Having established a reputation for bright, irreverent and folksy design products inspired by Indian storytelling, Delhi-based Play Clan was established in 2008 by Himanshu Dogra, a fashion design graduate from National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi.
From collaborations with prestigious names like Sir Paul Smith, Maharaja of Jodhpur, Gwalior Museum, Royal Bhutan and nine stand-alone stores across India, Play Clan has come a long way from the experimental platform it started out as.
Storytelling and playfulness form the foundation of all products, and the brand looks to India for inspiration — traditional colors and silhouettes, fusing graphics with craft to narrate visual novellas. Combining hand-drawn work with artisan workmanship and an illustrative style, collections are created across fashion, home, accessories and art, unraveling traditional folklore with a contemporary interpretation.
Play Clan’s version of playing cards, for example, were inspired by the Mughal era of in India. The Mughal-e-Azam series features the four important rulers of the Mughal dynasty (Akbar, Shah Jahan, Jahangir and Humayun) and their respective queens and the “jacks” responsible for getting them into power.
A stroll through their workspace which houses a team of 20 people, including artists, designers, copywriters and technicians, feels like walking across an idea bank. Decor choices include natural elements, which are the center of their inspiration. The design is open and simple, characterized by wood, stone and metal, which add an earthiness to the space. An abundance of potted plants and trees lends color and freshness. And ever so fitting to their brand ethos, the walls are adorned with a number of Play Clan artworks that have been intricately hand embroidered by local artisans. —Rohini
Photography courtesy of Play Clan