Nappa Dori is a poster child of the indie homegrown movement that’s afoot. They started with trunks, wallets and leather bags, but lately have also been treading a new direction with objects and stationery that offers something very differently interesting.
Nappa Dori Stationery and Objects
The objects continue the same line of thought that made their flagship products so appealing – richly handcrafted articles with a healthy dollop of vintage charm. They are everyday things, but use colours, accents and details that instantly resonate and transport you to older times. There are notebooks, bookmarks, measuring tapes, storage pouches, concrete accessories, candles, umbrellas and others to choose from.
I picked out a few cool objects to talk about their appeal to me. I am fascinated with things that had true utility and purpose in the old days and I love seeing modern interpretations of them.
Things of an era when they were true tools to make it through the day
The world wasn’t always so digital and automated. For many decades, things like compasses, waist pouches, knives, maps or stationery were essential tools for accomplishing basic, daily tasks. They used natural materials and were built to last lifetimes. Game of Thrones fans, you can probably picture people of Westeros using things like these.
We’ve come away from much of it now, with efficiency and convenience taking precedence. The trade-off is loss of touch and feel. If you’re ever put a stitch to sew in a button or used the chronograph on your wristwatch to time an event, you know what I’m talking about. The tactile sensation of using these things is very satisfying.
Nappa Dori attempts to take us back to some of this through its diverse collection. Let’s get to some picks from it.
1. Classic Scissors
One of the most basic tools to create anything, isn’t it? Or for a little trim and repair. They’ve gone all metal by adding brass handles with golden hues that’ll age nicely. So you can ditch the plastic pair in favour of this classic design. This is what I want to tear open my online shopping boxes with. (₹1,150)
2. Suede Pencil Roll
I think of three things when it comes to such rolls – military, tools and watches – I have seen or used rolls for these applications. The feel of untying the knot to open it and reveal what lies inside leads to a sense of discovery every time. I would have had the coolest pencil box in school if it were one of these. (₹1,650)
3. DIY Belt
Funny as it sounds, we don’t do enough Do it Yourself (DIY). Nappa Dori sells a kit with all the components you would need to assemble your own belt, starting with colouring the raw leather with one out of the 7 available shades, including black, blue, tan, brown and green. You can then attach the hardware, punch holes and cut it to size.
This is a great experiential thing to try where you could get your hands dirty and come out with an everyday use thing that you created for yourself. Is there a better way to be making an individualist statement? I don’t think so. (₹3,600)
Men quite enjoy mechanical things. They also like dismantling and assembling stuff (Heck, many of us still aren’t even over LEGO). And they enjoy being the troubleshooters, zeroing in on why the damn fan won’t stop buzzing or why the rack keeps falling. To help with all of this is the universal garage masculinity staple – the toolbox.
For every time an excuse is sought to whip out the tools, Nappa Dori has got you covered. They offer a smart looking leather toolkit that neatly folds and closes. Comes with a set of tools. (₹8,800)
5. Grenadier Leather Mini Pouch
This one is right out of a soldier’s trunk in World War 1. As it happens, grenadier also means a soldier specialised in the throwing of grenades (it is the name of one of Nappa Dori’s collections).
The leather used for the pouch has a lot of grain and a bit of natural fade to make it look rustic and purpose built. The button and rivets are nice touches which keep the classic vibes going. Throw in some cash, cards and a Swiss knife for good measure. (₹2,800)
While I’ve been quite used to paper bookmarks, the one in metal that Nappa Dori reminds me of the one my grandfather used to keep in his patient record diaries and medical journals. Another reminder that things of such high utility at one point were made with permanence in mind. I’d like to believe we still do enough paper book reading for this to find a place. (₹750)
7. Honorary mention: Monocle
Now here’s something you have absolutely no use for. It isn’t even something we would have seen with our elders at home. But I seem to irrationally really like it. A monocle was basically an upper-class accessory for men in the 19th century and I have regularly only spotted it on The Penguin, a villain in the Batman series and comics. It’s great for accessorising on theme night or looking like a high class intellectual at a museum you’ve been forced into. (₹1,650)
Do we really need any of these things? Of course we don’t. But many little pleasures in life would find no place if need were the yardstick.
Can they be called indulgences, then? Hell yes. Because well crafted things out of natural materials put a smile on our face. They have a bit more soul, I feel. Think of the difference in what emotion solid wood evokes as opposed to a laminate.
We now have enough around us with advanced synthetics and what not, so it’s nice to have some objects that keep it raw and traditional. Small victories against straight lines and sharp corners.
Who’s it for: Vintage lover or one on the lookout for romance in inanimate objects.
Talking point: The wide breadth of everyday things that have been given the Dori treatment and moulded with a consistent aesthetic and approach.
Cool little detail: They’re pretty big on dog love. You can get your dog a leather collar from Nappa Dori and also take them along to Cafe Dori (Nappa Dori’s cafe in Chhattarpur, New Delhi), where they’re very welcome.
Winning combination: Classic old world design + Rustic vibes in a modern package
Pricing: Mentioned with each product above.
Objects I’ve written about are just a small selection from what’s on offer. You can check out and shop the entire collection online on their website at NappaDori.com.
Nappa Dori has stores in Delhi (Dhan Mill Compound – Chhattarpur, Hauz Khas Village, Meherchand Market, Select Citywalk), Gurgaon (One Horizon Center), Bengaluru (Phoenix Market City), Mumbai (Colaba). Their stores are really well thought out and designed; an extension of their brand ethos where experience and design is everything. Special shout out to Cafe Dori in Delhi where you can kick back with a brilliant hot chocolate after getting your leather fix.
Limited range of stock is also available at select stores in Chennai, USA, UK, France, Qatar, Kuwait. Check these out at nappadori.com/stores.
Have you bought anything from Nappa Dori or been to one of their stores? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this story interesting or useful, please spread the indie brand goodness by sharing it!
Photos Courtesy: Nappa Dori (nappadori.com)