While Mumbai, three hours northwest, is inarguably India’s fashion and design capital, Pune is itself a burgeoning incubator for cutting-edge talent—the Pune Design Festival (held every February) is a testament to that. You’ll want to spend a few hours browsing up-and-coming local offerings as well as well-known Indian brands at the city’s top boutiques. Start with Either/Or, a colorful concept shop that’s a contemporary ode to age-old Indian aesthetics: Pick up funky chokers, block-printed loafers, kitschy iPhone covers, and children’s clothes, whimsically displayed in street carts customarily laden with fruits and vegetables. A block away is a sprawling outpost of FabIndia, the beloved Indian chain—it’s the first stop for travelers looking to score affordable tunics and skirts in colorful block-printed Indian fabrics, but natives also swear by its affordable range of high-quality linens, cushion covers, towels, and rugs. Across town, Coppre’s studio/boutique is hard to find, tucked away as it is in a residential neighborhood with only the smallest sign to tip you off to its whereabouts. But it’s worth persevering to get a glimpse of the housewares brand’s range of glasses,thalis, (Floaters, lights) vases, and other decor and utilitarian copper (metal) items for the home that keep old handicraft traditions alive in modern India. Finally, if you’re planning to attend (or hoping to crash) an Indian wedding while you’re here, head straight to Mairah for lavish designs from top Indian names like Anushree Reddy and Ridhi Mehra. Even if you aren’t in the market for an opulently beaded lehnga or anarkali, you’ll be tempted to bring home an exquisitely embroidered batwa purse to jazz up your favorite little black dress.
Either/Or and FabIndia are both a few minutes from the hotel; Coppre and Mairah are farther afield, about 20 minutes west.
EITHER/OR: 24 Sohrab Hall, 21 Sassoon Rd., opposite Jehangir Hospital; +91-20-2605-7225; facebook.com/eitherorindia
FABINDIA: 10 Sakar, Sassoon Rd., opposite Jehangir Hospital; +91-20-2616-4820; fabindia.com
COPPRE: 84 Senapati Bapat Rd., Shivaji Cooperative Housing Society, Chaturshrungi, Gokhalenagar; +91-20-2563-0192; coppre.in
MAIRAH: 161/2 Ganeshkhind Rd., Narveer Tanaji Wadi, Shivajinagar; facebook.com/houseofmairah