When she isn’t visiting artisans and sifting through new designs, Priya Kishore, a self-confessed vagabond at heart is a water baby. “Travel is always top of the list. I do love the water — swimming, scuba diving and sailing are just my things. And I am crazy about films too,” she says. Horse riding in Mongolia is another thing Priya wants to tick off her bucket list. The entrepreneur’s diverse choices of recreation are reflected in the textiles and patterns she carefully curates in her Bombay Electric — which New York Times called ‘the Barneys of Mumbai’. Priya herself has been referred to as “the love child of Grace Jones and Audrey Hepburn’’— a description she believes is “bang on”. These were just some of the many flattering comments that came her way during the initial days of her Mumbai foray, when she made a splash into the city’s glamour capital.
Having made a strong statement on home ground, Priya is set to take on newer challenges. “We have gone global now, with spaces in Mumbai and London. There’s also a project in New York — very exciting, but I can’t divulge it yet — which has kept me travelling quite a bit. The future looks bright,” she tells us. But that’s not all. Priya has collaborated with one of London’s high-end departmental stores, Selfridges. “The buying director of Selfridges visited Mumbai and fell in love with the store. What followed was an invitation to take up residency on the central spot of the fashion floor. It’s been an intense journey of discovery, curating exclusive collections with designers, treasure hunting, and collaborating with London’s best set designer, Gary Card.”
Her love for designer does not translate into blind brand conciseness though.
“It’s ridiculous to buy something just because of its label. Why not make your choices based on the innate qualities and beauty of the object itself? Good design can come from a designer atelier or a rural workshop. And if you’re a budding designer, then there’s one word for you — ‘do it for the joy, not the glory.’”
Interestingly, Priya hadn’t pursued fashion as a dream when she was younger. “I enjoyed the world of books and letters when I was young, reading philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford after which I did my MA in anthropology at the University of Chicago. Delving into fashion is related to my interest in how people communicate visually,” she says.
Letting us in on the Oxford life she continues, “Oxford was a seminal time in my life, I’ll never forget my professors, some of whom I still write to; it opened my mind and taught me how to learn, but you can’t let it define you completely. So much has happened since then, perhaps the university of life is the best education of all.”
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