With a name meaning Goddess of the Forest, Aranyani invites customers to experience the soul of nature and was inspired from the Vedic era of Bharat, whose rich heritage represents the co-existence of luxury and art. Here, RLI spends some time with Haresh Mirpuri, Founder & Creative Director to learn more about the business and its exquisite handbags that are helping the company become a house-hold name.
The luxury handbag brand Aranyani is a part of Sai Lakshmi Industries Private Limited from India and is guided by the Vedic philosophies of S.A.I – Service, Awareness and Inclusivity.
“At Sai Lakshmi, we aim to create a sustainable legacy for our future generations by manufacturing and providing unique experiences and creating a Positive Impact,” highlights Haresh Mirpuri, Founder and Creative Director of Aranyani.
Before its recent store launch in London, Aranyani’s luxury products were created and their styles were honed at its state-of-the-art atelier in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru. Mirpuri’s team trains side by side with craftspeople from Europe for three years before even stepping foot into the atelier.
Staying close to the brand’s spirit and identity, the atelier offers a unique and world-class environment in which artisans and craftsmen can invent and collaborate. Every single handbag is a result of the collective inspiration, talent and craftsmanship of this team.
Unveiled earlier this year in London’s Mayfair was the first brand store and Haresh explains that they had been searching for a location that was cosmopolitan, have a long-standing relationship with Bharat and also embraces new concepts.
“When we put all these elements together, it seemed London, the cauldron of all cultures and particularly Mayfair, seemed to be the natural choice to house our first store. We were delighted to work with Astrea on the site and feel that the store embodies the values, aesthetics and experience that we wish to share with everyone.”
The concept store is split across two levels, of which the ground floor is reserved primarily for retail – giving one a sense of landing into the glade of a lush forest. Meanwhile the basement floor is exquisitely crafted to provide a VIP experience, allowing the possibility for customising or personalising any product as desired by the customer.
Following on from the launch of this initial store, the company is looking to partner with several luxury department stores to increase their footprint in the UK, Europe and US as well as partnering with online portals. Although expansion is on the horizon, Mirpuri reiterates that the company is committed to producing products from its atelier only and will therefore continue to produce limited numbers.
To maintain their unique position in the market, the company employs both a creative research team along with a brilliant design team. Combining both of these teams’ efforts, Aranyani produces products that tell a story, which is the backbone of their design ethos.
Now more than ever, the future of the retail industry will focus on brand experience and the parent company of Aranyani, Sai Lakshmi, presents this across its three divisions of fashion, real estate and hospitality.
While Aranyani represents its fashion arm, Essensai 067 represents its real estate arm and will be a unique retail destination that allows for a continuous interaction of the inside space with the outside space, providing opportunities for discovering and learning experiences through local artisans, craftsmen and brands spread over a five acre property with a 120,000sq ft built up area.
“Keeping our vision in mind to create a Positive Impact, we have planned to use solar power as our energy resource. Retail realtors today have realised the importance of their role towards achieving sustainable development. We have embraced the same right from the beginning and I believe that be it retail or any other development from now onwards, we all need to embrace Positive Impact,” explains Mirpuri.
Meanwhile on the hospitality side are its brands The Barnhouse and Sai Smruti. The Barnhouse is the result of their vision to provide the tastiest and healthiest cuisine by making sure it is as fresh and nutrient rich as possible, combined with an organic store that will supply the right ingredients and a space to practice and deliberate on the science of yoga and meditation.
“On the other hand, Sai Smruti is envisioned to provide a safe and positively memorable space for working women and female students who come from different parts of the country to work and study in Bangalore. Here, 30 per cent of the energy requirements are currently met through solar energy and we are investing this year to bring it to least 65 per cent.”
As the topic of conversation moves onto social media and sustainability, Haresh highlights that social media is their passport to the brand’s global audience and their content will always portray the company story and its values.
“Positive Impact is at the core of our Value system. This includes all the materials, our environment and all our stakeholders. Right from choosing our materials, developing our supply chain, design and production strategy, the environment that we maintain, the choice of materials for our store and the positive impact we create within the community that we operate from, creating a Positive Impact has always been a central part to our decision-making process.”
The company has come a long way in a short period of time and enjoyed a lot of success by following its design principles, its value-based ecosystem and their agility in responding to customer requirements through their atelier is what has set them apart from others. The company has mastered heritage art forms and techniques to provide a unique design and offering and they connect their customers to their artisans through their product QR codes, so that each customer knows exactly who made the individual product they are buying.
Haresh ends his time with us by explaining that building the first luxury handbag brand from India does not come without its challenges, but he feels they can overcome these through the experience they offer and he is excited by what lies ahead for Aranyani.