Bring Michelle Obama home with designer pillow covers!

November 4th, 2010 - 9:33 pm ICT by IANS  

By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Imagine Michelle Obama sitting pretty on your sofa or bedroom. Well, not literally, but it is possible through Delhi-based designer Arpita Kalra’s latest range of pillow covers that have the US first lady - in a red dress and a pearl necklace - on them.

The 34-year-old designer has reconstructed the print from the Mighty Michelle Shopper bag, sold through online shop Blue Q. And she is hoping to present a set to Michelle in case she visits her outlet at the Santushti shopping complex in the capital.

“I had made the line of cushion covers for my new range called Mela, the tagline for which is Fun At Home. Since the Obamas are coming to visit India, I felt it is the right time to launch them in the market,” Kalra, who has her own store in Lado Sarai in the capital, told IANS.

The designer is selling a pack of five pillow cases - a set of two cushions, two vertical pillows and a small pocket cushion at Rs.6,500. While the big cushion covers have an imprint of Michelle Obama and reads “First Lady of Fabulous”, the pocket cushion reads “We love her”.

Kalra explains why she chose to represent only Michelle, and not any Indian political icon.

“I chose Michelle Obama because she is not just a style icon, but also a very progressive and inspirational icon. The range with her picture is a part of the conversation cushions I am offering. These are cushions that will be talked about once someone sets them up at their place.

“The print was used on bags earlier, but now I have created a longer shelf life for the print by putting them on cushion covers,” she said.

Kalra, who is also retailing the covers from multi-designer store Ogaan at Santushti shopping complex, hopes that all her pieces are sold out, and also wishes to gift one to the US first lady on her visit to India.

“These cushion covers are a symbol of Indo-US collaboration. I hope we get good sales,” she said.

Veteran fashion designer Kavita Bhartia, who owns Ogaan, feels there couldn’t be a better time to launch these cushion covers.

“The fact that Arpita made these pillows at this time was purely coincidental and so well-timed. We would love if Mrs.Obama visits Santushti complex and has fun. We would not like to crowd her or bother her. But we have prepared ourselves and put a lot of clothes in bright Indian colours like maroon, indigo and green for her to buy,” said Bhartia, who feels the First Lady would look great in a sari.

Many store owners at the high-end shopping complex say they would love to sell their merchandise to the Obamas.

Jewellery store Amrapali has a range of kundan, polka, emerald and Victorian jewellery to offer to Michelle Obama.

“We have ornate bracelets, brooches, earrings, neckpieces in various styles. We have some authentic antique pieces worth Rs.30 lakh that we will put on display for her to see,” informed Nishi Tiwari, store manager of Amrapali at the complex, near Ashoka Hotel.

Mujtaba Shah, managing director of Sozy, which retails high-end Kashmiri shawls, stoles and capes, says he would love to have Michelle at his store, but wonders if she would have enough time to squeeze in, especially since the Santushti complex is shut Sundays.

Even when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was here last year, she shopped at the complex and picked up jackets and crinkled skirts for herself and daughter Chelsea.

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