-By Ankita Dutta
Richa Kanoi, a design enthusiast who was born and raised in Bombay and later migrated to Kolkata after getting married, made the decision to replicate a portion of her cherished city in their new hometown of Bombaim.
Bombaim, the Portuguese name for Bombay, initially prioritised presenting the work of exclusively outside-the-city designers. Richa explains, “We brought an abundance of designers from all over the country to Kolkata because the market was overcrowded with designers inside the city. This clothing store has expanded greatly over the past 14 years.
Richa has altered the business strategy in the quickly changing luxury industry from being retail partners for Rahul Mishra’s flagship stores in Mumbai and Delhi to recently signing Kshitij Jalori to open his flagship in Delhi.
“A huge part of me has always been design. Everything that is well-built, including interior design and architecture, fascinates me. It was simply meant to be clothing, though I may have sold anything lovely. That is how Bombaim turned into a clothing brand, says Richa.
There were no Pret Couture or ready-to-wear stores in Calcutta in 2008. Only bulky clothing meant for weddings was available in stores. In a 1000 square foot colonial bungalow where Bombaim first opened, the company introduced a lot of Pret Couture and urged the Calcutta society to dress distinctively. More style, less fashion was Bombaim’s guiding principle as she taught people how to style each outfit to its highest potential. However, the business has grown in terms of clientele and flexibility of clothing throughout the years, stocking items from various categories.
After more than ten years in the industry, Bombaim’s clientele exploded. They required a bigger location where they could display couture in order to serve a wider target audience. At that point, Richa made the decision to relocate—but not just anywhere. Richa desired a home with personality, charm, and the ability to speak to her. She discovered all of this in Bombaim’s new residence in a calm residential area. She worked on two more projects alongside Animesh Nayak, Principal Architect at Open to Sky Architects, who she was acquainted with for seven years. As is clear from this store, their camaraderie, diversity of thought, and unique personalities contributes to them being a successful team with good outcomes.
To provide the store a very vast and opulent impression, the untamed nature of the area has been exquisitely paired with accents of luxury. The store’s entrance has a stardust-inspired floor design to keep it upscale yet welcoming. The door is a focal point; it is a style of Art Nouveau, and it is followed by the word “Bombaim,” which has come to be adored by all, in addition to the sun elements on the flooring. The floor’s tiny brass details are notable, and the cement has a pinkish tint rather than the usual grey. Another eccentric feature that ups the swank factor of the area is a cash counter that mimics an open bar.