The Play Clan
Habitusliving.com editor, Ben Morgan, speaks with Himanshu Dogra, the founder of Indian fashion, art and design label Play Clan
You may remember our story last week on The Park Pod Chennai hotel in India
and the amazing wall murals that were in the rooms. Well, we wanted to
know more about the people behind them, so we took a few moments to find
out a little about Play Clan from founder, Himanshu Dogra.
How did Play Clan come to be?
Play Clan started with the idea of celebrating life in India. It’s
inspired by the culture and everyday observations that we see all around
us. The first store started in New Delhi in 2009, we now have stores in
Mumbai, Goa and Chennai.
Could you tell us a little about what Play Clan does?
Play Clan combines fashion, art and design to create products in home,
apparel, gifts and stationery. Our collections are based on themes and
we like to tell stories in a graphic [crossed with] illustrative style.
Could you tell us about some of your products?
So, you have a sadhu from Varanasi on a colourful mug — with the ghats
of the Ganga and flashes of the holy city illustrated intricately all
over his body, or a DTC bus as an illustration on a 17”x17” frame, or
the evergreen chai glass cups, iconised in typography.
The apparel collection captures a “typical” Indian family of four
sharing a scooter on a T-shirt, or even an overcrowded part of Old Delhi
on Independence Day, peppered with kites flying high.
The collections flow in themes every few weeks with new artworks and
products. The colourful world of Play Clan features framed art, mounted
art, journals, gift boxes, coasters, place mats, lamps, cushions, bags,
tees, shirts and other home items.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
India is full of inspiration. The energy here is very exciting, you just have to look with a positive point of view.
Your artworks have been included in some interior projects (including
the Park Pod Chennai), could you tell us a little about your other
We often collaborate with other brands that compliment our viewpoint. We
did the walls of Park Pod with a collection of ‘Aam Aadmi’ (Common man)
done in a vector style 3M decal. We also did the Park Hyderabad where
our inspiration was the Nizams of Hyderabad done in a comic book style
for the in-room communication and memorabilia.
Recently we had a collaboration with Sir Paul Smith were we created an
exclusive collection called DEL-LON-DEL, Playclan for Paul Smith to be
sold through the Paul Smith Stores. We also did Absolut Architecture by
Play Clan for Absolut Vodka that featured a Bar Instillation that had
bottles forming a Haveli pattern.
What’s design like in India?
Its great!! Finally we are all excited about design. A lot is happening all around, the energy is fantastic.
What’s coming up for the Play Clan? Any new projects/products?
We open a store in Pune in May. All our stores have a different themes –
Mumbai is Bollywood, Pune will be Osho, Delhi is the Politicians that
we see all over…