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Quirky Cue

The Mediterranean,outdoorsy aura of Bliss at Phoenix Market City lures you in,anywhere you look,your eyes meet with fun colours,dominated by reds and orange.

Written by Nupur Chaudhuri |
September 10, 2011 2:06:25 am

The city can now indulge in whacky merchandise from over 60 designers at the newly opened Bliss

Step into this store and you might forget that you’re still in Pune. The Mediterranean,outdoorsy aura of Bliss at Phoenix Market City lures you in – anywhere you look,your eyes meet with fun colours – dominated by reds and orange. Racks are stacked with quirky products designed by 60 designers,quite unlike what the city has seen so far. And that’s its USP.

While it opened doors on the first of this month,Bliss will be formally launched on September 17. “We don’t have any big designer names associated with us. We work with really young designers. When we started Bliss in Mumbai two years ago,our aim was to tap into new talent,” says owner Mallika Desai Thakur,an architect by profession. When there are 60 designers under one roof,the range has to be varied. So,from bar accessories and shot glasses to bags,T-shirts,jewellery,home accessories,showpieces and footwear,there’s enough merchandise to choose from. None of the goods available here are mass produced. “And all the products are sold under the designers’ band names,and not Bliss,” adds Thakur.

Tarana Seth,whose brand ‘Tarana’ offers whacky home accessories like pipe vases,chocolate candles,pop art coasters and the Tree of Life (which is a metal sheet with a candle to cast a glow)to name a few,is travelling to Pune today to acquaint herself with her new clientele. “I started retailing at Bliss on January 1 this year. It was only last year,in August,that I had this idea of designing quirky home products,” says this ad filmmaker. She now designs everything herself and even makes some of the products herself.

There are a few designers who are working with artisans from rural areas. “There is a section of the store dedicated to these products made by artisans,” says Thakur. All the merchandise at the store ranges between Rs 100 – Rs 10000. “The average is Rs 1000. For that much,one can easily pick up a couple of things,” says Desai.

In keeping with the bright,happy interiors is the product line ‘All things bright and beautiful’ by designer Ekta Chadha. Her bags are inspired by kites. “It was a sudden concept. I was working on a line of apparel,when I got mesmerised with kites. The faces,the colours,the art,the expressions,the individual flavour that each kitemaker lends to his piece of joy arrested me,” says Chadha. A visit to the Lal Kuan gali in Chandni Chowk,New Delhi,resulted in a prompt switch from apparel to bags. “The industry is overflowing with kitsch designers so we really have to make an effort to keep our collections different. I feel themes like Bollywood,autos,trucks and cycles have been done to death. I believe in reinventing with stronger and different concepts backed with a lot of research,” she adds.

Pune was Thakur’s first choice after Mumbai because of the city’s young population. “They appreciate these new trends that we have in store. The quirkiness of all the products will appeal to them,” Thakur adds.

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