Val?rie Barkowski is the Belgian-born, Bombay-based creative force behind one of India?s hottest design brands, No-Mad 97% India. This eclectic collection (inspired by 97% India --Val?rie and her multicultural inspiration is the 3% non-Indian component) uses age-old craft techniques to produce a modern and oh-so-worldly take on simple homewares. These bold cushion covers, candles, chair covers and incense holders are timeless creations crafted in a single color series each season. Mix and match No-Mad 97% India's graphic prints with classic textiles from India, Turkey, and Morocco. Read the story behind the brand below and shop this exciting new concept for your home.
Main image courtesy: Tania Panova
How does travel inspire your collection?
Travel is the main inspiration behind No-Mad. When designing our collection, we modernize local and ancestral traditions to fit the 21st century. With our philosophy of "97% India, 3% elsewhere," we travel around the world looking for inspiration beyond the Indian borders. Our debut collection focused on Morocco and Africa, as seen in our ISAYU and LASITA/IHITA wax prints.
Describe the No-Mad brand in 3 words.
No-Mad products tell the story of India -- each item is created with Indian traditions and techniques.
This describes the way our materials and techniques are chosen, and the simplicity but originality of the designs.
No-Mad does not follow trends. The brand is inspired by the time we live in. It follows the flow of life using fine materials, local traditions, and handicraft. The products are meant to be timeless.
Your collection of products keeps growing. What creative endeavors are on the horizon?
Things are looking very exciting at No-Mad in the next few months! Our drawers are filled with new colors and products.
Tell us about your favorite piece (or one of them) and where you were inspired to create it.
If I had to choose one piece from the collection, it would be the No-Mad MUDDAH. We took a simple stool used in everyday Indian life and gave it new life.
What do you love most about the city you live in? Please name your top 3 spots for shopping, eating, and sleeping.
I love Bombay because it?s a can-do, frantic city where anything is possible provided you have the backbone to stick it out! It?s the only city in the country where people appreciate the value of time. There is an organized chaos and a mad energy to Bombay. I love that it's a city that doesn?t care what the rest of the world thinks. It just does its thing, take it or leave it.
Pali Village Caf?, Bandra: A slice of Europe right here in Mumbai. The food, the service and ambience is impeccable.
602, Ambedkar Road, Next to Janata Lunch Home, Pali Naka, Pali Hill, Bandra West, Mumbai, 022 26050401
Kala Ghoda Caf?, Fort: For the freshest salads and the best bread in town.
10, Ropewalk Lane, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India, +91 22 2265 0195
Thakkar Bhojnalaya: Authentic Thali place. For that occasional Indian indulgence.
31, Dadisheth Agyari Lane, Off Kalbadevi Road, Marine Lines, Mumbai, 022 22069916, 022 22011232
Bombay Electric: Mumbai?s best curated store with an eclectic mix of fashion, accessories, and knick knacks.
1 Reay House, Best Marg, Mumbai 400001, India, +91 22 2287 6581
Le Mill: For their selection of Indo-European design products, especially homeware.
2 Meherabad Apartments,, Near. St. Stephens Church, Warden Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400036, India, +91 22 2368 4462
Khadi Bhandar: The best selection of Khadi and cotton fabrics, best suited for the Mumbai weather.
286, D M Road, Fort, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India
Abode Boutique Hotel, Colaba: Bombay?s first and much-needed boutique hotel.
Abode Bombay 1st Floor, Lansdowne House, M.B.Marg, (Near Cafe Mondegar), Apollo Bunder, Colaba, +91 99 20 989650
Taj Mahal Hotel: Especially the Palace wing, for its location, view, and the history behind it.
Apollo Bunder, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India, +91 22 6665 3366
HOME: As Lin Yutang says: no one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.
What are your upcoming travel plans?
We're excited for No-Mad to make its debut in the European market at the Salon Vivre Cote Sud, Aix-en Provence!
Souk or Department Store?
DIY or Concierge Service?
Buy Everything or Buy Nothing?
Camping or 5-Star Hotel?
Either, subject to location and weather
Drive or be driven?
Driven for sure, especially in Bombay
Room Service or Street Food?
Lots of Luggage or Carry-on Bag?