Flagship store of designer Mrunalini Rao


Mrunalini Rao from Hyderabad recently opened its flagship store in the city. The Jubilee Hills outlet is indeed a vision, but minimal to the hilt. Initially, Mrunalini launched a studio workshop in September 2019 which did not have enough space for all of its collections. And that’s what led to the creation of the flagship store.

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It borrows from nostalgia of two kinds – the legacy of colonial design and the designer’s childhood. “It reminds me of my grandparents’ house. We tried to bring it all to life here through the custom furniture, the rafters on the ceiling, the 30 year old mango trees, the uneven wall textures, the arches throughout the store, the flooring and the colors we used,” explains the city designer. .

Mrunalini Rao

Before the pandemic, Mrunalini had also planned to open a store in Bangalore. However, instead, she decided to make the flagship store in her home turf a rather unique experience before venturing out to other cities. “It was difficult to meet the deadlines because the lockout was declared at different times in different cities. But Hyderabad was open for a few hours initially. The team has done their best to bring it to life at this point,” she clarifies when we ask her how she handled the launch.

Mrunalini rao storefront
The Jubilee Hills store

Collection stories
When customers walk into the store, they can expect to spot highlighted pieces from its recent collection. There are also sets from her first line of eco-responsible ready-to-wear called Uri. “With the growing demand for ready-to-wear and bridal, we needed more space to display both lines,” says the designer, who has dressed Tollywood stars such as Keerthy Sureshcheated and Manchu Lakshmi.

Her latest Vana d’Uri collection as well as Mrunalini Rao fusion and bridal wear from the same
collection are on the shelves here. One cannot miss the elaborate and exclusive bridal section. “The first floor is dedicated to bridal wear and the bedrooms have beautifully crafted mirrors with a huge Sanksrit engraved stone Shloka, Asathoma Sadgamaya“, explains the designer.

A happy place
For the decor, she was inspired by the work of Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa and imbued it with elements close to her heart. “Each element from the front door revolves around the things that have happened in my life. The walls, floor and furniture subtly tell the story of my brand. I want people to feel at home when visit. I want it to be a happy place for everyone,” says Mrunalini.

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We learn that the embossed tree of life at the entrance is a nod to the designs by which it has been recognized in recent years. “Birds on the wall representing freedom, furniture with our handcrafted fabrics and embroideries that I love, a vintage wooden staircase that takes us to the first floor with frames and antiques that I have personally collected over the years are all close to me,” says the designer, signing.

Rs 7,000 upwards for the loan line.
Rs 40,000 for the fusion label.

—Paulami Sen
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