After 11 years, EKA collaborates with Dust Studio to upstage the merchandise at its first flagship store in Lodhi Colony

What lures you into a store: its design, or the merchandise? The award-winning designer Rina Singh has joined hands with architect Dharmesh Jadeja of Dust Studio to design the store’s interiors that manifest a harmonious fusion of traditional crafts and architectural prowess.

The quaint surroundings of New Delhi’s Lodhi market resonate well with the fluid-like elegance of Ekà. The interiors are rendered with poetic deliberation – creating old world charm with limestone on the walls, arches across the doorways and openings, engravings of blue indigo borders to remind of selvedges of handwoven textiles.

Immersed deeply in Indian aesthetics, her love for indigenous craft culture led her to start EKA in 2011 with Sandeep Dua, her husband and Managing Director.

According to her, “There was a lot of indigenous wisdom in the locally sourced materials that we used in our homes like space with limestone walls, large windows, murals and arches.”

They used limestone walls, reclaimed wood and other eclectic furniture from Pondicherry. Artisans worked on the limestone walls from Porbandar in Gujarat. If you look at the larger ecosystem, the Lodhi Colony Market is a post-colonial structure. The spaces are pre-designed and structural changes aren’t really necessary.

Instead of mannequins they have used sculptures to showcase the clothing line.There are sculptural elements like the torso or the back of a woman. They wanted people to let their imagination run free and engage all of their senses when they enter the space.

Having a great deal of experience in landscape architecture projects, Dharmesh Jadeja of Dust Studio employed his knowledge of using limestone, incorporating reclaimed wood or making lasting, sturdy structures that would transform the space.

In future she intends to open EKA RARE – a collection of ‘forever’ pieces in a wardrobe that are like collectibles. She also wants to open destination shops in different parts of the world, which people make a part of their itineraries.

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