Maithili Ahluwalia has certainly foraged her own distinct presence in Mumbai. Her path began as a student of economics and sociology at the London School of Economics and transgressed to New York where she worked as a management consultant, but it wasn?t long before Maithili found her true passion ? in fashion & home design. She created Bungalow Eight, which features brilliant finds handpicked by Maithili.
What began in her family?s garage is now 6000 square feet, over three floors, in Grants Building - an 1857 heritage building in the heart of Mumbai's cultural centre, Colaba. Recently, Maithili teamed up with French designer Mathieu Gugumus Leguillon on her premiere clothing line for both women and men.
With a fairly impressive roster of international names like Madonna, Sting, Trudie Styler, Hugh Jackman, Maggie Gylenhall - and design luminaries such as Patrician Urquiola, Tricia Guild - and fashion heavyweight Suzy Menkes, visiting her fabulous store, Bungalow 8 has truly become a fashion and design destination.
1. How would you spend a perfect day in Mumbai?
Early morning visit to the Dadar Flower Market for fresh seasonal flowers, followed by steaming idlis at a local south Indian Udipi restaurant, a swim at the breach candy club, light lunch at Swati Snacks, afternoon retail therapy at Bungalow 8, early evening wandering through the many contemporary Indian art galleries (Chatterjee and Lal, Maskara Gallery, Volte, Project 88 etc) in the Colaba neighborhood, sunset walk on Marine Drive followed by drink at Dome at the Intercontinental Hotel.
2. How would you describe Mumbai fashion to the global market?
It is interesting that you ask that as we have just completed the first part of a compilation of Mumbai street style and what we found unique about style in Mumbai was that there isn't really one archetype. It is the mix of post-liberalization westernized hipsters, fisher folk in traditional saris or kitschy floral lungis, sleek gallerists in sartorial suits, khadhi clad craft preservationists and newbies with in your face bling that make Mumbai the eclectic and colorful city that it is.
3. How has your concept store, Bungalow 8, changed the face of style in Mumbai?
I hope it has shown people that you can be both Indian yet very global.
4. Which country or city constantly serves as inspiration for you - and which city can you not wait to visit?
Mumbai and I cannot wait to visit Zanzibar.
5. What treasures from Mumbai would you include on L-atitude?
Everything from Bungalow 8. Click here to see the collection from Bungalow 8.
6. What are your favorite pieces from L-atitude?