Designers Turn to Nightclubs to Extend Brand

Fashion designers in Delhi are lending their name to new nightclubs and discothèques in an effort to carry forward their style brands and remain in public eye in an age of out of sight, out of mind.

Rohit Bal, enfant terrible and poster boy of Indian fashion, has lent his weight to Decibel, the new discotheque at New Delhi’s Samrat Hotel.
“I have forever been in a disco,” smiled Bal, who is credited for bringing wild partying culture to the city in the 1990s, his blond locks shining in the laser beams that create whirlpools on the dance floor.

“This is my sort of tribute to the entire disco culture. Today, to go to a good nightclub, you have to go to Gurgaon (on the outskirts of the city). So I thought that Delhi must get a good disco back again.”

The 4,000-sq ft Decibel is divided into two floors with a main bar area stretching to 35 ft. The décor strikes a balance between black and pink, juxtaposing wood, leather and steel.

A huge screen, filled with non-stop gyrating numbers, faces the main 400 sq ft dance floor at this membership-by-invitation-only club whose main area sprawls 2,600 ft.

“Will this extend my brand? Do I need such extension?” wondered Bal, “Who knows? I’m not thinking of all that. At the moment, I just wanted a hip, cool place and this is it.”

That’s what designer Ashish Soni also says about his association with Fabric, the gigantic 17,000 sq ft nightclub on MG Road linking Gurgaon to Delhi, which swamps two floors and is a haze of black and white.

“The aim is to provide greater accessible luxury,” said Soni.

Incidentally, both Bal and Soni have been termed brand ambassadors for their respective clubs.

Fabric has a 70-foot-long bar and claims to be the biggest nightclub in the country. It also has a couple of mini bars.

The club will concentrate on psychedelic trance music and serve only snacks as it mainly expects clients to pop in after dinner.

This sort of brand extension has been done abroad by names like Giorgio Armani (with his Emporio Armani cafes and the Armani/$ Privet lounge and bar).

Australian designer Marc Newson has also worked successfully with the Lever House restaurant in Manhattan, making it the coolest joint in town.

Brand extension in design ranges from Donatella Versace’s version of the Barbie doll to the usual assortment of perfumes and accessories. But people like Newson are breaking new ground - he has designed the interior of a Dassault Falcon private jet.



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