Fabindia and Hidesign collaborate to open a joint store at Pondy Bazaar in Chennai
Fabindia just turned 61. And Hidesign is 43. Together, they represent over a century of heritage — showcasing the glory of the Indian artisan. And now, thanks to the opening of a new joint-location store in T Nagar’s commercial hub Pondy Bazaar — you can soak in a synergy of both iconic brands at a single venue. Apart from sharing a similar design grammar and eco-friendly sensibilities, it’s notable that the heads of both brands — Fabindia chairman William Bissell (54) who has taken over for his father John Bissell and founder of Hidesign Dilip Kapur (72) are good friends. So, a coming together in some form seems like a natural progression.
“William and I have frequently discussed the idea of bringing together strong Indian brands, and working together to mutually benefit each other, but also to have the idea that we support innovation and brand building within India,” says Dilip, whose base is in Puducherry.
Blast from the past
Back in 1978, Dilip Kapur reminisces, “I had one cobbler and making bags was a hobby... Until one day, one of my friends in Auroville showed it to a large NGO that fell in love with our bags and ordered 1,400 of them. I never managed to make those 1,400 bags but it did get us going and we started increasing size until we were about 200-300 people and moved into our present atelier factory.”
The new store has Fabindia spread across 5,000+ sq foot on the first floor, showcasing its apparel, as well as home and lifestyle offerings. Hidesign is placed on the 700 sq ft ground floor, highlighting its sustainable and handcrafted vegetable tanned leather goods. The latter also has its latest collections on display — the East India Leather collection, a range of bags using high-quality sustainable leathers, and Homme, a back to work collection with a unisex approach.
Keep in mind, this is not their first joint location store, with existing ones at airports in Bengaluru and Lucknow. However, Dilip is careful to emphasize, “This particular store in Chennai and the stores to follow will be far more thought out and better planned to ensure the benefits of working together.” The next joint store will open in Ahmedabad, followed by one in Agra.