On an evening back in September 1993 Melange opened its doors to the world with a collection of khadi ensembles in white and earthy tones. Melange not only set out on a journey to carve its own niche in the city but also dictated the future of fashion and the rise of designer garments.
One of the first multi-designer stores in the city, what set Melange apart was its eco-friendly philosophy. It wasn’t just restricted to the product lines but a mindset that resonated throughout the store.
Melange was an extension of founder Sangita Sinh Kathiwada’s personality. Sangita was looking for a place to fulfil all her creative passions – ceramics, textile, fashion and beyond. It was to be a melange of global designs and local crafts. Melange fulfilled all this and more, combining fashion with art, culture and architecture.
What added to the charm was the location and decor. Sangita found an old radio service centre located in a heritage building at the foot of tony Altamount Road and transformed it into a fashionista’s refuge.
She stripped the service centre of its thick false ceiling and yellow vinyl flooring. Rough hewn stone flooring, brick walls and low arches became the perfect setting for garments and accessories with an understated elegance and a timeless appeal.
Melange put the spotlight on traditional textiles and embroidery offset by cutting edge design. It became the destination for emerging designers. Top designers like Wendell Rodricks, Narendra Kumar Ahmed, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Aki Narula and Priyadarshini Rao began their journey with Melange.
Sangita found a novel way to champion causes from heritage and environment conservation to propagate woman’s strength through fashion shows and collection previews. These were a coveted affair and saw Mumbai’s crème de la crème in attendance.
While the dynamics of retailing fashion has changed in the last two and a half decades, Melange continues to be the sanctum for sustainable clothing.
Over the years, Sangita has redefined the role and reach of Khadi, our national fabric and other Indian textiles through previews at Melange and dedicated exhibitions by the Morarka Centre for Craft, an NGO which Sangita founded to raise the status and prestige of Indian crafts and textiles.