Review: Inside Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla's newly unveiled store in Hyderabad
Ever since A gold-plated hoarding of Asal by Abu Sandeep (Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla) went up on a brass-studded door in Banjara Hills, patrons of the iconic designer duo have been wondering when the store will open its doors. When it finally did last weekend, we visited their first store with their diffusion label and edgy menswear vertical, Mard. What welcomes you as you set foot in the store is an amalgam of grandeur — courtesy the gold accents and minimalism of the white walls.
The art déco style and chandeliers are reminiscent of the distinctive style statement that the two couturiers are known for. Whites and golds define the décor and the ensembles they create — remember Sonam Kapoor’s outfit with a constructed drape at the Cannes Film Festival 2019? We spotted Sandeep casually introducing himself to all those visiting the store. The first question we had for him was what took him so long to open the flagship store in the city, given he has dressed so many brides here. “We didn’t want to open an outlet that was second to any other AJSK store. So, people who work for the brand will tell you that this store is designed better than almost any other Asal branches,” says the designer, who once dressed Judi Dench for the BAFTA awards in 2012.
No more knock-offs
With its roots in their classical techniques, Asal differs in a way that it caters to the younger clientele and is, therefore, far more contemporary than we expect it to be. Sandeep shares, “It is inspired by the parent brand but we wanted to create this line to give people the quality they deserve in a cost-effective manner so that they stop reaching out for knock-offs.” Come summer, you can pick from their prêt collections — Gulabo.
All about detailing
On the shelves is the menswear line Mard. Recently, Tollywood star Allu Arjun donned a black khadi kurta with gold and silver embroidery from their Abla Flower collection. From this, gentlemen can shop for shirts, kurtas, bandhgalas and sherwanis in form-fitting silhouettes. Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla are known for their extraordinary bridal wear. Those who have a wedding coming up can check out ensembles here. “We will be doing panels, especially for brides. We have some collections that can be customised and we will be doing panels for that purpose as well,” says Sandeep.
Rs 35,000 onwards.
Pictures: S Senbagapandiyan