Aesthetic in 'store' in the heart of the Chennai

The design house is a 5,400 sq foot bungalow that was revamped by visual creative director, Adityan Melekalam.
Aesthetic in 'store' in the heart of the Chennai
Women draped in a saree (right) and the design house on Cenotaph Road

CHENNAI: Raw Mango, a design house that is home to some of the finest handloom collections of sarees, textiles, and other garments has opened its first store in Chennai on Cenotaph Road in collaboration with Collage.

The white walls in the design house have eclectic statues and shades of brown that both complement and elevate the overall palette of the design house, with a mélange of colourful apparel, adding colour to the place.

The design house is a 5,400 sq foot bungalow that was revamped by visual creative director, Adityan Melekalam.

Talking about what inspired the design of the store, Sanjay Garg, the founder and textile designer says, “We wanted to create a space that was inspired by the history and the context of the building and at the same time, we were not too burdened by it. We were also quite fascinated by the Tamil architecture which inspired a lot of design elements in the space. Like most of the Raw Mango stores, we wanted to build a gallery that showcases the brand’s textile offerings and fascinations along with the products.”

The two-storey building has seven rooms. The ground floor has three rooms; each room showcasing their chanderi and sooti, brocade, and hand-embroidered saree collection, respectively. The first floor is a dedicated space for an exclusive bridal and jacket collection.

There is another room where customers can experience the objects from Raw Mango. It is a gallery that has collectibles of golu dolls, hand-picked by Sanjay over the years.

“Each room bears its own unique design narrative that comes together as a whole, taking into consideration the geography and cultural history of the region,” Sanjay says.

Sanjay says that the team was challenged by several adversities while renovating the home, he says, “Since we were working with an untended property, putting this particular store together was more like a restoration project. The challenging part however was maintaining the integrity and character of the space and its original elements and working around it, to lend a design aesthetic that matches all that Raw Mango stands for.

Sanjay Garg
Sanjay Garg

“For example, the original floorings have been retained but we created rooms, added windows and chajjas. Overall, the architecture and interior design of the store blends the original Art Deco structure, with the design aesthetic of Raw Mango that is minimal, modern Indian.”

Latha Madhu, founder of Collage says that, like every other decision, this collaboration was spontaneous too. On asking if Chennai is ready for the brand she says, “Chennai is one of the most forward-thinking cities, as far as design goes. Staying rooted in one’s identity is at the core of this city’s aesthetic. I believe, Raw Mango fits beautifully in this mode of thinking. I am positive people will enjoy the aesthetics of the brand.”

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