Digital entrepreneur Imran Amed traveled to India with NOWNESS photographer Philip Sinden to Mumbai during Lakmé Fashion Week, unearthing first-rate designers, new stores and other attractions for aesthetes. Amed's Business of Fashion, which decodes luxury takeovers and champions rising talent, has become an indispensable resource for the
multi-billion-dollar industry. The London-based blogger was born in Calgary, but retains close cultural ties to India, tracing his family tree back to Mumbai, a place whose modern development captivates. "Instead of trying to compete in the over-saturated international arena, the city's designers are focused on the burgeoning market at home, which is showing growing signs of consumerism and interest in fashion," he says. "With each visit there is so much more to discover, and as always, my local friends introduced me to the best new Bombay experience." His diary below.
Le Mill is the most ambitious lifestyle store to ever hit Mumbai. Co-founded by Cecilia Morelli Parikh, Julie Leymarie and Aurelie de Limelette, three European expats with experience at Bergdorf Goodman, L’Oréal and Hermès, respectively, the 15,000- square-foot former cotton mill caters to modern sensibilities with bold statement jewelry, exclusive capsule collections by Indian designers, specially designed textiles and a fresh flower shop. 17-25 Nandlal Jani Road, next to new railway bridge, Wadi Bunder, Mumbai 400 009; www.lemill.in
Atsu Sekhose has been described as India’s answer to Halston. His summer/resort 2011 collection features long, pared-back silk dresses and jumpsuits in candy pink, peach and yellow.
Sabyasachi's bejewelled saris and intricately embroidered sherwanis are the sine qua non of the ultimate Indian wedding. His new Mumbai store in Kala Ghoda is furnished with personal items from the designer's own archive, including antique clocks and heirloom photographs, and filled with the same rich colors you'd find in an Indian meal: deep greens, golds and reds. 52 V B Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai 400 001; www.sabyasachi.com
Farida Hoosenally has been collecting and restoring antique furniture for over 30 years. Her 30,000-square-foot Prabhadevi workshop is piled to the rafters with intricately inlaid mirrors and tables, high-backed rosewood chairs and ornate bed frames. It’s the kind of place that only exists in Mumbai. 522, Sayani Road, Prabhadevi, Mumbai 400 025
Perched atop the 34-story Four Seasons Hotel, the Aer Lounge has become the place to observe Mumbai’s urban transformation, including the twin Imperial towers, the tallest buildings in India. The futuristic decor incorporates a Love Bench designed by Ross Lovegrove. This is where people from across the city come to snack on midnight mezze with a champagne cocktail. Four Seasons Hotel, 114, Dr E Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 045; www.fourseasons.com/mumbai/dining/aer/
The Pali Village Café is the kind of restaurant you might find on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, but without the hipster crowd. Set in a converted three-story house in Bandra and owned by the former pastry chef at London’s Michelin-starred Amaya restaurant, it has a warm and cozy vibe. The signature dish is pan-seared Cambodian sea bass.