If you’re battling with an internal struggle like The Thinker or just simply considering the ultimate gifting option, then Designer Studio Collectibles is where you escape to; where precious artifacts and antiques come alive like never before

For the artist, the amount of art flowing through his veins is tremendous. And there’s a reduced version in everyone, they say; whether you’re an architect designing a structural wonder or a businessman drawing up a master plan. True blue art aficionado and collector, Tony Sinh falls into the second category, having launched the boutique Designer Studio Collectibles (DSC) next to Cadbury House, Haji Ali, where business is nothing but pure pleasure. A haven for the visual art lover, Designer Studio captures the senses with its splendid selection of valuable objects designed to get the human mind absorbed into the realm of the imaginative world and more importantly, to add to one’s prized collection.

Enter this neat, compact space filled with a trove from all over Europe and be sure to be taken by very pleasant surprise. Everything an art aficionado could dream of having under one roof is what DSC encompasses, right from contemporary to museum art to comic art sculpture, from unique furniture to desk accessories, a cigar and humidor selection and an entire section dedicated to kids. “The right word here is gravitas,” begins the refined Tony. “Each collectible carries a historical aspect that not only adds to its beauty but fosters a connection to something so endearing for the art lover who visits.”

True, as one can immerse oneself for hours in the assorted collection, whether it be the model Ford Trimotor – the three-engined American airplane perched atop a Mario Miranda coffee table book – that catches sight first, or the ingenious luggage trunk-turned-stateroom ivory bar, originally from the company that is today Louis Vuitton, that stands at the far end. While the collectibles may be varied – each made by hand with intricate detailing – one thing that they share in common is the guarantee of authenticity that DSC prides itself on, furthered with service to endure. Take for instance, the comic art sculptures by celebrated sculptor, Guillermo Forchino such as the Lady Lawyer or the Fab Fifties, all born out of the artist’s projection of human flaws and nature, and many of which carry a story with them, making each one priceless. No wonder then that just 20-30 are directly sent by the artist to each country that showcases Forchinos. What will fascinate most is the kids collection inclusive of animal figurines such as elephant salt-n-pepper shakers as well as DIY kits such as the Kaleidoscope, all designed specially by child psychologists and graphic artists to enhance cognitive thinking, creativity and self esteem that a child earns from the self-made treasure.

Perhaps, the unique furniture would entice more, such as the games table with three games neatly slated one above the other or artifacts like the exquisite Demi Dome by Michaelangelo which brings forth 3D perspective art, along with Pompon’s forerunner, L’Ours Blanc (the White Bear). Enunciates Tony, “I enjoy 3D art a lot more today as it’s far more difficult to create emotion from it, from sculptures that should speak directly to you. Art in itself is just enthralling as everything around has art in it. Even a weapon of destruction is artistically crafted to perfection.” This coming from the science graduate who headed to Cornell University, NY to pursue engineering. Yet, his first love travelled with him, as he nurtured it with visits to the Smithsonian Museum and several other cultural icons… something he continues to do so even today, while the kids may visit an amusement park, perhaps! DSC is hence a gradual coming together – three to four years ago – of an inherent passion with business acumen, honed from Tony’s years in the garment manufacturing line, soon after his return from Cornell. “It was only five years ago that I started looking at art from a new perspective and my wife, Sherry – who handles the DS Fashion store – decided to gift me something one day. One look at it and I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” relates the enthusiastic art lover. “So after years of gathering genuine collector’s items directly from the foundations under which the artist’s work is licensed, DSC was concretised as you see it today, about seven months ago, and just as art, it is always evolving.” Which further implies much more for the two Bombay stores (the second one in Juhu) and plans to set up a showroom in Delhi.

“Art should reach anybody who wants to acquire it,” comes Tony’s response when asked if collectibles are suited only for the big pocket. So DSC houses items from approximately `1000 to anywhere as high as `2 lakhs even, all of which can be personalised, thus comprising the ideal gift range; something that will earn you brownie points for a long, long time.

Fascinating how a small space as Designer Studio Collectibles can create a larger than life experience to cherish and have a true fan of the arts coming back for more; for that one-on-one with the artists who speak magically through their masterpieces and a historical pull that takes the enthusiast way back in time.

Designer Studio Collectibles
3, Ground Floor, Vasundhara Bldg,
5, Bhulabhai Desai Rd,
Mumbai 400026
Ph: 022 2351 6459

This feature was published in the Jan-Mar 2013 issue of UpperCrust. Photographs courtesy UpperCrust.