A new-found jewel in the esplanade—Her Story is a fine jewellery flagship boutique born out of the process of Insight to Expression

JAN 18, 2023 | By Tanvee Abhyankar
The design language celebrates a synthesis of rootedness and modernity, softened with bespoke art, design thinking, poetry and evocative installations that bring to life the idea of modern femininity; Photography by Ashish Sahi
Unique mixed-material window displays are designed and created in-house featuring custom props and innovative engineering to showcase the versatility of the jewels; Photograph courtesy Her Story

Nestled in the premier art district of Kala Ghoda, Mumbai is the three-storeyed boutique of the luxury fine jewellery brand Her Story, coming across as a multi-sensory experience spread over 2,723 square feet of area.

The name bears its meaning to the brand shaped by a rich legacy in the world of diamonds and jewellery, and channelled under one roof to celebrate fine Indian craftsmanship through a thoughtful contemporary lens. With careful attention to detail and a strong emphasis on character, Her Story’s new address puts a dynamic focus on authentic personal expression.

The flagship retains the integrity of the heritage space in the city’s art and cultural hub—the Victorian-Gothic and Art Deco buildings; Photograph courtesy Ashish Sahi

The Grand Reveal!

The award-winning French architecture and design studio RDAI, known for its experience in retail design and their work with some iconic luxury brands globally, was chosen. General and Artistic Director Denis Montel and Interior Architect Johan Thuillot from studio RDAI have successfully blended functional minimalism and intricate artisanship to appeal to the glocal spirit of modern Indian women in the Her Story boutique. “Our brief to the designers was to celebrate the facets of the modern woman, with depth and creativity. It was important that they maintain the integrity and aesthetic feel of the heritage space, while delivering the brand concept in a manner that is tasteful and with subtle sophistication,” says Sitanshi Talati-Parikh, Brand Creative Director when asked about the brainstorming that went in ideating the store.

Each collection has its own dedicated concept windows, while the facade windows showcase all the collections in a cohesive visual story; Photograph courtesy Her Story

The Translation of Expression

The collections have been created through a unique process of ‘Insight to Expression’, a form of design thinking in jewellery – which is the essence of why the space speaks to every woman’s consciousness. Every idea is born from intimate in-person conversations, gathering a library of human emotions, all done by the brand’s consumer insight team, that gives each concept-driven collection its unique and specific point of view. A part of the customer experience is the ‘storytelling wall’ – designed by Her Story and crafted by Gujarat-based Shed. This full-sized creative piece showcases the journey of a Her Story collection from concept to product. As metaphors and ideas come alive through carving, marquetry, magnetic and detachable elements, the digital screens and visual storytelling give it an interactive feel.

The space also witnesses a thoughtfully curated book collection that celebrates the modern woman through art, graphic design, poetry, and literature; Photograph courtesy Ashish Sahi

“Playing with an organic layout and creating alcoves which the client could discover as they moved throughout the space was a way for us to create rhythm and integrate the extremely detailed scale of jewellery within the larger architectural design of the space. This voyage of discovery enables the client to experience the brand, and this experience is not just the jewellery but the global experience offered by the promenade throughout the boutique,” says Johan Thuillot, Interior Architect, RDAI, about the design of the overall space, which has been presented like a ‘Gallery of Moods’.  To bring this idea to life, each alcove is designed to represent a page of a book, using expressive materials.

The bridal trial room connected to the private viewing room is yet another USP the flagship store proudly holds forth. It showcases a bespoke embroidered artwork, Facets of Modern Women, by textile artist Hansika Sharma, featuring zari embroidery, knots, couching, running, satin stitch and appliqué on organic linen. The room has furniture from Gubi and table is customised for the brand with bespoke motifs on it; Photograph courtesy Ashish Sahi

It All Starts With Lines and Curves

Adhering to the brand’s philosophy is the signature pattern, a beautiful symmetric Kolam-inspired pattern translated to a binary code from the celebration of each woman’s individual sense of self outside of gender constructs, while finding modernity in tradition. The story of art and expression continues on the experience floor that showcases a conceptual embroidered wall art by Ahmedabad-based textile artist Hansika Sharma. Each section of the artwork connects to specific keywords that form the brand core, through the use of different colours and traditional craft techniques. Natural dyes are utilised to lend subtle drama and depth while a running golden cord depicts the dynamic nature of the woman as a binding force.

Mirrors are tucked into the softly curved stucco alcoves with special lighting that illuminates the mirror in
subtle self-reflection, while tiny faceted mirrors form an entrance installation cascading with words that
celebrate the idea of modernity; Photograph courtesy Ashish Sahi

The Design Language

The overall theme is modern femininity, which is a part of the Her Story brand platform. Soft curves play with illumination and powerful materials, rose gold textures and jewels are offset by dramatic displays, and an earthy rootedness lies at the foundation of the experience, with natural terrazzo, mineral finishes, evocative art and iconic global furniture.

One can experience the space as if going through pages of a book—each alcove with different finishes presents to you a new experience through jewellery; Photograph courtesy Ashish Sahi

The entrance installation is conceptualised by Her Story to bring to life the modern woman keywords that the brand concept is built around. The brand imbibes an installation-like approach to showcasing jewellery through conceptual storytelling in the visual merchandising. The interiors are planned taking along some of the most iconic furniture by Moroso, Overgaard & Dyrman, DeMuro Das, Marelli, and Gubi, as well as a piece by Sculpture Jeux, complemented by bespoke fabric from Pierre Frey, custom hand-tufted rugs by Bikaner Handloom, true-to-concept photography by Princess Pea, sculptural elements by Claymen and a lamp by Ashiesh Shah.

The brand’s Kolam inspired motif is used throughout the interiors across finishes and at scales – from metal cut-outs and terrazzo inlays to wood engraving and embroidery; Photograph courtesy Ashish Sahi

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