Recently, Latha Sunadh of The Couture Gypsy (check out her blog guys, its fantastic!) asked me to contribute to Cosmopolitan’s annual ‘Secret Shopping Guide’ which comprises of a listing of all the secret shops of Mumbai.(aka - a bible to shopaholics.)
That’s when I got the idea of constructing my very own Mumbai shopping guide with a few handpicked stores and labels that I believe are connoisseurs of street style and the works. Sound good to you’ll?
The beauty of Mumbai shopping doesn’t lie in its malls, but rests peacefully in its quaint unassuming boutiques -tucked away in the quintessential lanes of this beautiful city. Yes we all patronize the Zara’s and French Connection’s but there comes a time when we’re scared of wearing a dress that half the population of Mumbai already owns & that’s precisely when these secret shops come in- glorified in all their exclusiveness.
So here are some of my favorite picks from boutiques, streets, labels and concept stores that I religiously stalk.
If you asked me to describe this store, I’d say four words- A work of Art. Ranging from psychedelic canvas shoes, a vibrant bucket-turned-stool, scattered gigantic alphabets, comic inspired totes and baby doll dresses, Attic is a haven for the most unique, artsy and contemporary designs you’ve probably ever seen. The ambience of the store only adds to its quirk factor!
Location – Santacruz & Colaba
Innumerably referred to as the "the city's most cutting edge designer boutique" and “the barneys of Mumbai’ Bombay Electric is a cutting-edge retail representation of India’s creative explosion. Nurturing India’s most established designers, a curated selection of international brands, antique gem jewelery and assorted vintage items- Bombay Electric is a store you cant miss for a preview of the retail scenario in India.
Location- Colaba, Mumbai
Big bag theory
Big Bag Theory is a perfect example of the overflowing talent and creativity in Indian designers. Dismissing the ordinary, boring and clichéd items of the world 'The big bag theory' designs super bags, coasters, magnets, aprons and lamps- each idea fresher than the earlier! As the entrepreneur of this avant-garde label rightly says- ‘A bagful of Ideaotic Items!’
Location – Available at Tappu ki Dukaan, Loose ends and Bliss in Mumbai
Tucked away in Kemps Corners Coleurs is undoubtedly a hidden treasure of Mumbai. Primarily a bag store, it exhibits satchels, duffels, clutches and totes of every design. Light on the wallet, finding the treasure might take a little digging but nevertheless it holds the possibility of a truly wonderful find.
Location- Kemps Corner, Mumbai
Colaba Causeway – The heart of Mumbai.
Putting your bargaining skills to test, this hustling market in South Mumbai is an amalgamation of street vendors selling some fantastic products. Be prepared to pay half or less than half the quoted price- yes you heard me right! You’ll find statement necklaces, sequined chappals, vintage watches and glasses, sunglasses, varied apparels, jewellery ranging from gem earrings to statement cuffs and most importantly- all this at ground breaking prices!
Housing some of the best designers of India, Creo is Mumbai’s answer to a high street concept store. The state-of-the-art ambience holds apparels for every occasion that might just burn a hole in your wallet- but definitely a sanctuary for tasteless, timeless pieces.
Location – Chinoy mansion, Kemps Corner
Fashion street is primarily street shopping comprising of export-surplus products at ground breaking prices. You might find a broken button or a crooked collar here and there but for the price even a one-time wear is worth it! Sonu and Jasleen of Fashion Bombay are seen sporting garments off fashion street that look fantastic!
Ginger is an apparels, accessories and footwear brand found in all Lifestyle stores. I once bought a replica of a Topshop dress for less than half the price. Co-incidence? Once again I bought the identical twin of a Zara floral dress at half the price. Fantastic right? I suggest you head to this store almost immediately to check out their young, fun designs!
Location – Available at Lifestyle
God Made Me Funky
The store’s USP is its exceptional collection of tops- from casual shirts to lace tops, corsets, brunch attires, dressy shirts, ruffled tops- you name it and they have it! This is a shop you simply cannot miss if your out on a shopping spree- it has a solution to your every retail need.
Location - Opp HSBC, Pali Road, Bandra (W)
Handmade with love
Stylist Zeenat Hatim’s ‘Handmade with Love’ is an exceptional home décor label. Inspired by decoupage art, every piece narrates a part of a story. Paris, vintage jewels, old clocks, the castles and the classical tea sets combine to inspire and fill the imaginations of a little girl's dreams. Handmade notebooks, pop art frames and mirrors alike- the products are ridiculously awesome!
Location – Available at Attic and madlikeahatter.blogspot.com
Cant ever find those perfect-fitting pair of jeans? Jeans Master is the best possible solution. Whether its boot cut, flare, skinny, wide leg, straight leg or abracadabra, Mr. Atul Parmar (The Jeans Master himself!) will make it for you- clean cuts, tailored, and fitted to the stitch. His skinny jeans are a marvel- and I talk from personal experience. Lets just call it a sort of couture at ground breaking prices.
Location - opposite Drums Beat, Tardeo, Mumbai
Undoubtedly the most anticipated retail space of the season – Le Mill, a lifestyle store is the kind that hopes to change the face of concept stores in India. Exhibiting a café and flower boutique within it, it concentrates on homeware, luxury jewllery by Mawi, Adeline of Paris and Sara Betran of Deszo and exquisite collections by electic designers. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s much coveted label ‘The Row’ is available at Le Mill as well.
Location – Wadi Bunder, Mumbai
Definitely not ‘just another bandra store’ Preciosa has a fabulous collection of dresses, trendy bags and funky accessories. Although personally, I find myself at Preciosa solely for its remarkable collection of chic footwear!
Location-Shop No. 7, Corner View Society, 33rd Street, Corner of 15th Rd., Bandra(W)
Papa don’t preach
Designer Shubhika Sharma’s label ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ is every girl’s answer to a delicate pretty wardrobe. Its urban street collection is a tasteful range of jersey dresses and the likes, while the six yards saree collection keeps you entranced with its intricate detailing.
One of Bandra’s finest, the lace collection will have you in a frenzy! They also showcase a mouth-watering collection of satchels and duffels.(Remember this one?) Promises to make you leave with a lighter purse- but definitely a more stylish wardrobe.
Location – Waterfeild road, Bandra
Housing some of the world’s most exquisite brands, Trunk is Mumbai’s answer to premium, exclusive shopping. The high waist pants (remember these?) and cut out dresses (Hello Herve Leger at a lesser price!) will keep you hooked on. Pssst – they have a private two-seater spa in the store - includes a fantastic fish pedicure too! What more can a girl possibly ask for?
Location – Colaba, Mumbai
This is one store where you’ll stumble upon a Diane Von Furstenberg sequined dress and thrifted earrings lying contentedly on the same rack. The chances of finding something marvelous (whether it’s a neon wallet, a threaded cuff, draped toga or cobalt suede pumps) are boundless.
Location – Khar West Mumbai
Handmade with Love
Handmade with Love
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