It is nestled within the busy lanes of Kala Ghoda, Mumbai’s commercial district turned art heart. This seems to be enough for the Bombay Shirt Company (BSC) to make some noise. In less than a year, the boutique has become among the more successful and discussed stores in the city. On the anvil of its second coming in Bandra, the Bombay Shirt Company has much to toast.
Shopping here is a unique experience. The store is lined with beautiful shirts for men and women in pastel shades and multiple prints. But these are not for sale. These are mere samples for the customer to choose his or her preference and customise their shirts accordingly. A large round table sits in the middle of the store that serves as an interactive space for customers to discuss their designs with the stylists present. Right from the colours to the fabric, you can choose your type of collar and buttons too. An antique lamp focuses on signature pieces.
With prices that start at Rs 2,500, this is an effort at providing bespoke services at Zara rates.
“The idea was to offer people the opportunity to custom-design their own shirts, that are made with utmost attention to quality, while not paying over-the-top prices,” says Akshay Narvekar, 32, whose baby this is. “For our past generation, bespoke was the norm until ready-to-wear became the thing. However, bespoke is on its way to becoming a norm again.”
Narvekar’s five years at the premium label BCBG Max Azria in Los Angeles gives him retail know-how. “We sell directly to customers.
There are no third-party sales or retailer margins. These savings are passed on to customers, making the prices affordable.”
This week, the BSC has launched a capsule collection with model and actor Purab Kohli. This is their second capsule collection, their first was with GQ editor Che Kurrien. Kohli’s line comprises slim-fit shirts and shirts especially for layering over tshirts. “Knowing that I’m not a designer, the BSC’s inputs were supportive but did not steer me away from my ideas,” says Kohli.
Narvekar says his ideal customer is someone who is conscious about what he or she is wearing, pays attention to details and has a creative streak. While work is already underway for his second store in Bandra, the company is in talks with partners in other cities.
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