Last Friday, Chennai welcomed its newest concept store in the form of Sakina Ansari's dream project, MaalGaadi.
"We wanted to open something different, the kind of store that wasn't already available in Chennai," her daughter and co-conspirator Shahin says. "We chose the name MaalGaadi to reflect the store's quirky yet Indian aesthetic."
The resulting 2,800 sq ft space houses everything from fashion and accessories to furniture, lighting and even art, curated by local designers Shreya Kamalia and Vivek Karunakaran.
"When we went talent-hunting for MaalGaadi, we decided to focus on names that weren't already being stocked in other stores," says Ansari. "Also, we made a conscious choice to stick to western wear. This is Chennai, after all, and traditional garments are commonly found."
The designers they consider original are Arjun Saluja, Nikki Mahajan, Nida Mahmood, Chandrashekar, Pinky Saraf, A.K.A Bespoke and Karunakaran himself, while the interiors floor stocks names like D-Cubed, Safomasi and Mukul Goyal.
"Everything, including the furniture, is priced under Rs 50,000, though you can walk in and find something for Rs 100 too," Ansari explains. "What we're doing is a bit of a risk, but that’s what the store is all about."
At 6/1, block M, 4th Main Road, Besant Nagar, Chennai. Call 42103242
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, Sakina Ansari\'s dream project
, designers Shreya Kamalia
, Vivek Karunakaran