Kolkata men have keen sense of design: Nikhil Mehra

New Delhi: Shantanu & Nikhil, known for creating a perfect blend of contemporary with vintage through their collections, are set to launch a menswear store in Kolkata later this year. Nikhil Mehra of the designer duo says Kolkata is an “artistic space” and men of the city are always going out and picking up new styles.

Brand Shantanu & Nikhil, which was established in 2000, is on an expansion spree and after having stores in cities like Delhi and Mumbai, the label is set to launch a menswear store in Kolkata.

“As a brand, we focus strongly on Indians. We came back from the US to focus on this country…it needed some clarity in terms of market segmentation, and now, that is happening. We want to open more stores in India,” Nikhil, who pursued his Masters in Fashion from Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), Los Angeles, told IANS.

The duo that has dressed up stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan and A.R. Rahman, are opening their next store in Kolkata around October.

Nikhil believes that Kolkata is an “artistic space and they deserve to have products that come from an artistic mindset”.

“We have seen that the men in Kolkata have a keen sense of design. Their upbringing has helped them to understand textures and fabric, and that’s what we are trying to give to them from our perspective. Menswear is a large market and it’s growing at a high speed.

“They are not just experimental, but they are also buyers. They are always going out and picking up new styles and that is very encouraging for designers. It is really the next market to look out for,” he added.

As of now, he is excited about their latest collection ‘The Mahal’, which prospective brides and grooms got a chance to take a look at at the luxurious wedding exhibition The Vogue Wedding Show here. The same collection will be showcased on Monday on the ramp of the ongoing BMW India Bridal Fashion Week in the capital’s luxury shopping destination DLF Emporio.

‘The Mahal’ is inspired by the duo’s journey to Jodhpur.

“We love travelling. Every season, there is some reference to our travels. It’s almost like I was an architect in my previous life. We are hugely inspired by the construction (done) by men…buildings and pillars. Mehrangarh Fort is such a spectacle.

“We have taken reference of the Sheesh Mahal and put them on our clothes. The silhouette is also inspired by the shapes of Sheesh Mahal which is more angular and geometric and you realise that the design details that they went through was based on mathematics…very intelligent designs,” said Nikhil.

The colour palette of the collection is also taken from the fort, interiors of the Sheesh Mahal and chariots that they used to travel, and “how interestingly the usage of gold on top of red would display the power of the king and queen”.

More inspiration from India?

“This country is full of architectural marvels and full of beautiful design details. I think the exploration has just started,” shared the designer.