Think up all the stuff that you can do with photo-editing software these days: you can Andy-Warhol-up any image, add a soft glow or mask a favourite picture with a sepia tone to create a glamorous Madhubala-like portrait; you can tweak colours so a red dress stands out on a black-and-white background or transform a boring old photo into a vintage cine poster with fun graphics and text — the options are endless. Now, at Worli’s Vaz Leather Store you can display the product of your creativity (or, just any print you like really) on a handbag, a shoe, a wallet, a hipflask or a dining chair even.
The store has a pret-a-porter line of printed leather and faux-leather goods, so you’ll find loads of clutches (Rs 900 onwards), sling-bags (Rs 1,500 onwards), key chains (Rs 350 onwards) and briefcases (Rs 3,500 onwards) imprinted with popular images like Buddhas, skulls, horses and geisha prints, but here’s the hitch: to customise the print on most of these goods, the store does require a minimum order. Should you choose to order leather wallets or coasters imprinted with your company’s logo, for instance, they require a minimum order of 100 pieces, at least.
Prices vary with the size of the order and the intricacy of the print. They take three weeks to deliver, whether you order 200 coasters or six dining chairs (approximately Rs 12,500 per chair). If it’s a single personalised printed leather accessory you’re after, you can order a single wall-hanging (Rs 2,500), such as the sample we spotted at the store that bore the print of an Egyptian papyrus-painting and, at Rs 24,000, you can personalise a leather rocking chair too. Buffalo leather is too pebbly, proprietors Ajay Ahuja and Jugal Vazirani tell us.
The duo that spent almost three years perfecting their leather-printing technique also explains that finer grains allow for a clearer print. They’re happy to offer customers swatches and samples to pick from, but you can’t give them your own leather, they tell us, “as the material needs to be treated with specific chemicals before and after the printing process so that the print endures the test of time.” So, get to the drawing board and give your festive season gifts an edge over the rest.