Extra butter: The Mumbai boutique bringing a cinematic streetwear experience to India
Brothers Ankur and Nick Amin of Extra Butter, a popular New York streetwear and lifestyle brand, return to Mumbai for their first international flagship store
Growing up in Nadiad in Gujarat in the Seventies, Ankur Amin (55) and his younger brother, Nick (53), would often visit Mumbai during school holidays and be awed by its skyscrapers and glamorous movie-postered walls. Little did they realise then that they would return nearly four decades later to set up shop in the city of dreams—with a long detour to New York.
Owners of the popular streetwear and lifestyle boutique, the hip and happening Extra Butter, the duo moved to the US in 1981. After a successful nearly 20-year run there—the brand was established in 2007—when they wanted to expand internationally, Mumbai seemed like an obvious choice, says 55-year-old Ankur. “It was a sort of homecoming for us. Both Mumbai and Bollywood have always fuelled our imagination,” he adds.
The Amin brothers started Extra Butter as a space for street-style apparel and accessories that would fuse their passion for films and fashion. “We have done a lot of storytelling inspired by our favourite movies,” recalls Ankur, who was also interested in making movies at one time.
Today, their retail boutiques across the US are known for their curation that comprises an impressive assortment of products, exceptional customer service and a signature cinematic experience. The brothers hope to extend the same experience at their Mumbai store, which opened last month.
Upbeat about the opportunities that India is offering now, as opposed to the time when they were growing up, Ankur adds, “We wanted to pitch our tent early and establish ourselves here. This is our chance to come home and be the Indian representatives of the movement and culture we are a part of.”
The brightly lit standalone store in Lower Parel exudes a luxurious feel, with the products being the stars of the show—a mixed bag of best-in-class streetwear brands that include A Bathing Ape, Carhartt WIP, Dhruv Kapoor, Drôle De Monsieur, Gramicci, John Elliott, Marni, Neighborhood, Pleasures and Thug Club among others. With sneakers being a special house favourite, pride of place is occupied by footwear brands such as adidas, ASICS, Birkenstock, Converse, Crocs, New Balance and Puma.
The store also offers a range of graphic tees and streetwear staples from the brand’s private label—Official Selection—-that features retro Bombay-inspired motifs that provide a desi twist.
“Consumers appreciate our products for their cultural relevance,” Ankur says, pointing at his sneakers, designed in collaboration with adidas, and featuring elements from Stanley Kubrik’s film, A Clockwork Orange. “It is wearable art. It is a little kitschy at times, but fun. I believe that your shoes, jewellery etc. say something about you. So do the brands you support,” he says.
Noting the similarities between their New York and Mumbai retail spaces, Ankur says the brief for the designer was to keep the DNA of the Extra Butter stores in the US intact, which meant retaining their signature film seats and screen. “We have community movie nights at our stores back in the US where people stroll in with popcorn. Sometimes, directors have walked in too, and we have spent time talking movies.
I believe the Extra Butter experience goes beyond a transaction. It is a community centre and we trust that people will continue to support us,” he adds. The Mumbai store has restaurateur Aditi Dugar’s café outpost, TwentySeven Bakehouse with coffee and baked treats, for those wanting a breather after all the retail therapy.
With the India show on the road, are plans afoot for other cities in the country as well? For now, says Ankur, the focus will be Mumbai, after which the brothers will look to explore Delhi and Bengaluru as well. And like a true suspense thriller, Ankur refuses to divulge more details about their India plans. All he says is they have a “big project coming up next year with an Indian designer”.