Manish Banthia and Devina Chohan
The black tuxedo may be a classic, but who can deny the sheen of gold? Devinaa Chohan and Manish Banthia’s bespoke label Aboutir has officially opened its doors to Mumbai. With its vivid display of brocade and jewels, the Kala Ghoda store promises to change the perception of menswear in the city.
“My designs are primarily Indo-Western,” she smiled as she picks up a navy silk jacket. The material, in its rawest forms, makes for Devinaa’s favourite confidante. Brocade, linen and crochet - with hints of embellishments and gold - make for the rest of her collection. “Most men are floored by the variety of colour,” says the designer whose line extends from burnt oranges to royal blues. She makes the creative decisions for the brand, while Manish looks into the brand building aspect.
Having worked in London (on a womenswear line) before she made a shift to Mumbai, Devinaa is a firm believer in the virtue of fine fabrics and impeccable cuts. While bandis, kurtas and sherwanis form the core of her collection, she loves her corporate suits just as much. For them, she swears swatches from Italian label Loropiano. “The Scottish tartan may be a classic but grid-like checks are all the rage this season,” she added.
As a bespoke label, Aboutir also extends itself to personalised orders and consultancy. Its display of accessories makes it a one-stop shop. Within the store you can find leather shoes made in Kolkata, jadau cufflinks with semi precious stones, pashmina scarves and silk ties.
So what happens to the world of cocktail gowns she left behind? “I will get back to women’s wear at some point, but as of now I’d like to focus on men. There is obviously a gap in the market. Good fabric is hard to come by and the stores that provide the same let go of the design aspect. At Aboutir we aim to provide a perfect blend of both.”
And what does the dream client look like? “Saif Ali Khan,” she said. There’s a third range that adorns the racks – sequined jackets meant for ‘actors and rockstars’. Now we know who she had it mind when her designs came to life.
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