
This is the first physical manifestation of No-Mad 97% India, a brand that has found favor with influential interior designers and tastemakers. If you’ve admired a contemporary muddha, reimagined in pristine white metal at a friend’s home; or a deep copper tray with handles, useful for anything from breakfast in bed to cocktails at dinner time, you have No-Mad to thank. Both are available here, as is a nice collection of incense sticks and candles, but a lot of their other furniture and objects are not – staying true to its location, this is, ultimately, a fabric shop.
This is apparent in the bales of fabric that dominate the shop. Look for natural-coloured linen lined with vermilion: and a rustic mustard print that will bloom on your bed like a daffodil patch. The brand’s Indigo collection of cushions and bed covers (currently exclusive to the store) spills like ink across one corner, interrupted by dashes of red and a tattoo print.
We are surprised by the limited collection, but this store isn’t imagined for browsing, Anuj explains. “For that, we’re working on a much more commercial space,” he tells us, but refuses to elaborate further. (PS: Our spies tell us it will be in Kala Ghoda). “This is where you’d come with your interior designer,” he says, “or for an event we’re organizing.”
The store, with its many gaddas, would be perfect for a book club, we offer. Anuj agrees, and also talks of plans to organise walks through the surrounding market once the weather gets better, with stops at the Haji Mohammed Bashir Oil Shop for instance, or a 100 year old photo studio nearby. His enthusiasm is contagious, and even the brand’s signature Nandis, upholstered and mounted on one wall, seem to nod in agreement.
High on the idea of discovering an oil shop that promises the cures to all our problems (and cookies from Paris Bakery, of course), we sign up on the spot. That, however, is later. For now, we suggest you put your hair up in a bun, wear your most comfortable loafers, and go buy a yard of cloth.
That couch your sitting on needs upholstering.
Getting there: 3c-209, 1st Floor, Mangaldas Market Building, Kitchen Garden Lane, visit the website here, Rs 1,650 for an Indigo Vaayu placement.
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