Asharaa, a design house that celebrates luxurious living is opening its doors to Europe through collaboration with Kobe, a Dutch interior design brand. Over wine and cheese, Asharaa celebrated the partnership and proudly announced it to friends and regular clients of the design house. The highlight of the event was a presentation by Roger Duffhuis, the director of international sales and marketing for Kobe. He displayed the new fabrics that will be available at Asharaa.
Duffhuis displayed fabrics that came all the way from the Netherlands, explained their yarn constructions and their effect on interior design. While not a designer himself, he’s been in the business long enough to know, understand and explain fabrics. “We stand for a contemporary, classic interior design style. Within that style, we spot trends and translate them into new materials, new yarn developments, new colour lines and also new visuals,” says Duffhuis about what Kobe plans to bring to Chennai in the coming months.
After a fire that burned down their warehouse four years ago, Kobe has made a steady effort to reinvent itself and spread its wings all over the world. They’ve been making their way into the Indian market step by step and now, they are finally in Chennai. Despite the availability of local products, Kobe has managed to find their own special place in the interior design market as their fabrics, which focus on concept selling and story telling, are appreciated by Indian designers.
With few parties in the market who do what they do, Kobe is very happy about their collaboration with Asharaa. While they’ve found an interesting alliance, Duffhuis understands the challenge of what it means to cater to a new regional market. “We need to constantly come up with designs that surprise and impress our partner while also making sure that we don’t deviate from their style. That’s a fine line to walk between relevance and over familiarity,” says Duffhuis.
For Asharaa, having been in the lifestyle business for nearly 15 years, bringing in fabrics from Europe for clients who travel abroad and expose themselves to the designs and styles of the world seems like the next obvious step. “Kobe is adding on to what we already do here and we are broadening what we offer. People who are very discerning about their fabrics, would be very happy to come here now,” says Roopa Shetty, founder and creative director of Asharaa. “Even if you aren’t an expert in deign, your eye will always know the difference in aesthetics,” says Roopa Shetty, who with over 20 years of experience in textiles, still finds it hard to take her eyes of the new designs Kobe is bringing in to her store.
Asharaa, which focuses on customised design units, caters to anyone who might want lighting, furniture, wall panels or just about any home décor product done in a specific style. “There is hardly anyone doing up their house, who doesn’t know what they want,” says Roopa Shetty. With Kobe promising to bring in new fabric collections every six months, there is much to look forward to for Asharaa and for anyone looking to revamp their house in Chennai.