Accessorise, the Indian way
As accessory designer Malini Agarwalla's label Malaga completes a decade, she readies for a store launch. The Mumbai-based designer speaks of the strides made in this genre in India
“I did my MBA in finance, but my passion was something else,” recalls accessory designer Malini Agarwalla, whose structured clutches are loved by well-heeled society swish list as well as Bollywood stars.
Malini Agarwalla at her newly-opened store, Malaga that will stock clutches, jewellery and apparel. Pic/Sameer Markande.
Agarwalla’s label Malaga specialises in handbags and jewellery, and has completed 10 years, this year. Opening a flagship store on Hughes Road seemed like a fitting tribute: “When I started out, accessory design didn’t have the special status in the industry that it has today. We researched on what we felt people would be interested in. I was keen on Indian embroideries, arts and crafts. I didn’t want to create designs that were available across the world. I had to be aware of the environment we were a part of,” says Agarwalla.
In addition to her clutches and jewellery, Agarwalla has been dabbling with apparel wear, which will be stocked at the store too. “We tested by stocking a few pieces at our earlier store (Palladium, Lower Parel) and received a fabulous response. Hence, we have created a line of cocktail saris with gara blouses, and lehengas, which are perfect for a festive outing,” shares Agarwalla.
The designer feels that today, accessory designers have created a niche in the Indian fashion landscape. Another thing that excites her is that celebrities have gotten more style-conscious. Agarwalla’s clutches have been spotted in the hands of actresses such as Sonam Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha and Kajol.
“It is gratifying and helps the brand as celebrities are style icons, and people follow them closely. Besides, they travel across the globe, so your products also get international exposure,” she adds.
At: Dharam Palace -11B, Hughes Road.