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Ethnic to the core

Fabindia is the latest one-stop outlet for all clothing and furnishing needs.

MIND BOGGLING ARRAY: The outlet has something for everyone. — Photos: K. Ramesh Babu

THE FIRST thing that strikes one about Fabindia (the latest ethnic outlet in the city located at Uma Enclave, road no. 9 Banjara Hills. Tel: 55690353, 23353956) is the spacious area and a bright and cheerful look. It is the ambience, which is important in bringing back a customer and Fabindia surely beckons anybody. It is not just the brand (those familiar with the outlet will avow by it) but for those uninitiated the mind-boggling range of goods, sprawling area and the elegant interiors are bound to entice one to revisit.

Ethnic chic is in vogue today. Age-old handlooms are being given a new lease of life. What better than home-spun cotton and khadi. With eco-friendly being the buzzword in today's parlance and considering the torrid heat we are facing (thanks to environmental degradation) cotton, khadi and jute seem to be the preferred fabrics. It has become fashionable to wear cotton. And Fabindia is the place, which stocks much of that under one roof.

The first outlet Fabindia was set up in 1961 by John Bissel to provide a platform for weavers and printers to market their produce. Fabindia has adopted villages (in different parts of India like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and many more) where the weavers and artisans produce only for Fabindia. The growth in terms of branches has been slow and over the decades new stores have been opened in Delhi itself, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore. But becoming a commercial entity was not on Bissel's mind. After John Bissel's death, his son William is managing director.

There was no fanfare (as is the case with usual store inaugurations) in the inaugural function and the store at Hyderabad was opened on February 21. "Fabindia stores open without any splash," says Vaneeta Bhattacharya, store manager.

The location of the store in a quiet and peaceful residential area may make people wonder. For, it is in the interior - away from the shopping areas and hustle-bustle of the city. But a major plus point in its location is the parking facility. "We hope that news about the shop will spread through word of mouth and we have released some advertisements as well," says Vaneeta.

Spread over 4500 square feet, the shop has been designed by the Fabindia team of interior decorators. It stocks an enormous range of ethnic garments and furnishing fabrics. From men's wear, women's wear, infant and children's wear to upholstery, bed linen, table linen, durries, lamp bases and shades to a smattering of pottery and stationery - the store has something for everybody and every home.

SPACIOUS INTERIORS: Shop at your own pace.

"The merchandise is constantly upgraded in terms of design and colour bearing in mind the market requirements," says Shilpa Sharma, in-charge of new projects. The USP of Fabindia is "the versatile range of merchandise. Moreover, we keep infusing new varieties," adds Shilpa Sharma.

Amongst the many things Fabindia stocks, it is the large chunk of readymade garments which are the most popular. Printed and woven, they are available in different colours and sizes and can be picked off the shelves easily. For men there are shirts (full and half sleeves), jackets, ties and kurtas. The range for women is impressive - Indian and Western wear. Kurtas (short and long for women) can be mixed and matched with salwars/churidars and dupattas. Tops (long and short), capris, pants, skirts, caps and maternity gowns are also on offer. The plain off-white ribbed kurtas are worth a purchase as they can be coordinated with anything. Although most of the stuff is cotton, there is a bit of silk (kurtas and dupattas). For infants and children there is everything from night wear to lehngas and salwar kameez. All the garments are neatly arranged on the shelves and marked with the size tags.

If you want to redecorate your house in ethnic style then the furnishing section is the place to see. For the range of fabrics and textures gives you ample options to choose from. Different sizes of bedsheets, table cloths, cushion covers, table mats and towels are available giving the consumer wide options. Quilts and durries can also be matched to the above. Ready to hang curtains are another feature of the store. To go with the décor some lamp bases and shades can also be picked up.

A small section of stationery has handmade paper, photo frames, address books and files and the ceramic section includes a few tea sets and mugs.

If you choose to jump onto the ethnic bandwagon then Fabindia is the place to start.


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