Bombay deco

Why travel 14,233 kms over the Atlantic Ocean to Miami, when you are standing amidst the world’s second largest historical museum of Art Deco, the Miami of India - the city of Mumbai. This classic style of architecture is featured in old theatres, temples, office buildings, and apartments clustered around Mumbai’s bustling heritage block. 

With their new Taxi Fabric - Sarah and Maninder will take you on a historical journey back to the 1930s, where art deco echoed throughout the city’s landscape.

Sarah and Maninder are Safomasi, a lifestyle brand creating hand printed homewares & accessories inspired by their travels. 

Speaking of their design, Safomasi say “We love the bright colours and bold, expressive style of Art Deco so we chose to play with a colour gradient within the taxi going from pink and purple on the back seats to blue and green on the front”

Inside the taxi, you will find elements depicted from Eros Cinema and the New India Assurance building. “Our design mixes classic Art Deco motifs with Mumbai-specific elements to create a celebration of that time”, they elaborate.    

While historical India has certainly been influential to many, Safomasi talks about how Indian culture inspires them personally, “India is so diverse and with its rich culture and history, there is so much to inspire designers. Personally we get inspired by the contrast within different parts of the country.” 

Just like the decorative arches and the beautifully detailed balconies, that the city has flaunted for decades, have quietly faded into the background, Safomasi believes that Design in India faces a similar situation today. “On one hand, it (design) has a lot of value; it can be argued that there is so much design, detail and decoration in everyday life. But on the other hand it can be taken for granted.”

Coming from an illustration background, Sarah feels that the main challenge in illustration (and design) is at the beginning, when you are trying to establish yourself, it can be hard to make a living from it. Young designers and illustrators are often expected to work for free.

So what do they think of Taxi Fabric? “It’s a brilliant initiative and really interesting for everyone; taxi drivers, designers and passengers. We’d been following Taxi Fabric for a while so it was a dream to get the opportunity to be involved.”

Well, it was fun for all of us to see the taxi and the design come to life! 

If you do find yourself sitting in the vibrant ‘Bombay Deco’, don’t forget to catch a glimpse, as you pass by, of the beautiful art deco edifices, that still remain standing today in their timeless elegance. 



Written by Isha Jhunjhunwala.

Images courtesy : Architectural Digest India, Neville Sukhia, Sumedh Salvi and Taxi Fabric


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This Taxi Fabric Project is supported
by Architectural Digest