A couple of years ago, a real-estate business family (we will call them the Sharmas) chanced upon a barren land in Gurgaon, precisely 32 kilometres away from central Delhi. After investing in commercial, luxury residential, microbreweries, hospitality, and co-working spaces for decades, the idea of an immersive retail space was something that excited them. And so, The Galleries at 32nd, in Gurgaon was conceived. Built in the style of European marketplaces, it exudes an air of modern savoir-faire, catering to the elite as well as style curious.
Forty restaurants and cafes line the start of the hub. There is something for everyone — Bhawan, Kainaz Contractor and Rahul Dua’s hugely popular chaat-centric restaurant sees a reasonable crowd, and lines outside family diners like Carnatic Cafe are to be expected. Gurgaon has quickly become a centre for spacious and ultra-curated spaces. 32nd is meant to be a fun place where you come for lunch and browse around with a single-origin, freshly grounded coffee in your hand. It boasts of an enviable terrace region (to be experienced, Gurgaon AQI [Air Quality Index] willing) and open garden areas for events and fun musical evenings. But really, it is their curated fashion space ‘The Galleries’, sprawled across 40,000 square feet, that has all the fashion people excited.
“A number of new-age Indian designers have recently shown at international fashion weeks including Milan, Paris, and New York. Brands are looking to position themselves as globally appealing and need spaces that reflect that.” Dhruv Sharma, co-founder shared at the opening of this ginormous entertainment hub. Estimated to be around 1,74,000 square feet, the Sharmas intend on building it as an anti-mall. “Think of Le Marais, Chelsea Market, Soho or Dover Street Market. That is what we wanted to build for Indian consumers.” Shirin Sharma, sister and co-founder adds.
Once you have crossed the expansive restaurant side, you will meet a stately, tall-as-a-building, Ficus Microcarpa bonsai. Rumour has it, it cost ₹ 10 lakh to acquire. It is not the only ginormous green section at the space. The plants and landscaped sections at the Galleries, including the bonsai, are sourced from nurseries flanking the Godavari river. A huge investment on their part to ensure their shopping spaces seem like sanctuaries. They are not looking for hurried sales, instead hoping to make your buying experience as pleasant as a walk in a park. Urvashi Kaur, one of the designers on the Galleries roster explains, “The space allows each designer to showcase their personal aesthetics and narratives, in turn inviting a discerning audience.”
Once you get over the Bonsai, you will notice the stores built like mini-art galleries. Large windows, endless whites and generous dollops of sunshine enters each store. Currently, the 19 brands present include disruptive and exciting names like Almost Gods, Antar Agni, Aroka, Cord, Hannan, Ituvana, Kasha, Khanijo, Khara Kapas, Koytoy, Leh, Nadi Nadi, Ode To Odd, Ruby’s Organics, Studio Medium, Sublime Life, Tiger Marrón, Urvashi Kaur, Yam and Yavi.
“With Galleries, we hope to be the showcase for those brands which have the same level of genuine storytelling, community and global affluence, but still remain in their pre-discovery phase,” concludes Dhruv.