Spirited In The Arts: Simone Arora
Having introduced a refreshing new energy to interior design, her restrained, graceful style lies behind some of the most loved interpretations of contemporary living. Simone Arora is poised as always as she speaks of her influences, greatly crediting her upbringing for the aesthetic route she eventually chose to follow. She says, “Growing up, I was consistently exposed to beautiful objects within a beautiful home. Both my parents are artistically inclined, and they fuelled an interest in design in my life through books, art and travel.”
The first of her equally successful sisters (the other two being Sussanne Khan and Farah Khan Ali) to marry, at the age of 21, she began toying with the idea of a furnishing fabric line with her husband, when her mother — Zarine Khan — suggested that there was a void in that space. “I was keen that we explore the international market in order to introduce new design quality and product inspiration into the Indian market. We decided to visit Heimtextil, Europe’s largest home textile fair in Frankfurt, and for the first time it exposed to us a new world of premium home fabrics and furnishings,” Arora elaborates. “We recognised the potential and it motivated us to invest in our first four second-hand jacquard power looms from Belgium.” The Indian home furnishing store D’Decor was born soon after, with the pair travelling the world over to bring back artworks, textiles, technology and ideas.
Two years ago, however, the designer threw open the doors to SIMONE — her very own luxury home concept store, inspired by nature. She states, “It was time for me to begin my own enterprise and initiative. I needed a medium of expression for myself, a way for me to create my own individual identity.” Not only did she begin to shape urbane, idiosyncratic spaces, but she also decided to do it within a one-of-a-kind South Mumbai heritage property that she restored internally and externally.
Arora is known for her discerning eye, one that is faultless when it comes to colour, functionality and form. “Visually arranging and curating a delightful room setting at my store is always an exciting exercise. I enjoy interacting with my customers who come from various destinations and walks of life. She is an admirer of Sofia Coppola’s work, relating to her on a professional level. “She has a unique style of her own, with an incredible eye and a distinctive touch.”