The Gentleman’s Community is a vintage fashion brand for men and this grabs attention for two main reasons. Firstly, the vintage sector is still quite niche in the Indian fashion industry; secondly, the concept of Indian vintage is still under definition.
Some define it as clothing style in vogue at the beginning of the last century; others refer to it as the revamping of old style outfits.
Karan Bangera, Founder, Gentleman’s Community, considers vintage the natural next step in the course of fashion. “I think fashion has gone full circle. Right now we seem to have gone back to the bygone era of vintage and retro.”
He started his venture six months ago as a simple Facebook page to share men’s sartorial inspiration. Then, while visiting the Lil Flea market in Mumbai, he got inspired by other entrepreneurs who had started small brands working from home.“I got in touch with organisers and prepped up for the next show happening in December.” Now he exhibits his collection in various venues around Mumbai, keeping this activity alongside his full time job in hospitality.
In The Gentleman’s Community collection, Vintage is defined as a series of accessories from all over the world. “I have put together a mixed selection of accessories for modern men and dandies. From anchor bracelets to vintage watches, vintage frames to paisley ties; I try to keep my collection small and unique. I gather stuff from collectors and artisans all over the world. At the moment, I’m trying to source Turkish inspired handmade vintage Kilim rugs and handmade leather backpacks,” Karan says.
The team now consists of Karan and his wife Maithili Marathe Bangera. “She’s been a great help right from day one. She always excels in the sales targets I set her for fun,” he explains. However, the business seems to excite the duo. They are now thinking of having a small permanent set up at a furniture store called Rav which will open in early March in Santacruz, Mumbai.
In order to meet their high standards and increasing customers’ demands, The Gentleman’s Community is looking at expanding their collection. “I’ve been back packing around Rajasthan, visiting palaces for inspiration,” says Karan. “Next week my wife and I will fly to Paris to spend days at the flea markets hunting for vintage collectables,” he adds.
What really stands out in The Gentleman’s Community culture, however, is the focus on the details which make fashion a fine art. “I’m working on creating a line for men’s grooming products like moustache wax and beard oils. I have been approached by a brand called JS Sloane from the United States to carry their line of grooming products,” Karan says.
When asked what makes his brand unique, Karan says, “I personally handpick every item I sell. My collection is all about my taste; I don’t carry stuff that’s in vogue. For instance, a lot of people ask me for skinny ties, but I don’t like them, so I stock only the broad old-fashioned ones. Or again, you wouldn’t find a Patek or a Rolex with me. Since I have just started off, I love to appreciate the smaller Swiss brands. In my box you would find Nino, Favre Leuba, Anglo Swiss, West End Watch Co and Tissot to name a few.”
Vintage male fashion is Karan’s passion and his commitment has proven him to be very good at spotting and selecting unique items. He argues that, “things are not always as tough and complicated as they might seem to be; it’s all about getting up and getting things done.” Keeping his words in mind, in the next months we shall expect a broader collection, and a clearer model for scaling up the business. The great question is whether this will require Karan to give up the comfort of his job and dedicate all his energy, money and time to The Gentleman’s Community.
For more info and pictures check The Gentleman's Commnity facebook page.