Shopping in Mumbai is not unlike being on a treasure trail—there are MVPs to be unearthed in every corner of the city. From quirky, decades-old lifestyle stores to well-known international brands, the retail milieu is bursting with local and global flavours in equal measure. The real gems, however, can be discovered in indigenous stores that champion homegrown labels, each with their distinct design language. Here’s a glossary of shops that should be on your Mumbai must-visit list.
Hotelier and entrepreneur Samyukta Nair’s concept lifestyle store in the city’s art deco quarter is a go-to for its handpicked curation of décor, fashion and lifestyle products by independent Indian labels. The selection is all about everyday luxury and a pared-down sensibility. Shop eclectic homeware from hip brands like Ikka Dukka, Rayden Design Studio and Suite N°8; jewellery by Dhora and Misho Designs; and sleepwear by Nair’s own bespoke label, Dandelion with candy-coloured hues and playful prints.
2, Churchill Chambers, Allana Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400001
The pioneering shop is the grande dame of Indian multi-designer stores. As one of the country’s first store of its kind, it houses hallowed Indian designers alongside the coolest names to watch out for on the contemporary Indian fashion scene. While bridal wear is a mainstay of their repertoire, so is contemporary Indian fashion that is borderless in its appeal — look out for labels like Anamika Khanna, Atsu Sekhose and Abraham & Thakore.
130/132, Great Western Building, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Mumbai 400 023
White Hall, West Wing, 143 Aug Kranti Marg, Kemps Corner, Mumbai 400 036
Span Center, South Avenue, Santacruz West, Mumbai 400054
The sustainable luxury design house enjoys unwavering patronage for its handcrafted homeware, tableware, clothing and wellness lines; all inspired by nature and steeped in Indian history. The stores (three outposts in the city) are as beautiful as the products they stock and the shop is a treat for the senses, transporting you to an bygone era. Their midtown store in Lower Parel also houses European restaurant, The Tasting Room, a sworn city favourite.
11-12 Raghuvanshi Mills, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400013
2 Reay House, Adjacent to Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba, Mumbai 400001
R/154 Ground Floor, Opposite JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu Tara Road, Mumbai 400049
This handcrafted leather goods company enjoys a cult following among the nation’s hipsters, and is a must-visit for stationery enthusiasts. Sip on brews served at the store’s coffee counter while you browse through their meticulously crafted luggage, belt kits, handbags and leather goods. Unique artisanal finds are guaranteed at this eclectic outfitters.
2, Sunny House, Mereweather Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400001
Artist-turned-designer Payal Khandwala marries her two worlds of fashion and fine art with her eponymous label. Best known for her brocade weaves and inimitable use of colours, head here to stock up on easy separates such as pleated tops, Benarasi trousers, silk dresses and tunics that lend themselves to ingenious styling. And fans are queueing around the block. Did we mention that Hillary Clinton wore Khandwala’s creation during her visit to India?
Grants Building, 1st floor, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400005
6A Matsyalaya Bungalow, 6 Old Kantwadi Road, Bandra West, Mumbai 400050
This unique concept store boasts an equally unique location. Tucked away inside a cricket stadium, it’s one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Conceptualised by Maithili Ahluwalia, one of the most stylish women in the country, their collections are an unconventional mix of India-inspired interiors and fashion picks. Apart from their in-house label The Bungalow, they also stock indie brands like Love Birds, Injiri and 11.11 or discoveries from Ahluwalia’s travels.
Inside Wankhede Stadium under Sachin Tendulkar Stand, North Stand, E & F Block, D Road, Churchgate, Mumbai 400020
This boho-luxe resort wear brand by Anjali Patel Mehta is replete with fuss-free, travel-friendly separates that easily transition from day to night. An art and travel aficionado, Mehta taps into her love for culture to seek inspiration for her designs. Her signature dresses, kaftans, jumpsuits and duster coats are made in ultra-soft, artisanal fabrics featuring prints, denim and Indian handiwork.
409 Sun Building, Sun Mill compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400013
Three Mumbai designers to watch
Elle India writer Manali Shah on three labels to watch in India’s creative capital
Saaksha & Kinni
The Bollywood favourite
Known for Age-old Indian embroidery techniques in boho-luxe womenswear with an Indo-Western aesthetic.
Who Designer duo Saaksha Bhat and Kinnari Kamat, who count Armani and Balmain on their sartorial CVs.
Tell me more Bold, unapologetic prints are their style signature, while silhouettes tend towards loose and floaty. Think: slip dresses, micropleated kurtas (collarless shirts) and pleated maxi dresses. Bringing feminine glamour with a dash of theatricality, the label’s celebrity fans include movie stars Priyanka Chopra and Freida Pinto.
The sustainable pioneer
What A slow-fashion pioneer, championing natural fabrics and organic dyes.
Who Meenu K Tiwari, an advertising exec from Mumbai ‘burb Andheri.
Tell me more The Plavaté (meaning “flow” in Sanskrit) enlists the skills of artisans across India to create handwoven, eco-friendly linen garments in monotone palettes. The unique dyes are made from raw ingredients such as turmeric, dried tea leaves, onion skin and cinnamon sticks. The result: casual, colour-blocked smock dresses, skirts and tops with a feel-good factor.
What Handcrafted accessories and beautifully designed footwear.
Who Fashion blogger-turned-designer, Jasleen Kaur Gupta.
Tell me more Whether it’s the range of brooches, necklaces or juttis (traditional Indian footwear), Akanke’s bright beadwork depicts an eclectic mix of ethnic motifs, exotic animals and global pop culture: think, Hindu goddesses as well as Frida Kahlo, cacti and camels.
Lakmé Fashion Week, sponsored by Etihad Airways, is 21–25 August.