"I was very clear that when I opened my first store, it shouldn't be in a tiny space or shared between other designers," says Mumbai-based designer Priyadarshini Rao. "I also wanted it to be in the city's Bandra-Khar area, where it's very expensive and difficult to find space."
It's why Rao is only just celebrating the launch of the first store retailing her eponymous label, despite having been in the fashion business for 17 years.
In comparison, her high street brand, Mineral, already has five stores across India.
"We had investors at an early stage for the other label," Rao explains. "But I felt now was the right time to open a Priyadarshini Rao luxury store. I didn't want to have to worry about paying the rent, which is something many designers worry about these days."
The store will stock womenswear, menswear and kidswear, and Rao has also opened her store to jewellery designer Bhakti Ravi Prasad who will retail some of her fine jewellery pieces.
Rao hopes to help this store acquire a strong client base that she can constantly interact with.
"The investors are already asking me to look at more stores in Delhi and Hyderabad, but I always want to be able to connect to the woman I design for," Rao explains. "We shall see how this store works out for a couple of seasons more, and only then think about expansion."
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