Maithili Ahluwalia has certainly foraged her own distinct presence in Mumbai. A woman with fastidious taste, Maithili founded Bungalow 8 as a place to share the collection of hand-picked items she has spent her life curating. Maithili established Bungalow 8 in 2003, and was regarded as avant garde, gaining an immediate reputation of refined luxury. Maithili?s philosophy is minimalist with a focus on overturning the ?bling and embellishments? that India is associated with.
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.
Growing up, travel was an integral part of Maithili?s life as she accompanied her gypsy-like mother to obscure countries, allowing her to develop an appreciation for different cultures and aesthetics. Maithili?s personal history is apparent in the products sold by Bungalow 8, which she says are ?an extension of my style ? curious, eclectic, high street, experimental and effortless.?
Recently, Maithili followed in her grandmother?s footsteps (a former designer for Chanel) by teaming up with French designer Mathieu Gugumus Leguillon on her premiere clothing line called, "The Bungalow."
Photo Courtesy The Wearabout
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.
Photo courtesy The Sartorialist
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 are your favorite pieces from L-atitude?