Nappa Dori – The Classic Leather Store

These bags are the latest talk of the town. If you don’t own one of these smart Nappa Dori bags yet, then you’re missing out on one of the hottest fashion accessories. Just like getting the right fit is important, so does complimenting your attire with the correct accessory is equally imperative to set the look right!

Meet 32-year-old NIFT Graduate, New Delhi-based Gautam Sinha who has worked as a product designer for an export house for two years before launching his brand Nappa Dorri in 2010.

After setting up “Definite Design” in 2004, Gautam exported leather belts and hotel amenities and designed in-room dining collateral for some of the luxury hotels across the world such as the Ritz Carlton Dubai, One & Only Resorts, Hilton and Fairmount Hotels.

We chatted with Gautam about his love for designs, concepts and breathing life into mundane leather bags with a sense of Indianness and spreading our cultural heritage across the world.

With celebrities such as Naomi Watts, Kiefer Sutherland, Kate Hudson and Meera Niar who have received these Nappa Dori bags, you’re sure to take a second glance at these classy leather accessories.

When did it all begin?

It was a desire to break away from the usual kitsch design that made Gautam create a product which would have a defined look with a sense of Indianans, yet with a very contemporary and an international appeal.

“Nappa Dori was established in 2010 as an experiment to create things that inspired me as an individual and cater to the Indian retail market a product with a unique identity and feel. The investment was a lot less in monetary terms but huge in terms of time and being constantly inspired,” adds Gautam.

Branding

Nappa Dori means ‘Leather and Thread’ which are the two main materials Gautam uses as his muse for his creations.

“The brand name is something I dwelled upon for a while and hence took a lot more time to start the brand. It took me almost two years just to get the name right, as I wanted it to have an international appeal but at the same time be true to its roots,” explains Gautam.

He further adds, “The brand relates to people at a very personal level, there is an instant emotional and creative connect with our clients. A sense of pride, a feel of nostalgia and belongingness which translates to all patrons no matter which country they are from.”

Challenges faced

Challenges are the same as everyone else, such as getting skilled labour is easy but to sustain them is very difficult and not to forget the supplier mindsets.

“Everyone wants to cater to the big fish in the industry and a small brand like us which cannot order raw material in bulk, face a lot of issues. But at the end of the day, one needs to keep them in the background and not lose focus on the bigger picture to create things out of your passion and vision and problems come and go,” smiles Gautam.

What makes Nappa Dori so unique?

Gautam is of the opinion that you can design the best product in the world but if it is not of the highest quality and if it lacks attention to detail no one may visit you again.

He adds, “I believe Nappa Dori stands for craftsmanship, eye for detail and timelessness. All our products are made with that same passion. We don’t see ourselves as a small brand but as an equal. Our quality is what makes our customers come back again and again.”

British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith visits Nappa Dori

When we asked about Sir Paul Smith visiting his studio store at Hauz Khas in New Delhi, Gautam replies with a childlike exuberance, “I am a huge fan of his work and meeting Sir Paul Smith, the one I idolize has been one of the biggest moments of my life.”

Gautam got a call from his team that Sir Paul Smith was visiting Delhi and would like to see the store. Meeting him was a humbling experience for Gautam as he spoke about his designs and life in general and he was thrilled to get some design tips on how to make the product pop from the legend himself.

And most exciting part of the meeting was when Sir Paul Smith ended up buying a lot of products like trunks and trays from the Nappa Dori store and even signed on his products which is such a huge endorsement of Gautam’s hard work which he believes is a good sign and makes him believe that he’s on the right track.

Inspiration and designs

The Lifestyle Portal also discussed Gautam’s latest designs that stand out from the crowd. We personally loved the classic Delhi and Calcutta themed bags that are a total must have in your wardrobe.

Memoires of Delhi is his latest collection where he portrays India in all its glory by capturing a sense of nostalgia. His first collection revolved around Calcutta and so he wanted to replicate the similar essence for Delhi as well.

“Calcutta happened just by chance, at that point I had a lot of material about the city. Since it was once one of the most important ports cities in India, Calcutta was the first collection from day one for Nappa Dori, while Delhi was launched recently about a couple of months back,” recalls Gautam.

As we are a Delhi-based brand, Jama Masjid is an iconic place in the landscape of the city and Gautam wanted to show it in all its glory but at the same time keeping true to his design sense and not going over the top.

His final products that range from bags, wallets, trunks have a reminisce of the British Raj and the fusion in design which happened during that period.

Production and pricing

Leather is one material that is primarily used in all the Nappa Dori products. It takes between a week to 10 days from a conceptual stage to the final piecing of the product. “It all depends on how we end up using the raw material and what techniques which are being used in it.

“Our bags start from INR 6,000 and go up to INR14,000 and are available in our stores at Hauz Khaz and will also be available in our new store in Meherchand Market as well. We do not sell online yet but are in the process of starting our own online shop soon,” adds Gautam.

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