Amit Aurora and Rahul Bansal

New innings

If you’ve gone to the The Akbarally’s Men Store in Fort and have been surprised with the new design, look no further than DCA Architects.

One of the most iconic stores in the South Mumbai area, Akbarally’s has been a household name for a over a 100 years. The first department store of Mumbai in 1897, Akbarally’s retains its old world charm near the Flora Fountain in Fort. The architects retain the old world charm of this vintage store. With a shop-in-shop format, the store provides everything for men under one roof including premium Indian and internal brands and bespoke clothing. Rebranding can be a tricky process as one has to retain what the brand stands for while adding some newness. DCA Architects a wonderful job with this store to preserve its history yet give it a fresh look with a new theme.

An exposed ceiling was maintained throughout the store. The store’s interiors were made in shades of black and white to reflect a classy minimal palette. The structural integrity of the store was also worked on thoroughly. “Space planning and enhancement was a crucial part of the design intent”, said Amit Aurora. The sub-mezzanine levels were created to work around the structure. The classic pillars with beautiful mouldings designed during the store’s primordial days were also retained.

The entire space was embellished using antique leather furniture and accessories that were sourced from Chor Bazaar. The peeling layers of reclaimed wood were used in parts of the flooring. Salvaged old ship and machine parts were sourced from the Mumbai shipyard and used as props to align with the theme of the store. All these elements came together to create a masculine look and add a luxury quotient to the space. Reclaimed designs and classic inherited pieces have successfully helped transform this historic store.