Wrap: Connecting Luxury, Craft & Contemporary Indian Furniture Design
Wrap, Launched in the year 2006, is a contemporary luxury and lifestyle brand established on social and environmentally sustainable principles. Founded by Gunjan Gupta in response to the absence of internationally relevant Indian product design brand that explored the potential of luxury handcraft, Wrap seeks to revive and invigorate India’s traditional crafts, positioning them at the heart of the contemporary home.Gunjan launched her first furniture collection of gold and silver wrapped Dining Thrones and Dumroo to critical success, and these products form the core of the Wrap collections. The Wrap philosophy of sustainable luxury is a mix of austerity and audacity, restraint and abundance. Gunjan claims that the Dining Throne exemplifies this vision, reversing the notion of the preciousness of wrapping (the 24ct gold and fine silver leaf enveloping a deceptively simple contemporary wooden form), as it plays with the subtleties of reflection. At the same time it refreshes the traditions of this most ostentatious strain of mastercraft, and has resulted in the sustenance of this tradition within a community that had begun to turn away from their traditional skills.
The Dining Throne established Gunjan Gupta as a globally recognised luxury product designer. "The Dining Throne has the same energy and beauty that was prevalent in 18th century objects when the cultures and techniques of European and Indian craftsmanship coalesced, leading to the beginning of Indian cabinet making.", says Gunjan, " It is these qualities of superlative handcraft, high quality manufacture and design integrity that combine in the Wrap design identity."Gunjan’s efforts in repositioning the ‘Made in India’ brand internationally have won her global recognition: several Elle Decor International Design Awards and a British Council’s YCE finalist award in 2007, under the design category. She has exhibited her work widely (at Maison et Objet, Paris, 100% Design, London, ICFF, New York, Experimenta, Lisbon, Sotheby’s in London, Cheongfu Craft Bienale, Korea and at Nature Morte, Bungalow 8, Seven Art, Le Mill and Good Earth in India) and has collaborated on special design commissions with Droog, Amsterdam, and Swarovski, Paris.
Having recently established Wrap’s first production centre in New Delhi – a space dedicated to artisanal skills development, alongside a unique design gallery – Gunjan is now focusing on commercialisation of her existing collections and on the extension of Wrap to include India’s first interior design service to combine a client’s vision with its own philosophy of culturally-led design, a project she launched with a Vastu house in New Delhi in 2009.
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- Abhilasha Dafria