London: An Indian designer has opened up a boutique in the heart of London as one of the British capital's first-of-its-kind artisanal leather brands from India. Gautam Sinha's Nappa Dori has been creating a buzz in the tourist hotspot of Seven Dials in Covent Garden with its handmade and bespoke leather products.
"London was being planned for almost two years as we were scouting for the right location that complimented the brand and also offered a diverse clientele for us,” he said. "Seven Dials offers that perfect mix – there is the tourist traffic but also a more discerning audience who are aware of the eclectic mix of brands here," said Sinha, who is in the process of launching two new Indian locations to add to his six across Delhi and Mumbai.
"We also have plans to expand our reach in the UK with a second location and in the next calendar year, we plan to expand into Europe and the US,” he added. The first UK store combines the Café Dori experience, offering a taste of the Indian chai along with coffee and snacks.
"London is one of the key fashion capitals in the world and an English-speaking hub helped us make the decision to open our first boutique here. The transition had to be smooth for an independent brand like ours and the UK ticked a lot of those important boxes for us," said Sinha. Nappa Dori – which literally translated means leather and thread – was born in the bylanes of Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi nine years ago with the idea of combining Indian traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design.
Sinha, a Fashion Design graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi, is baffled at the lack of credit for Indian handiwork and skills despite several international high street products being made in India.
"It still baffles me why an Indian fashion brand hasn't made a major play in the global market. Nappa Dori is definitely the first move towards changing this. There are a lot of amazing Indian brands waiting in the wings and you will see a massive change in the global market in the next five-ten years when it comes to Indian brands," he said.