Vintage clothing store in Khotachiwadi launches online journal

Updated: Feb 05, 2019, 09:03 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

A vintage clothing store housed inside a heritage Khotachiwadi bungalow will launch a journal to give a platform to South Asian diaspora

Khotachiwadi - Girgaum's heritage village - is only a 15-minute walk from this writer's home. On a Sunday morning, we head towards it, and 15 minutes in, we're lost. Even with Google Maps.

But we only need two magic words to find our way to our destination through a maze of narrow lanes dotted with colourful Portuguese-style houses. "Ferreira House?" we ask a local. "Take the first left, walk straight, then take a right," he replies and we follow. We soon find ourselves standing in front of a long balcony, and we're instructed to walk the stairs to the first floor where No Borders Shop, a store for vintage clothing that has now launched an online journal, is situated - right by a room designated for fashion designer James Ferreira's workmen. We are welcomed by Shilpa, the store manager, who is escorting a foreign tourist couple out of the store.

The vintage line and artwork at the store
The vintage line and artwork at the store

A wardrobe for time travel
When we step into the store, all superlatives become an understatement, and we understand the tourist attraction. Dimly lit with clothes hanging from wooden branches, there's art all around the corner - from a variety of mirrors to dated furniture on the mosaic flooring. Most windows are shut so as to carefully protect the garments and accessories, some of which date back to the 80s, sourced from all over the world.

James Ferreira and Kanika Karvinkop
James Ferreira and Kanika Karvinkop

While scouting we spot a Calvin Klein sling, an Hermès scarf, and a Christian Lacroix embroidered dress. But there's the contemporary South Asian labels as well - including Rina Singh's Eka, Suket Dhir, Osei-Duro from Ghana and Nigerian-French brand I Am Isigo. And there's James Ferriera's line to choose from as well. Clothes are available from Rs 4,000 to Rs 40,000, and a new collection launches next week.

Ferreira House
Ferreira House

Friendly beginnings
No Borders Shop was launched in April last year by Kanika Karvinkop, a fashion stylist who divides her time between New York and Mumbai. The inspiration for the store came through her experience of working for top media houses in the US - Teen Vogue, Nylon, and Refinery 29. "People had a clichéd way of looking at India and only looked at fashion here in terms of bridal wear or Bollywood. And I knew of Indian and South Asian designers who were doing amazing work. They were inspired by our country and still making contemporary wear. I was very passionate about vintage wear, too. But when I came here last year, vintage fashion was still at a nascent stage," she recalls.

An upcycled Ralph Lauren jacket. Pics/Atul Kamble
An upcycled Ralph Lauren jacket. Pics/Atul Kamble

Karvinkop, 31, had known Ferreira for four years through work. "He's a true artist and we'd sit and talk for hours. We shared the same thinking and I decided to host a pop-up at his bungalow in 2017. We had 300 pieces and they all sold out. That's when we decided to make this a permanent space," she tells us. And Ferreira concurs. "For me, this, was a chance to create, with Kanika, the space I had always envisioned. My love for antique fabrics and objects fitted in perfectly with Kanika's vintage collections and it also complements my collections available here."

Beyond Fashion
The store also features stunning artwork by Mumbai-based Sarah Naqvi, Lebanese illustrator Nourie Flayhan, and US-based Manuja Waldia. Karvinkop states that her vision for No Borders is more than just fashion. And that's how No Border Journal was born last month - a platform to create space for South Asian diaspora through an Instagram account and their website. The team will be curating and interviewing people across creative fields and will be publishing accounts on social media - the first one with Waldia is already up on the website. Although there's no set date, gigs are also on the calendar. And Karvinkop vows to go beyond the criterion of popularity. She says, "So many artists and designers have stories to tell, but don't have many followers. But that's not important for me. And we've been so lucky to have built a community where these can be shared."

TIME: 11 am to 7 pm (Monday closed)
AT: 47/G, Khotachi Wadi, Girgaum.

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