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Article: In her shoes with Anjali Gaekwar

In her shoes with Anjali Gaekwar

Excited for the ‘In her Shoes’ story, I press the call button on zoom.

After all who wouldn’t want to be in HER shoes? When she is the country head for the God-of-all-shoes brand, Christian Louboutin and the co-founder of luxury advisor firm ' Lighthouse'.

Brought back to the moment by a friendly ‘Hello!’, I smile back at Anjali as she moves around her workstation effortlessly, draped elegantly in the green silk saree.

Warming up the conversation we get into the niceties of it till she breaks into a laugh at my dog Tizzy trying to take over the screen.

The mellow cackle allows for a friendly space where conversation begins to flow naturally.

Mesmerized by vintage frames of regal women in sarees behind her, I ask away the bubbling question in my mind.

“How do royalty and saree go hand in hand?”

For those who don’t know, Anjali hails from the Royal family of Baroda.

Well. Saree honestly is as royal as it gets when it comes to dressing up. How can there be anything else to compare when you have this sensual drape in the richest of handwoven silks! It became an international rage after royalty experimented with Parisian and Indian styles.

‘We hear you are partial to sarees. Share with us your saree story!’

I find sarees graceful, elegant, and timeless. Growing up, I was always fascinated by the rustle of French chiffons as my mother took to the racecourse on weekends or when she went to the polo matches. It made me look forward to draping this exotic attire too. You drape the 6 yards with statement jewellery and you are a head-turner in any room you enter! That is what I loved about Nomad at first sight, the old-school handwoven sarees, and jewels that invite nostalgia.

An amalgamation of the two worlds, the sepia-toned royalty and the uber-modern world, Anjali redefines luxury in her minimal dressing and maximum living.

As an entrepreneur, I ask her what has been at the back of my mind since we first talked about doing this interview.

‘How do you do it all? Hold the reigns of this giant of an international luxury brand for the country, manage your luxury startup and be a socializing goddess? What would you say to the aspiring millennial woman?’

No matter where you come from, in the end, it is all about hard work and perseverance. One thing I would urge every woman out there is to never give up on her dreams! Be your person and go for your heart’s calling! 'Persevere and be adaptive', has been my maxim.

We take a virtual detour of her cozy home as Anjali generously takes us through her opulently minimal home accentuated with tasteful art.

‘This is my fav corner of the house’ Anjali says as she settles her sari-clad form onto a vintage setee by a window overlooking the magnanimous Bombay skylines. The evening sun reflects off the dainty patra earrings she's adorning, illuminating her elegant frame.

‘Mumbai has taken over my heart. I love traveling and hence have never been at home much. But now that we are all working from homes, I have taken out time to reshuffle my wardrobe, look after my Art Deco jewels, many of them heirlooms from my grannies and aunts. Lockdown has been more of a soul-cleanser for a people’s person like me.’

She sips on a smoothie as I have my regular evening chai with rusk. Munching on these we continue our banter about life as I ask her,

‘What is your take on everyday dressing? How does it define you?’

‘I am a very pragmatic person and that is reflected in my dressing as well. I love statement pieces and I incorporate those subtly in my everyday aesthetics as well. A pair of Louboutins or a Hermes bag can do wonders. Blue denim, a white shirt, and a trinket from my dressing tray constitute my go-to ensemble.
How I dress is how I feel'.

’What are the luxuries of a luxury brand being your workspace? We are having all devil wears Prada feels!'
'Haha!! Nothing of the sorts. It is a cut throat competition out there and we have to be on our toes every moment. Being in a Louboutins does help!' she smiles.
'But the best part is that international travels and meeting colleagues from across the globe has helped me learn and broaden my overall perspective.’

With so many hats to don, how do you unwind?

‘I do so by spending time with family and friends. I love traveling and experiencing new cuisines!

Am a foodie, with a lockdown imposed most of the time past one and a half years, all of us have taken to going old school for having fun with our loved ones! Would you believe me if I said at one instance we dressed up and had a cocktail evening over zoom!

God bless the internet!’

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