A high-end store in the boondocks of Mumbai? You may think not, but that’s exactly the case with Le Mill, a mammoth 15,000 sq ft venue off PD Mello road in South Mumbai, proving that even Mohammad Ali Road, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and JJ Flyover could be landmarks for the fashion fraternity.
Launched by three French ladies Cecilia Morelli Parikh, Julie Leymarie and Aurélie de Limelette with stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania acting as fashion director, the space’s impossible location is what lends it a unique flavour. Are they worried that the less-than-sparkling neighbourhood might deter customers from stopping by? “At our launch party, we had guests like Sussanne Roshan and all the high society ladies come here,” insists Parikh, adding, “Once we put the signage with directions up along the road, it was easy for people to find it. Also, we have hope for this area because an art gallery is due to come up within the year.”
Still, you’d better be rolling up to the door in your chauffeur-driven car, because there’s no alternate public transport within walking-with-heels distance.
Once inside, the space envelops you. Split-level, with the highest section in the store dedicated to select fashion brands, the store also houses an accessories and kids section, a sprawling home décor and furniture area, a flower store, and a café serving up organic delicacies.
The fashion section is devoid of the obvious Manish Malhotras and Neeta Lullas, stocking instead offbeat designers you’re not likely to have heard of.
Designer Saloni Lodha of Indian origin can be found near high-end foreign label The Row, created by actor-turned-designer sisters The Olsen twins. Anamika Khanna, Savio Jon, Nor Black Nor White and Rajesh Pratap Singh are the other Indian designers on the roster.
Point out that the options are limited and Parikh defends, saying, “I think we have more than most other designer stores. We tried to curate what was available and stock designers that match the ethos of the store.”
The store’s in-house line of bags and T-shirts have also done well, as Parikh observes, “Indian women love their bags.” Handmade dolls by Jason and Anshu, costume jewellery by Mawi, kiddie clothes by Pero, recycled lamps made from trumpets and old cameras and super pricey designer carpets which retail at upwards of Rs 1 lakh are the other offerings worth checking out.
Bombay Bharat & Swadeshi Rice Mill Depot, 17/25 Nandjal Jani Road, Opp. Wadi Bunder New Railway Bridge, Masjid Bunder East. Call: 22 2237 2415/16/17