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Fashion
July 07, 2020

An Haute Setting

Text by Anandita Bhalerao

Zoya’s first Bengaluru store offers private spaces, a safe retail experience and artistic, handcrafted jewellery

Imagine the adrenaline rush of letting your eye rove over every detail of a piece of jewellery, without having to press the zoom button. Or falling in love with a creation you could have sworn wasn’t for you, but tried on anyway, at the insistence of a friendly store manager. If shopping in a physical space alone doesn’t already feel like enough of a luxury, consider paying a visit to Zoya’s new flagship boutique on Vittal Mallya Road in Bengaluru. With its bespoke lounge and private viewing areas, so perfect for these days of social distancing, the brand stands committed to service that is as exclusive as its exclusive interiors.

Verve gets Amanpreet Ahluwalia, Business Head, Zoya, to share some insights….

Tell us about Zoya’s plans to open, with its #SafetyinEighty steps programme. 
The focus on hygiene in our stores has always been the best in the industry. As the safety and peace of mind of our customers are paramount, we have crafted a meticulous protocol of #SafetyinEighty steps that is being implemented at all Zoya boutiques. This detailed protocol addresses over 80 safety checkpoints and includes an hourly cleaning of the boutique as well as sanitisation after each customer visit, stringent application of social distancing norms and minimum staff in stores. A highly specialised jewellery sanitisation process ensures that customers can view our handcrafted jewellery pieces without worry. Also, home or appointment-based visits have always been the norm at Zoya, which we will probably do more of now.

What was the thinking behind opening a store at this point in time? 
We have been planning our foray into South India for a while, and were ready in March, before people were asked to shelter at home. With Bangalore reopening, we are delighted to inaugurate our first boutique here. Also, Zoya caters to the HNI market, a segment that is not deeply affected financially by the COVID-19 crisis, and may even look to jewellery as a safer investment than say a holiday at this time.

How does the new space reflect Zoya’s approach to jewellery design? 
Zoya is a brand with its heart in India and its eye on the world. The visual language of the boutiques is an extension of the artistry and craftsmanship that form the core of every Zoya masterpiece. Like a gallery of fine art, this store’s navigation is thoughtfully charted, as one moves from the wearable through the more expressive collections all the way to the most prized high-value pieces. One after the other, these niches reveal themselves, the faceted mirrors in the corners rimmed in the brand’s signature rose gold. Every piece of jewellery is celebrated through subtle elements such as customised art and embroidery that bring alive Zoya’s inspired storytelling in a lush, feminine environment.

Are there any unique architectural features? 
There’s so much that we love about our new store. Here are three of our favourites:

  • Chandelier of blown glass and the foyer Designed in honeyed hues of amber and blush, this iconic piece hangs over the entrance area, its falling, drop-like shapes luminous and plentiful. The high foyer area under the chandelier’s warm glow allows for absolute silence; a space in which to soak in the ambience that hints at the inner layers of the Zoya world; minimal yet intricate, effortless yet crafted.
  • The Bespoke Area Offering an island of creative immersion and self-expression in the centre of the boutique’s linear floor plan, the Bespoke Area is where clients can interact with the brand’s jewellery designers to co-create custom pieces of art flowing into fine jewellery. With curved separators on either side, this space forms a semi-private niche cleverly cordoned off from the rest of the boutique, striking just the right balance of exclusivity and openness.
  • The Private Lounge Everything that one sees and experiences on this heady journey leads to the pièce de résistance, the Private Lounge. Set in hues of blush at the far end of the boutique, its sheer curtains revealing as much as they conceal, is the exclusive space that clients are invited to for the ultimate customer experience; conversations about jewellery over a cup of hand-brewed filter coffee and fresh hors d’oeuvres. The plush wall panelling and soft carpet are stunningly contrasted by the Art Deco-inspired centre seating in shades of creamy white.

How are spaces such as the Private Lounge and Bespoke Area designed to provide loyal customers with a sense of value? 
Zoya’s jewellery has traditionally been bought for important celebrations in the life of the Zoya woman and for the accomplishment of personal milestones. The Bespoke Area is where one senses the pulsating heart of the brand, where inspiration, ideas and conversations are all thrown into the melting furnace from which the finest designs emerge. As jewellery is a high-involvement purchase, customers can enjoy the intimacy of the Private Lounge, where they are invited to view their selections at leisure, learn about the stories and inspirations behind favourite pieces and discover details of Zoya’s masterful crafting and carefully selected stones.

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