AsiaStore Blog - Buying Trip

AsiaStore Buying Trip: Day 2 Delhi

Follow AsiaStore’s Chief Merchandising Officer Anne Godshall as she scouts out the latest designs in Asia.

It’s another hot one today…topping the charts at 43c. I’m afraid to ask what that translates to in Fahrenheit! My friends Meenu and her daughter are joining me for today’s excursion. First stop is the Crescent, a beautiful shopping plaza, housing India’s elite designers, including Satya Paul (an AsiaStore exclusive in the US) Manish Arora and Namrata Joshipura (also names you’ve seen at AsiaStore) The collections are a blend of eastern and western silhouettes…with a style that is uniquely Indian.

From there we are off to Dilli Haat, an open air marketplace, featuring a wide array of Indian handicrafts. Just inside the gates, I spot a grouping of beautiful melange silk shawls. Unfortunately, the color selection is a bit limited and I’m not convinced that the price is quite right, so best to wait. On to bangles, where Meenu instructs me on the art of bangle buying. We browse through more of the stalls and sure enough we find more of the melange silk shawls in great colors. After some lively negotiations, we walk away with a beautiful assortment of silks at 40% less than the original price quote! We continue to browse, stopping to cool off using some clever handmade fans. As we enter the jewelry section, I notice some beautiful glass bead bracelets.. Unfortunately there’s not enough quantity. As Meenu translates my disappointment, the owner reaches down and pulls out a plastic tub filled with glass beads. We selected the colors we want and he proceeded to make the bracelets as we waited. You’re going to love them ! By then we were all a bit verwhelmed by the heat, so we headed to Khan market, an outdoor strip center of sorts, where we stopped for a bite to eat. Meenu’s daughter selected a restaurant called The Big Chill, it’s a popular spot featuring great pizzas, pastas and sandwiches…if you go, be sure to sure to try and shakes and save room for desert!

Back to the hotel with just enough time to take a quick swim before being whisked off to the Carpet Cellar, where I met with Nishant and Dhruv Chandra, to view their collection of antique and reproduction textiles. Nishant educates me on the various qualities of wool, pashmina and wool/silk blends, introducing me to their proprietary Sahmina fiber which is an environmentally friendly alternative to the Shatoosh, the lightest, warmest fabric, derivded from the Tibetan antelope.

But it’s the silk embroideries that catch my eye. Dhruv explains that the work is so fine, it can take up to 2 years to complete one shawl. And a small section of embroidery can take up to a day to execute. I’m also intrigued by the pashmina/silk blends featuring damask and ombre patterning…”must haves” for the fall assortment.

It’s getting a bit late and I’m growing a bit weary. Time to head back to the hotel and get packed as I’m off to Kasmir tomorrow morning

AsiaStore Buying Trip: 1st Stop Delhi!

Follow AsiaStore’s Chief Merchandising Officer Anne Godshall as she scouts out the latest design talent in Asia.

If it’s Saturday this must be Delhi! Despite a midnight arrival and an early, early am trek to the hotel, I’m feeling pretty good…I have my #60 sun block on and am ready to brave the 100+ degree temperatures!

First stop is Kavita Bhartia’s studio.
Kavita is the mastermind behind, Ogaan, the incredible designer boutique, dedicated to showcasing Indian design and fashion. More recently Kavita has launched 2 new boutiques, featuring her own label. Kavita’s collections have previewed at pret a porter and can be found at a number of exclusive European boutiques. Her work is is eclectic and innovative, incorporating trendy western silhouettes with age old Indian techniques such as block printing and hand embroidery….perfect for AsiaStore!

We began by selecting a summer grouping of traditionally styled Jhola and Potli bags that were anything but traditional, featuring colorful block printing and beaded handwork. These one of a kind creations will be perfect for those Hampton afternoons. From there we moved on to fall and chose a fabulous grouping of metallic accessories. Block printed Jhola bags and “must have” metallic leathers… along with an inspired collection of textured scarves and shawls. Tattered silk blends adorned with metallic accents, stunning block prints on crushed silk and filmy chiffon silk combined with crochet edging are just a few of the highlights. And if that wasn’t enough, we glammed it up for holiday, selecting a dazzling group of heavily embellished, hand beaded Potli bags…the perfect accessory for your black tie gala.

With the AsiaStore collections nearly complete, I had to take a few minutes to play….who could resist those fabulous fashions! The skirts, the jackets, the decadent tops just beckoning to be tried on. We oohed and ahhed…it was great fun.

Knowing that you will love her creations as much as I do, I have convinced Kavita to bring a collection of her most unique and innovative pieces to preview at AsiaStore this fall!

Kavita is a designer to watch!!

AsiaStore’s Annual Buying Trip

If you are familiar with AsiaStore, you know about our commitment to finding and promoting emerging Asian and Asian American design talent.

Well once a year, AsiaStore’s Buyer Anne Godshall heads to Asia for several weeks to scout out the very best of Asian design.
Here at AsiaStore, we wait in anticipation for Anne’s packages full of products to arrive. When they do, the excitement of opening the boxes can only be compared to that of Christmas morning. We never know what treasures will be inside!

This year, Anne will be blogging in real time, so that we can all have the pleasure of following her on her buying trip to Asia.
You’ll be meeting the designers behind the products, learning about how they are made, and seeing the products before they hit the selling floor at AsiaStore. Be sure to check back soon to follow Anne on her buying adventure in Asia!