No-Mad 97% India Unveils Its First Store In The Heart Of Mumbai’s Textile Market
One of the oldest and busiest textile bazaars, Mangaldas market — through its winding alleyways — is lined, wall-to-wall with stores and shops selling every kind of fabric imaginable. Within one such old building — up bent, creaky stairways and tainted walls — you will find a small and intimate space that differs from its surroundings with its modern quirk, yet matches the history and tradition.
Furnished in all white but hidden away, it’s as if the store is waiting for you to find it, after being enamoured by the marketplace’s hustle and bustle. Launched in 2013 by duo Anuj Kothari and Valérie Barkowski — who handle the business and design sides, respectively — No-Mad has come a long way from being just an e-commerce atelier for home textiles, décor accessories and more. Their core ethos translates inspiration for creative goods from India for a contemporary time.
The move to have a store in this busy market — where bargain hunting is the order of the day — is outside the box, and the store carries a similar tone on the inside. While decked with home decor items on either side past the entrance, a large and cosy bed invites you to visualise how their home textiles will look upon your furniture. Upon removing your footwear, you’re welcome to climb up and experience the upholstery’s touch while perusing through a variety of other textiles — all in natural cotton and linen. And yes, they’re wrapped up just like the ones in shops around, wound around large foot-long boards, known as Thhaans. Kothari said, “We want our customers to come in and spend a while at the shop, thus the reason for laying it out in such a manner. More than making a direct purchase, we want people to experience the store’s aesthetic in a wholesome way.”
Kothari has owned the space since the brands inception. “We started the label with four embroiderers — all of whom now work in-house — and this spot was where they would work from,” Kothari explains. Once we expanded, we didn’t know what to do with this space, so we decided to transform it, especially because we are in a similar line of work as the stores around have been for a long time.”