Time travel might just be on every person’s bucket list, whether it is going back to a certain moment or waking up in a whole new era. While some means maybe out-of-reach for now (we’d love that DeLorean time machine, to be honest), I believe our wardrobe can take us back in time as well. You see, at the heart of it, fashion is timeless and everything comes a full cycle. From skinny jeans to bell-bottoms, for instance, vintage fashion has become a category in itself now, as Indian shoppers try and create a distinct sartorial identity that’s far removed from the mass-produced style that fast fashion offers.
Mumbai began a love affair with vintage clothing and accessories earlier in December last year whenstylist Kanika Karvinkop hosted a vintage pop-up at the gorgeous home of designer James Ferreira. She tells us that almost all the vintage goodies she brought with her were sold out, giving her a solid proof of concept for a more permanent retail outlet, No Borders Shop, to please our vintage fashion-starved hearts and wardrobes.
Having worked as a freelance stylist for seven years in New York, Kanika wanted to do her bit to break stereotypes around India and its fashion. “They show poor India, they don’t show what India actually is. There’s so much culture, there’s so much tradition. Look at Bombay for example. Whether it’s Chor Bazar or the Dadar flower market, it is a set in itself and that is how I wanted to portray India.” On the idea behind No Borders Shop, Kanika says, “For people (abroad), Indian fashion is all about the lehngas, but it’s not. There are Indian labels like Pero, Eka, and NorBlack NorWhite, that are inspired by the country and traditional techniques and textiles, I could envision people all around the world wear a Pero or Eka and that’s how it all started.”
With the aim to bridge the gap between the old and the new, as well as bring together cultures and traditions from across the world, No Borders Shop celebrates the diversity of fashion, culture, and art. Apart vintage finds from the 1920s through 1990s–from brands like Chanel, Kenzo, Ralph Lauren and Dior–No Borders Shop is home to authentic pieces from places like Israel, Morocco, Peru, and Ghana, alongwith homegrown brands like Pero, Eka, Anavila, and NorBlack NorWhite.
Apart from curating vintage clothing and accessories, No Borders Shop makes space for various art prints and embroideries, and just like every piece of clothing in the store, the art also has stories behind them. For instance, Negima Jasmine weaves beautiful pieces of embroidery art, inspired by the enchanting tales and memories of her grandparents in Afghanistan. Also on display at Kanika’s vintage shop is Ayqa Khan’s provocative artwork that seeks to create an awareness about unique South Asian experiences.
As spring turns to summer, No Borders Shop will showcase swimsuits by LA-based-Indian designer Pari Desai, and a jewelry collection by New York-based-Nepali designer Arpana Rayamajhi among many others. The store’s next project includes an upcycling collaboration with Pero, breathing a new life into vintage denim jackets.
The setting of No Borders Shop is as important to the shopping experience. It is located at one of the most famous addresses in Khotachiwadi, well-known designer James Ferreira’s heritage home. The idyllic charm of the space will enthrall you, and perfectly complement your hunt for rare vintage pieces.
Up next for No Borders Shop? Kanika hopes to include an art gallery and set up a collaboration with various musical artists, making it a perfect amalgamation of art and fashion.
Scroll on for a glimpse into No Borders Shop.
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