Luxebook February 2023

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 LIMITED TREASURE Are limited edition collections truly rare, or a marketing gimmick? A close look at the modern carpet weaving industry Wellness hotels from around the world These art cafes are interactive, aesthetic and fun at the same time!

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 T H E G I S T Luxury is all about exclusivity. The joy of possessing something custommade, rare, a treasure in a certain sense, that is not common, is what makes an item or an experience a luxury. It is no surprise really, that luxury brands have been capitalising on this emotion, as limited edition releases become par course in the industry, from watches to cars. Our cover story takes a look at the phenomenon, to dissect its purpose beyond a marketing shtick. On the other hand, fashion is having a bit of a sticky wicket with trends becoming the overall god of the industry, controlling everyone from mass retail houses to grand couturiers. Wellness travel retains its spot as the most popular kind of travel. We further trace the evolution of carpets from a Persian luxury to a lifestyle product in modern India. Finally, a story on the coffee subculture and its long history in India has some unique insights. Happy reading! Payel Majumdar Upreti —Editor Everything exclusive S O C I A L M E D I A ADVERTISING SALES Mumbai (022 - 6846 8500) Regional Manager (West) — Katty Gia (+91 98705 32295) • Senior Manager — Lamont Dias (+91 91674 14988) Delhi (011 - 4562 5810) Sr. General Mgr. (North) — Asha Augustine (+91 98182 80431) Kerala (+91 94140 69321) — Sanjai Krishnan Manager Mktg. Services — Salim B • Client Servicing Manager — Reshma Malvankar Founders — Marzban Patel / Anita Patel • Director Publishing — Indu Joshi • Chief Marketing Officer — Apeksha Mehta Editor — Payel Majumdar Upreti • Writers — Arushi Sakhuja, Schenelle Dsouza, Jade Crasto Creative Director — Muhammad Jaan Faruqui This magazine is printed by and produced by Mediascope Representation (India) LLP. Opinions herein are the writers’ and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Mediascope. Editorial enquiries concerning the reproduction of articles, advertising and circulation should be addressed to: LuxeBook, Mediascope Representation (India) LLP., 51, Doli Chamber, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400005, India. Email: Material in this publication may not be reproduced, whether in part or in whole, without the consent of the publisher. 2|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 Photo Courtesy: BMW’s collaboration with renowned artist Jeff Koons 04 Trending 12 Art and Aesthetics 18 Weaving Art 40 Feel Good Travel 32 Fashion vs Algorithm 26 Caffeine Rush 11 Bruichladdich 06 Rare Treasure CONTENTS 2|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3

BY ARUSHI SAKHUJA Ritu Kumar Set of 3 – `1800 The world of sneaker drops can be a tricky place to navigate. The sneaker market is valued at over $131.1 billion, with projections suggesting the space will reach a valuation of $215.6 billion by 2031. If you thought 2022 was a big year for sneakers, 2023 promises to be an exciting year for sneakerheads, with new collaborations and the reimagination of a few classics. For 2023, there are three key trends; modern day iterations, retro runners, and futuristic kicks. The former is lean and minimalist in silhouette and colour, retro runners are inspired by ’90s minimalism or alternatively boldly coloured ‘80s-inspired high-top sneakers. And finally, futuristic kicks are having a moment as new meets old. We’ve rounded up the most eagerly awaited sneaker releases for the year. Ahead we look at the most anticipated sneaker drops for the year. 1. Nike x Tiffany & Co. Earlier this month two luxury giants announced their second collaboration — Tiffany-edition Air Force 1. Yes, after the long wait, the Nike x Tiffany & Co. Air Force 1 1837 is finally here in black suede with a blue swoosh and silver heel detail. The sneaker is set to be released on 7, March. The kicks are being produced in honour of the 40th anniversary of Nike’s Air Force 1 1837 and will be priced at $400. The box contains a few surprises along with the shoes; sterling silver badges affixed to each heel, an entire kit of sterling sneakerhead essentials, too: a shoehorn, a shoe brush, a whistle, and a dubrae (that metal shoelace ornament thing commonly found on AF1s). The shoes will be available at two Tiffany & Co. stores in New York City and at select Nike stores in North America, as well as globally through Nike’s Sneakers App. 2. Nike Ja 1 Ja Morant’s debut signature sneaker in 2023 gives us a lot to be excited about.Marking a collaboration with the brightest young star who is helping usher in the next era of NBA basketball.The first Gen Z signature athletes’ sneaker is launching in a light blue colourway with mesh side panels and a pink and yellow sole. A rainbow ombre swish is featured alongside a stylized JA which is inspired by the verticality, speed, and sharpness of Morant’s skills on the court. A stamp details the name of Morant’s daughter, Kaari. The Ja 1 will also enter the market with a budget-friendly price tag of $110. 3. Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low OG Olive The Travis Scott Air Jordan 1 LowOG“Olive”boasts the signature oversized reverse Swoosh logo coloured in with the olivegreen shade. While the upper is a predominant white leather and black suede build, you can find red touches on the tongue label. Adding a personalized touch, you can find a Jumpman insole logo, and Travis Scott insignia on the heels, while the insoles are decorated with a variety of decals reflecting Cactus Jack motifs. The inclusion of the green hue not only references Jordan Brand’s heritage, but also aligns the shoe with an outdoorsy aesthetic. What also makes this release particularly unique is that it’s said to be available exclusively in women’s sizing—a first for a Travis collaboration. However, a release date is yet to be disclosed. 4. Run the Jewels x Nike SB The hip-hop scene and Nike Dunk have a special bond. From its popularity on the hip-hop scene’s hottest rappers’ feet to its legendary 2000’s collaborations with De La Soul, Madlib, Ultimate sneakers to be ahead of the curve this year. most anticipated sneaker launches for 2023 and MF DOOM. The most recent group in the brand’s low-cut design are Killer Mike and El-P of Run the Jewels. The colourway of the SB Dunk High captures the unmatched energy of Run the Jewels by combining a black tumbled leather base with exotic fuchsia pony hair overlays. Another exterior accent is a Nike swoosh in gold with jewels resting atop pink laces. The group’s famous “hand sign” graphic is embroidered across the heels instead of standard Nike SB branding. The new edition of Nike SB is set to drop on 20th April, adding to the brand’s long history of 4/20 drops. 5. Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 Low The late Virgil Abloh was known for pushing boundaries with many of his designs. And like any Abloh x Nike project, these won’t be easy to acquire. His new Nike Air Force 1 Low has used three different formulas with varying degrees of design tweaks. Some of the most coveted pairs are the exclusive releases tied to his traveling Figures of Speech Museum exhibit. Ironically, these pairs are also the most simplistic executions. They feature classic all-leather uppers with minimal accents like metallic silver Swooshes, medial Off-White x Nike branding stamp, and AI” written on the midsole in Abloh’s signature type. Expect the all-grey Paris colourway of this series, which will be a Paris exclusive. 6. Puma Stewie 1 Re-Introduce The Puma Stewie 1 silhouette will continue its expansion in 2023 with the Stewie 1 ‘Re-Introduce’ in the lighter shade of tonal white with Breanna’s logo atop the tongue and a matching mesh sock liner, while the underfoot, a white NITROfoam cushioned midsole, is paired with a two-tone gum-andyellow rubber outsole. Stewart added a small, recycled emoji to the photo’s caption, possibly suggesting that the sneaker is made of recycled materials, which would fit with the shoe’s speckled design. 7. Jeremy Scott x adidas Forum Hi Wings 4.0 The wings are set to make a comeback yet again in 2023. Designer Jeremy Scott is bringing every bit of shine to his collaboration with adidas with two new colour options of his popular adidas ForumWings 4.0 sneakers.The ‘Triple Black’ and ‘Triple White’ editions released in 2022, are getting a glossy makeover in patent leather with an iridescent finish and an opal-inspired heel clip. The aesthetic is completed with a set of insoles with a co-branded design and distinctive packaging. These iterations of the revolutionary sneakers by Jeremy Scott are set to release on 22 February 2023 for $220. 4 5 2 3 6 7 1 4|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 |L U X E B O O K| 5 TRENDING

The longstanding trend of limited-edition releases is dear to the luxury industry. Everyone knows that the scarcity of a product often leads to higher demand, causing many to believe that the tag ‘limited edition’ is perhaps a marketing gimmick across industries. However, there’s always more than what meets the eye. Limited edition releases are often more than just a marketing trick, although very relevant in boosting sales. Both small and large scale retailers release limited edition collections to attract new buyers and establish an improved customer base. However, this trick seems to work best for large retailers who already have an established customer base thanks to their marketing prowess. The luxury industry is a major player and a rather experienced one when it comes to limited edition collections. In fact, limited edition releases are what drives the luxury industry, especially in sectors like automobile, jewellery and fashion. Exploring the many facets of limited-edition luxury, LuxeBook spoke to experts across industries, Vikram Pawah – President, BMW Group India; Tarang Arora – CEO, Amrapali Jewels; Harit Zaveri – CEO and Founder, Harit Zaveri Jewellers; Anushree Reddy – Creative Director, Anushree Reddy Official; Vaishali S – Designer & CEO, Vaishali S Threadstories; and Pernia Qureshi – Co-Founder of Saritoria, Gur Organics and Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop. In a nutshell Does limited edition connect with luxury? Vikram Pawah believes that luxury is a bespoke experience for the body, mind and soul. “It transcends product substance and is, in a way, not only equal luxury but goes a step further; like finding a rare diamond among recurrent gems.” The experience of owning a limited-edition piece is the highest form of luxury. Because limited edition collections often demand more research, effort and time, they offer a much more unique and personalised creation. And when it comes to jewellery, owning pieces that are both personalised and exclusive is a satisfying experience, according to Tarang Arora. However, Arora also believes that limited edition barely does much for the jewellery industry, given that the jewellery industry is a niche section in itself. “I believe that the jewellery industry is full of limited-edition collections; every piece is a one-of-akind design because very rarely can jewellery collections be replicated. The stones and diamonds used are oneof-a-kind, they are cut for a specific design.” However, not all agree with the association of limited edition and luxury, given that luxury itself can be subjective. “For an aspiring customer who is working up the ladder, being able to buy their first designer handbag is the ultimate luxury. On the other hand, for A close look at the philosophy of limited-edition luxury BY SCHENELLE DSOUZA What purpose do limited edition collections have in the luxury sector? Industry leaders share their views BMW + Jeff Koons present a work of art on wheels MINI, Paddy Hopkirk Edition 6|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 RARE TREASURE F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 |L U X E B O O K| 7

release, Pawah talks about BMW’s collaboration with renowned artist Jeff Koons. The collection titled “THE 8 X JEFF KOONS” saw a limited release of 99 vehicles, each being delivered with a large-format certificate signed by Jeff Koons. One of the most tedious projects, the development stage of this collection spanned 200 hours of labour on the exterior paintwork alone. “The colour samples were often applied with magnifying glasses, which took a lot of time to complete. And so only four cars were painted each day,” says Pawah. A more recent example is the prized ‘50 Jahre M Editions’ which marked the 50th anniversary of BMW’s M GmbH division. These editions were distinguished by the iconic and historically significant BMW M paint finishes, style-defining colours such as Dakar Yellow, Daytona Violet and Macao Blue that refer to various eras of BMW M. Putting down a marker for those who love tradition, these special editions featured the classic ‘BMWMotorsport’ logo. Similarly, the MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition was a timeless tribute to the racing legend Patrick “Paddy” Hopkirk and his spectacular victory in the classic No. 37 Mini Cooper S at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964. Limited to 15 units for India, the car was available for booking online only and was immediately sold out. Harit Zaveri Jewellers, who are best known for their traditional collections recall their bridal and heritage polki editions from last year. “Both separate collections, these were crafted keeping in mind the discerning tastes of our esteemed clientele in Ahmedabad, says Zaveri. While each of their collections are fairly difficult to replicate, the former even more so. “These had a lot of heritage pieces fitted with Russian and Colombian emeralds whose size and shape can be extremely difficult to recreate. And so, it was perfect for people looking for unique one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces for their special day.” Select clientele When it comes to exclusive, limited-edition collections, one often wonders if it was created keeping a select clientele in mind. In particular, a segment of people that understand the true meaning of luxury and its value as well as the craftsmanship involved. This is particularly to do with products like jewellery,where clients understand the intricacies of designing and producing unique pieces, using rare gems, unique cuts and exceptional bespoke designs that are almost impossible to mimic. Harit Zaveri Tarang Arora luxury connoisseurs, would believe that investing in limited edition pieces is a luxury experience given the product’s rarity and exclusivity,” says Pernia Qureshi. Agreeably, designer Vaishali S commends the experience itself rather than the rarity of the product. “Limited edition itself does not equal luxury unless the limited-edition collection is paired with a luxurious experience. Because in the luxury industry, it’s more about the experience rather than the product itself.” Research strategies As one can expect, the research conducted before releasing any limited-edition product/s is meticulous, especially since brands want to deliver a product that is rare with a never seen before appeal. In fact, the research is what shapes the vision. When it comes to the automobile industry, Pawah believes that limited edition cars have the ability to invoke an emotion while celebrating special story. “This could either be a nostalgic moment from the brand’s historic legacy, the celebration of a milestone, an exclusive expression of art, or a signature interpretation of an iconic personality. Deemed prized collectibles, it is the exclusive story of the design that sets the car apart from other core products,” he adds. As for jewellery, ensuring the highest level of quality and precision is of utmost importance for Harit Zaveri Jewellers, regardless of whether it is a limited collection or not. Zaveri shares that there are a number of considerations to keep in mind when designing a limited collection, including rarity, availability, and difficulty to recreate. “We dedicate extensive periods of time to source some of the most exquisite and valuable gems, while ensuring that we’ve gathered a substantial collection before commencing with the design process, to ensure that our pieces are truly one of their kind.” The main objective for limited edition releases is to ensure exclusivity. However, when it comes to a collection or group launch, it is important to ensure that each piece connects with the other, rather than be a mix of randomness. “Each piece is designed differently,” says Anushree Reddy. “Each piece may have its own story. But at the same time, they should come together to tell a unique story.” Bespoke collections Painting a picture of their most successful limited-edition Anushree Reddy Harit Zaveri F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 |L U X E B O O K| 9 8|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3

audiences and wider exposure. But at the same time, exclusive collections also help consumers get an insight into the brand’s creative instincts which helps them come back for more. Exclusivity in itself is an attractive factor, because who doesn’t want to own a product that is both rare and personalised? As far as the expense, most leaders agree that the value is justified. “While it is an expensive affair, limited edition pieces tend to cost much more than seasonal collections. And they’re rare pieces so people want to pay an extra buck for that level of quality and design which more than makes up for the expense,” says Anushree Reddy. When these factors are considered, the jewellery pieces created become truly unique making it an heirloom piece that can be passed down the generations. Harit Zaveri shares that each collection is created after “…a detailed analysis of operational reports, comprehensive CRM research, a thorough examination of demographic profiles, and a strategic assessment of brand alignment” that help determine the targeted clientele. For Vaishali S, it is need more to do with the needs of the clientele. The designer compares limited edition releases with seasonal ones, believing the former to be far more client oriented that the latter. “Limited edition collections are normally more focused on the specific client or on the need they are addressing. Seasonal releases help further the development of the brand; however, a limited release is more customer-centric unlike the seasonal collection which is more brandcentric.” Continuing the conversation on seasonal versus limited releases, Harit Zaver stresses that premium, limited collections are nothing short of extraordinary. “Every piece in a limited collection is masterfully conceptualized with premium materials that deviate significantly from those used in our standard collections.” The exclusivity factor, he says, is further accentuated by the limited availability of each design, ensuring that they remain truly one-of-a-kind. “As a testament to our commitment to quality, these designs are meticulously crafted to withstand the test of time. It’s no wonder that our premium collections are rarely imitated, as the level of craftsmanship required to produce such intricate pieces is unparalleled.” An expensive affair? While limited edition collections work great as a strategic marketing tool, they tend become an expensive affair. It involves a lot of effort with regard to research, man hours, specialized production and cost, etc all of which contribute to the overall expense. In such, one can’t help but wonder about the production cost exceeding the profits. To put it in simpler terms, is a limited-edition collection really worth it? The answer is yes. We already know that any limited-edition collections, be it luxury designer brands or smaller retailers, benefit from limited edition releases which provide new Vaishali S Threadstories F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 |L U X E B O O K| 1 1 10|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 Bruichladdich’s journey for the people and planet The story behind the iconic Scottish Distillery making the world’s most thought-provoking spirits BY ARUSHI SAKHUJA Known for being unconventional and progressive, while this Victorian distillery changed hands in 2001, the essence of the Bruichladdich distillery located on the picturesque Scottish Hebridean Island of Islay remains intact. It was built in 1881 with a vision to create natural single malt of high provenance, which was fully traceable and flavour-first in its character. Douglas Taylor, Bruichladdich Distillery CEO, commented on the distillery’s historical journey,” Our vision has been to create the world’s most thoughtprovoking spirits. At the same time, we want to fulfil a purpose which is bigger than our business and benefits many more people and the environment. Bruichladdich is a remarkable company, and it is the uniqueness of the people who work here that make it that way.” The distillery produces three different single malts on the island; Bruichladdich, unpeated single malt; Port Charlotte, heavily peated single malt; and Octomore, super-heavily peated single malt. Alongside this, the distillery also produces The Botanist gin, the first Islay dry gin created using 22 foraged botanicals. An Islay-centric approach Passionate about nurturing the island community, its whiskies are conceived, distilled, matured and bottled on the island. The distillery currently works with 20 local farming partners and over 50% of its barley is grown on Islay. In 2020, Bruichladdich Distillery became the first distillery in Europe which distilled single malt whisky and gin to receive B Corp accreditation. The program seeks to help mission-driven businesses protect and improve their positive impact over time.“We seek to produce the most natural, thoughtprovoking spirits possible. Each of our brands has its own unique character and distinct flavour profile, capturing the essence of our wonderful island home,” quoted Head Distiller, Adam Hannett. Bruichladdich’s sustainability promise At the distillery, sustainability is inherent to every facet of the business. The sustainability strategy is made up of four key pillars. These include energy and emissions, agriculture and biodiversity and reducing waste from production to packaging. Lastly, ensuring the community of Islay is at the heart of every decision. The Classic Laddie Their signature single malt, the Classic Laddie is not based on a recipe set in stone, but on a distilling philosophy based on the barley varietal, and an ever-increasing range of casks to create a variety of flavours. The Classic Laddie is elegant and clean with bright floral notes of coconut, lemon balm and barley sugar. However, age isn’t the only factor to create the malt. Head Distiller, Adam Hannett selects from different ages, cask types and barley varieties to create the brand’s classic house style. The rich, natural colour of the whisky comes from the cask and The Classic Laddie is bottled at 50% ABV as opposed to the average of 40-46%. Hannett samples and evaluates every batch of The Classic Laddie by nose, taste and mouthfeel to ensure the highest quality of the whisky. LIQUID GOLD

The rising culture of ART CAFES in India Interactive activities at these creative cafes in India speak of a new subculture of art enthusiasts BY ARUSHI SAKHUJA Art cafe bangalore 12|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 |L U X E B O O K| 13 ART AND AESTHETICS

The era of sipping on a cup of artisanal coffee while interacting with art is here. Today, cafés are becoming a space for artists and art enthusiasts to spend time at leisure, and broaden their creative horizons. They are also being used as spaces to organise art and craft events and bring in displayed paintings from local or world-famous artists to function as an unconventional exhibition and gallery wall. An added bonus, is that these add to the decor and aesthetics of the establishment. This isn’t the first time cafés have emerged as venues for performance and creativity. The hybrid space of café-cabaret saw a phenomenal increase in the past. The burgeoning dining culture in the country has given rise to some of the most beautiful cafés in India that are going beyond the conventional café culture. Incorporating a creative element into cafés the introduction of the sip-and-paint culture in India ignited a spark amongst millennials. In the recent past, India has become home to several art galleries that double up as cafés. Acting as spaces for quiet contemplation and creative stimulation, art cafés in India offers delicious food with a side of an artistic paradise. If you appreciate art in its different forms, we’ve rounded up some art cafés in the country that will rekindle your creative spirit. You & I Arts Café, Shillong Nestled in the stunning city of Shillong, the You & I Arts café takes a hands-on approach to inclusive creativity by placing a whiteboard for visitors to doodle and rekindle their creative side. They also have a small space for indulging in doll-making, hand-puppets, and other crafts that often use different senses and experiences. The café also features handicrafts made by local artists that can be purchased as souvenirs. You & I keeps its doors wide open for young, budding artists who wish to display their work. A not-for-profit initiative that runs on a sustainability model, the café offers over 110 flavours of tea, with rosella flower tea being the most sought-after. The menu includes traditional Khasi food and the woodsy, rustic interiors has our heart. If you want a bit of Kashi Art Café, Kochi space also hosts art workshops and exhibitions. Every corner of this café speaks the language of art. Highly recommended options from the menu are French croquettes, tuna melt sandwiches, chicken Florentine, cold mocha, chicken salad sandwiches, and vegetable stroganoff. Address: HB MIG Colony, Koramangala 8th Block, Koramangala, Bengaluru, Karnataka The Gallery Café, Hyderabad Making your way into The Gallery Café in Hyderabad is like stepping into an artist’s paradise. From the minute you enter to the moment you exit; this café is a visual and sensory treat. Your eyes are driven towards a tree that is the centrepiece around which the café has been built. This is the quintessential art café, a living-breathing fountain of creativity. Everything in the café demands a picture, and the interiors are beautifully decorated with literature, modern art, and pictures that have been chosen thoughtfully. Staying true to the artistic spirit, each piece of furniture is hand-painted, and the furnishing choices are equally unique. The huge space is enhanced by creative elements like curated books, contemporary art, and photographs. But what really sets the gallery apart is that you can buy anything you like, including the furniture! Address: H. No, 8-2-465, Street No. 4, Green Valley, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana 500034 added fun, they also have old-school board games placed across the café. The interiors are earthy and made from bamboo, and have a rustic vibe. The café does its bit for the environment by using eco-friendly materials. Address: Mawroh-Mawtawar Road, Umshing-Mawkynroh, Shillong, Meghalaya DYU Art Café, Bangalore Located in the heart of Koramangla, DYU Art Café is built as a Kerala-style bungalow focusing on Tharavadu architecture. Stone benches decorate the veranda by the entrance, and an art gallery adjoins the space with paintings by international artists decorating its walls. DYU Art Café is a vibrant space without being loud and relaxing without being boring. The café was inaugurated about seven years ago and now the art pieces are refreshed every three months with works from around the world. On the walls, youcanfindpaintingsby famous Indianartists like Ram Achal and Roshani Ingole. The café is a gallery, with works from children as well as local and international artists and the The Gallery Café, Hyderabad 14|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 |L U X E B O O K| 15

Art Café, Brigade Gateway, Bengaluru Food, drink, and art intersect at the chic corridor which is located on the 4th floor, on the sky bridge connecting Sheraton Grande Bangalore with World Trade Centre. The bridge is very symbolic of the space. Apart from literally bridging two very different buildings, an office, and a hotel, it bridges two very different ways people spend their time — business at the office tower and leisure at the hotel. It also bridges food with art. A part of the luxury hotel, this venue hosts a different experience as you’ll be surrounded by art. Art Café features works from artists such as Madhuri Kathe, Basuki Dasgupta, Dinkar Jadhav and Laxman Aelay. The floor-toceiling windows on one side overlook the concrete beauty of the metropolitan, while on the other side, rows of paintings hang as far as the eye can see. Creating a high-energy space where one can sip on a glass of bubbly beverage or catch up with friends over a cup of coffee while snacking on a quiche and listening to hip-hop; all while enjoying high-quality art in a space where one can relax and rejuvenate. One can enjoy treats like the fig and arugula salad, grilled salmon, pizzas, baklava and the chef ’s signature tiramisu. On booking, the Art Café can host guided art walks by Priyanka Pal, Art Supervisor at the Art Café. Address: Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway, Bangalore The Palette Café, Delhi Located in Chhatarpur, this café is a haven for art lovers and foodies. The Project Café, Ahmedabad The Palette Cafe Delhi With contemporary interiors and a scenic outdoor space, the Palette is an art-themed café that offers European delights for you to savour along with a contemporary aesthetic. And the outdoor seating and charming ambience enhances its appeal. But the best part about this new café is that you spend an afternoon while indulging in a therapeutic colouring and sketching experience during your meal. Making the experience seamless, the café provides a canvas and colours for you to bring out the artist within you. Be it a date with your girlfriends or significant other, this experience will surely be one for the books. Be it a refreshing sip or artistically presented food that channels delectable flavours, this gem in the capital is a haven for creative individuals — and even those who are not. For those who don’t wish to be alone, you can even get your furry friends to accompany you! Address: 287, Dhan Mill, 288, 100 Feet Rd, Chhatarpur Hills,Pocket D, Dr Ambedkar Colony, Chhatarpur, New Delhi, Delhi 110074 Address: Yellow House, 7, Dr Vikram Sarabhai Marg, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380009 Kashi Art Café, Kochi This creatively designed café is nestled in Fort Kochi, Kashi Art Café is where art, food and conversation meet. An open space which boasts a tropical environment, artwork that’s pleasing to the eyes and food that satiates cravings, Kashi Art Café is a delightful spot to spend an afternoon. This is a joint where you come to meet new people and discover new artwork. Being a place that is frequently visited by artists, visitors get to interact with the artists themselves. The art gallery has a separate section which boasts of the works of local artists as well as those from all over India. Established in 1997, this spot is housed within the picturesque seaside region of fort Kochi. Strictly serving fresh juices and coffee made from freshly ground beans and some snacks, this is one place you wouldn’t want to miss a visit if you are in Kochi. Address: Burger St, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala With cafés such asblossoming around the country alongside art festivals in India, we can surely say that the art scene of the country is going to flourish immensely in the coming years. You & I Arts Cafe The Project Café, Ahmedabad Built inside a stunning yellow house, this café isn’t one to miss. The Project Café is a unique blend of the visual, the tactile and the culinary. A café completely designed by artists; it has artwork hanging all over. In fact, everything in the café from the tables to the cutlery has been an artist’s canvas! The owners of this café have been welcoming to all kinds of artists, from traditional and contemporary to doodlers, their works are exhibited and kept on sale. The café has collaborated with over 150 artists to date across the realms of art, design, music, culinary arts and literature. The Project Café provides a unique experience of dining on the premises of an art gallery, where everything including furniture and crockery is for sale. You can buy not just the artwork exhibited at The Project Café, but also the cutlery and clothes designed by their many artists. Open to both budding and established designers from across the country the café welcomes retail exquisite designer lifestyle products and collections viz. lighting, furniture, décor, upholstery, jewellery, fashion accessories, apparel, stationery etc. The designers’ displays make for unique spatial experiences. “The Project Café began, in Ahmedabad as a belief and experiment in collaborations of art, design, performance and food. We are inspired by the thought of living a simple life, creating a community where we are eager to build a minimal system for a rooted modern audience. The entire ambience is a bohemian experience conjured up by the collaboration of our expert curators and various artists from both, home and abroad and building symbiotic enterprise models around them. By hosting diverse talks, workshops, events and off-sites, The Project Café has come to be known as a delectable and vibrant melting pot of the creative eccentricities of the city, introducing it to new and otherwise rarely known ideas and concepts,” says a quote on their official website. 16|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 |L U X E B O O K| 17

India has many undiscovered crafts to its name, many of which date back centuries. The carpet weaving industry, although not a hidden craft, is often one of the most overlooked industries dating back to centuries. Today, it is one of the largest handicraft industries, not just within the country but worldwide. Carpet weaving dates back to the medieval times when the craft borrowed the skill and expertise from Persia, China, and Afghanistan. Back then, the skill was popularised only in villages and small towns across North India. However, the modern carpet weaving industry is flourishing across different states with each having its own rendition of the craft.While Uttar Pradesh prides itself in carpets in bold colours and Persian motifs, Kashmir is known to produce some of the finest silk carpets and rugs, and Rajasthan’s hand-knotted woollen carpets hardly need an introduction. There’s no shortage of carpet companies today. However, only a handful of them have been around for a very long time. And so, to know more about the industry, its scope and evolution over the years, LuxeBook spoke to experts – Angelique Dhama – CEO, Obeetee Carpets Retail, Yogesh Chaudhary – Director, Jaipur Rugs, and Ali Akmal Jan – Managing Partner, Carpet Kingdom. History and origin The history of carpet weaving in India can be traced back to the Mughal reign in the 16th century. Babur who was unhappy about the lack of luxuries available in the country often spoke of the luxuries in Persia, one of them being Persian carpets. And so, wanting to establish the carpet weaving industry in India, Akbar brought some of the finest carpet weavers in Persia with him to India and ordered them to train Indian prisoners in the craft. This led to the establishment of carpet weavings centres in Agra, Delhi and Lahore in 1580 AD which promoted the production of carpets in India. As more artisans trained in carpet weaving, the art began to grow and flourish. It was then modified to fit royal preferences. Although mostly Persian in design, Indian motifs were added to the designs which included scenes from court life, animals, flowers and plants, scenic landscapes and more. Artisans would often use a combination of materials including silk, velvet, wool and even cashmere, using only natural vegetable dyes to add colour. One of the most interesting factors back then was that each carpet had a unique design; one would never find two carpets that share a resemblance of any sort. The royal Mughal courts had some of the most beautiful carpets. Most carpets found in the royal courts were made from pure silk and featured as many as 4224 knots per square inch. Today, India is among the world’s largest producers and exporters of handmade carpets. A reportedly 75–85 per cent of carpets manufactured in India are exported abroad, given the value and demand of the quality and design of handcrafted Indian carpets. Modern Indian carpet weaving industry One of the most labour-intensive industries in the country, the carpet weaving industry is seen to be flourishing most in north India, especially in regions like Kashmir, Jaipur,Agra, and Bhadohi-Mirzapur where handtufted carpets have been popularised. Angelique Dhama, the CEO of Obeetee Carpets shares that although the industry itself is flourishing, the hand-knotted carpet sector might not be doing so well. Obeetee Carpets is among the oldest hand-woven rug companies in the world, founded back in 1920 in the town of Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh. Since its inception, Dhama points out A TALE OF KNOTS Tracing the history and evolution of the carpet weaving industry in India BY SCHENELLE DSOUZA Jaipur Rugs WEAVING ART 18|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 |L U X E B O O K| 19

the different factors that have led to the slowdown of the hand-knotted industry. “Factors like recession and shortage of weavers and trainers have put the hand knotted carpet industry in a tough spot.These along with tight deadlines on deliveries have led to a double on manufacturing costs, while buyers demand the carpet at the same price, making it a tough business,” Dhama adds. On the other hand, there is a growing appreciation for carpets worldwide. Jaipur Rugs’ Yogesh Chaudhary talks about people beginning to see carpets as more of a lifestyle product than just an accessory which has helped promote the craft both in and outside India. “Designers collaborating with carpet companies aim to give the consumer a unique experience, which is testament to the fact that carpets have now become an integral part of the home furnishing segment. Companies today are more focused on the designs and patterns to attract new customers which was not as prominent earlier.” While talking about the changes in the industry, the work culture is one that has seen the most change. The industry is labour intensive and usually provides employment to approximately two weavers per carpet, although the overall employment rate is close to 20 lakh workers and artisans across the country. Social initiatives Jaipur Rugs has had a significant effect on the work culture in the industry, with its Jaipur Rugs Foundation. Established in 2004 by Nand Kishore Chaudhary, the foundation works for the upliftment of rural artisans. Its vision is to make sure a society of equality, justice, and peace prevails through opportunity and socio-economic development. In addition to providing them with job opportunities, the foundation also includes initiatives that spreads awareness on subjects like health and hygiene, education and training in various skills. The brand also introduced the Freedom Manchaha initiative which provides livelihood opportunities to jail inmates, encouraging disengaged inmates to make handmade works of art using leftover yarn from commercial carpet production. This initiative taps into the untamed fashion from the villages of India experimenting with the originality of rural craftspeople and nurturing their creative potential. “Each rug designed in the ‘Manchaha’ collection is a one-off piece and a treasure for those who connect with it. Our rugs are inspired by rural India, which is also what gives us a Yogesh Chaudhary, Director, Jaipur Rugs Jaipur Rugs unique identity and is a pull for eminent influencers to collaborate with us,” says Chaudhary. Boasting a similar trajectory, Obeetee carpets too has its own initiative, the Women and Weavers Initiative founded in 2015. “The programme was created to provide rural Indian women with the education and opportunities to take up the craft of weaving and support their families with their own resources.” Additionally, the brand also helms Project Mala which offers financial aid to about 120 each year, covering the cost of their schooling, nourishment, medical care, and uniform. Obeetee started this project 29 years ago to provide free land for the construction of school buildings. Traditional vs modern techniques Speaking of the changes in the skillset, Ali Akmal Jan of Carpet Kingdom believes that modern techniques of production hold good for only certain types of carpets. “I think there will always be a demand for carpets manufactured the traditional way. Although modern manufacturing techniques have paved its way into the carpet Industry, I don’t think they can replace traditional carpet weaving practices completely.” The changes in the industry are prominent nonetheless. Right from the procedures involved in the supply chain developed throughout time to the design and logistical system support, change is rampant and irrepressible. “The unique Electronic Data Processing (EDP) code has established a clear traceability in the system so that the real-time status of each individual item/order can be determined. Digitalization has made data accessible in real time across the supply chain,” says Dhama. “Techniques such as mechanised warping for hand-knotted looms, mechanised washing, dying, and printing techniques introduced over time have allowed us to introduce technical innovations in the supply chain, such as online monitoring of the effluent being discharged, which is linked to the Central Pollution Control Board. We were the first to offer the CAD system to our artists, supplanting the popular hand-painted CADs and Nakshas.” As a brand with a century-old tradition, Obeetee Carpets recognises the significance of preserving the carpet-weaving heritage while also aiming to present every household with something lovely, combining designs with a contemporary aesthetic that appeals to Carpet Kingdom 20|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 |L U X E B O O K| 21

Carpet Kingdom Carpet Kingdom current homeowners. “In addition to the designs that Obeetee and its great designers have created together, we have mostly experimented with weaving methods while being mindful of our ecological approach. From azo-free dyes to the usage of natural fibres, Obeetee has made great strides in redefining carpet manufacturing.” On the other hand, Chaudhary talks about the lack of the new age technology-based machine-made rugs which although cost-effective, lack the expression found in handmade rugs. “Handmade rugs are surely more expensive than the new machine-made rugs. But they are also much more expressive, durable, and artistic. Machine-made rugs are produced on a large scale for mass production and simply lack the aura that one finds in a handmade rug.” While the beauty and artistic expression of a handmade carpet is incomparable, its durability is far more accomplished. As Chaudhary puts it, hand-knotted rugs are much more durable and can easily last for 2030 years as compared to machine-made rugs which may only last for 7-8 years. “Handmade rugs are part of an enduring tradition that can never be surpassed by technology or machines. People who appreciate quality, expression, and chutzpah will always know that traditionally made rugs will always be superior to machine-made rugs.” Different techniques Carpet weaving is expansive and the number of different methods employed are many. However, some of the most commonly employed techniques include hand knotting, flat weaving, hand tufting, and hand screening. Weavers will employ one of these techniques to produce the carpet using different fibres, colours, and textures followed by a carpet finishing process. Hand Knotting This technique has changed very little since it was introduced by the Mughals. It involves using a special loom, where the warp is set as the base of the carpet and the design is taken across the weft (a filling of yarn in weaving) using coloured threads, determined by the design. Hand knotting is characterised by the similarity of the design, both in the front as well as at the back of the carpet. The quality of a hand-knotted carpet is determined by the number of knots per square inch, where a higher density indicates a superior piece. A hand-knotted rug will almost always have fringes because there is no binding on the ends of the carpet and will have a flatter pile with less texture. Flat Weaving Created by interlacing warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) threads. The threads are woven on a loom into colourful patterns, without the pile or backing you would find on knotted or tufted rugs. Flat weaves tend to be lighter and more flexible. They are easier to manage, fold, or move and are reversible — since the pattern is the same on both sides of the rug. This is the flat weaving technique. Kilims are flat woven rugs and pile Kilims are with a certain height. This weaving produces a lower range of indoor flat weaves. For instance, Pile Kilims or jute durries are used in places which are prone to tripping. They are made of jacquard and are usually ready in couple of days. Hand Tufting A hand-tufted rug is made by punching strands of wool using a hand-operated tool into a canvas that is stretched on a frame. This weaving technique is a little less cumbersome than the hand-knotted weaving technique. This weaving technique involves a tufting gun with needles on its front. This tool facilitates and speeds up the weaving process. Unlike hand knotted technique, this technique saves on time and money. It is cost and time effective. As compared to the handknotted technique, hand-tufted carpets take much less time to produce. This technique involves lower quality materials as compared to hand-knotted carpets, and also creates precise detailing of design patterns of the rugs. The gun used in tufting leads to faster production. Handloom / Power looming Handloom is one of the oldest techniques that has since come to be replaced by power looming in several sections, although both techniques have managed to survive equally. As the names suggest, handloom uses a looming device to weave the cloth by gripping and interweaving the threads. Power loom works in a similar manner, although these are usually employed in largescale factories and are electrically automated and controlled by the computer. Hand looming usually uses medium to low-ranged fibres like jacquard, whereas power-loomed ones are made with synthetic fibres like 22|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 |L U X E B O O K| 23

nylon, silk or polypropylene. These don’t have much appreciation value, yet have managed to carve a niche for themselves in the carpet weaving industry. Design and manufacturing The process from design to manufacturing is long and tedious in the carpet-making process. The first stage is the design process, the planning for which starts at least a year ahead of the season, with the team conducting research on the current trends in the market to study the colours, patterns and textures for the upcoming season. The design team then works with the management and production teams to ensure the best transition of design from paper to final product. “Our inspiration comes from anything and everything; it can be nature, urban art or textures that we find interesting.The colours that we use are also researched on their positive effect on human emotions,” says Ali Akmal Jan. Jaipur Rugs and Obeetee Carpets take the research process a step further and study the interiors spaces that will house the carpet. “The design team comes up with the concept by looking at the potential of the interiors, and target audience and after that the layout process takes place. According to the layout, the team then decides on the best-suited technique,” says Chaudhary. Dhama draws paints a picture of Obeetee’s practices with the example of different homes. “If we develop a carpet with the view of a palatial house, we employ more antique or intricate patterns, whereas if we develop a carpet with a modern house in mind, we use more contemporary or abstract design elements.” Once the design and layout of the carpet has been decided, the manufacturing process begins, starting with the sourcing of rawmaterials ranging from wool, viscose, silk, cotton and jute etc. After the design team picks out the yarns, texture, and finish, a texture testing and sampling process is conducted followed by the texture development process to deliver a sample piece of the carpet. Once approved, the raw materials go through a spinning and dyeing process after which the yarns are sent to rural artisans. “Once the rug is weaved then it goes through 18 finishing processes which include measurement, knot counting, pile height checking, repairing, washing, etc.,” adds Chaudhary. The duration of the manufacturing process usually depends on the type of carpet being designed. According to Jan, “…a simple geometric tufted carpet takes around fifteen to twenty days to manufacture with five to six people working on it. On the other hand, a hand-knotted intricate traditional design takes an average six to thirty six months with eight to ten people working on it.” Jan pints out a Carpet Kingdom masterpiece, the Aradabil carpet which took almost four and half years to produce. “The carpet was made of pure silk and incorporated a total of 17,91,15,904 knots!” Angelique Dhama, CEO, OBEETEE Carpets, Retail OBEETEE Carpets Made in Italy 24|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3

BY JADE CRASTO The art of coffee making Looking at a mug of freshly brewed coffee that wakes us up in the mornings, it is difficult to imagine its long trajectory from being little beans plucked at a plantation. Coffee cultivated across the world may be traced back centuries to old coffee woods on the Ethiopian plateau. Legend has it that the goat herder Kaldi recognised the possibilities of these treasured beans and the rest is history. Kaldi discovered coffee after seeing that after consuming fruit from a particular tree, his goats became more and more energised, and refused to sleep at night. Kaldi reported his discoveries to the local monastery’s abbot, who concocted a drink from the berries and discovered that it kept him attentive throughout the lengthy hours of nightly prayer. The abbot informed some other monks at the monastery about his findings, and word of the invigorating berries spread. The news soon spread to the Arabian Peninsula, where it began its long journey across the globe. That cup of coffee which you enjoy every day, goes through a long process to reach your home. Here’s a rundown on how your favourite drink is made! LuxeBook spoke to Aditi Dugar – Chief Advisor, Retail & Lifestyle (ARAKU Coffee) and Rajeev Dharavath, Founder of Tribe Kulture, to learn more on how our coffee is produced and our growing coffee culture. Planting In shaded nurseries, coffee seeds are often sown in huge beds. They are kept out of direct sunlight until they become strong enough to be planted permanently. Planting is frequently done during the wet season to keep the soil moist as the roots establish themselves. According to Aditi Dugar, a coffee bean is only as good as the company it keeps. Good coffee comes from good agriculture, and vice versa. This is done with very strict scientific and agricultural support from experts who have helped reintroduce erstwhile native species into the region to restore Araku to its glory days of ecobiodiversity. Harvesting It will take 3 to 4 years for freshly planted coffee trees to yield fruit, depending on the type. When the coffee cherry is mature and ready to be harvested, it turns a beautiful, deep crimson. Every year, there is usually one large harvest. There is a primary and secondary crop in nations such as Colombia, where there are two flowerings every year. Most places select the crop by hand, which is a laborious and arduous procedure; but, in areas like Brazil, where the topography is largely flat and the coffee plantations are vast, the process has been automated. All coffee is harvested in one of two methods, whether by hand or machine: All cherries are removed off the branch at once, by either hand or by machine. The right shade of red Only ripe cherries are plucked, and each one is picked by hand. Pickers cycle among the trees between eight and ten days, selecting only the cherries that are fully ripe. Dugar and Dharavath say only the reddest of the cherries are picked. “Only the reddest of red cherries are carefully handpicked by our farmers. Not only do our berries have a delicate fruity and floral aroma, they hit a sweet 22 on the BRIX meter (which measures sugar content) — far from 18, which is the norm”, says Aditi. At Tribe Kulture, farmers are trained to pluck the right shade of red. This is a very important step when processing coffee as the right shade of red matters. Processing To avoid fruit spoiling, processing must begin as soon as possible after the coffee is gathered. Coffee is prepared in one of two methods, based on the location and available resources: The Dry Way is an ancient method of preparing coffee that is still utilised in many places with limited water supplies. The cherries are simply laid out on large surfaces to dry in the sun after being plucked.To keep the CAFFEINE RUSH 26|L U X E B O O K|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 |L U X E B O O K| 27