Exclusive Cuppa: Sabyasachi Mugs and Tumblers at Tata Starbucks in India
NEW DELHI (IANS) – Tata Starbucks and celebrated Indian designer and couturier Sabyasachi Mukherjee have collaborated on a limited-edition collection available only in India. The Sabyasachi X Starbucks collection includes ceramic mugs and stainless-steel tumblers as well as other lifestyle drinkware.
The Sabyasachi X Starbucks collection exemplifies an Indian art concept rooted in its multi-cultural heritage and celebrating the power of cross-cultural storytelling. Sabyasachi’s signature interpretation of Toile de Jouy with Indian flora and fauna serves as the central motif of this limited-edition collection’s design. The Sabyasachi Art Foundation, a for-profit collective housed within the brand to empower, mentor, and employ fine artists, handcrafted the digital print.
The collaboration will support ‘Educate Girls’, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving girls’ and young women’s education in rural India by providing the resources they need to develop their skills and find jobs. “I am honored to collaborate with an iconic global brand like Starbucks to help amplify a cause so dear to my heart. I hope this collaboration sparks hope, creates change and helps give back to a most worthy cause,” said Sabyasachi Mukherjee. “Not enough can be said about the transformative power of education, it is the ultimate catalyst of change, development and progress-and our fundamental right. Educating girls, all girls, remains the need of the hour in India, for a better and brighter future where all women are educated, empowered and free to live a life of their own making.”
Sushant Dash, CEO, Tata Starbucks Private Limited and Sabyasachi Mukherjee:
Q: This is the first collaboration Tata Starbucks has done with Sabyasachi Mukherjee, how do you complement each other?
Dash: At Tata Starbucks, we are always scouting for partners and opportunities which catalyze our humane connections with our consumers. As a global brand, we believe it is our prerogative to be a beacon of hope and change for our consumers and be able to give back to the community we serve.
Sabyasachi was a natural fit for this collaboration as we both resonate with a sense of purpose, are loved by our consumers and stand for the hallmark of quality in our respective fields. Not only was this an opportunity to design some beautiful merchandise for the two iconic brands but also to partner to be a force for good.
Q: Tata being the oldest conglomerate in the country and Sabyasachi being one of the youngest brands what do each bring to the table?
Dash: Starbucks, over the past few years, has slowly become a part of its customer’s life- starting with a great cup of coffee, a great meeting place or a place to treat your family. Sabyasachi on the other hand has reshaped and revamped the fashion landscape in India and has been the torchbearer of indigenous craft and tradition in this country.
Both Starbucks and Sabyasachi being archetypal brands, encompass a loyal customer base and are an emblem of world-class quality. Each brings a strong sense of purpose, sparks some hope, and gives an opportunity for the combined customer base to actively participate and support Starbucks’ bigger mission for change.
Sabyasachi: The most important thing is that we like to collaborate with like-minded brands where both philosophy and values align. And we met a great match in Starbucks! They are a global iconic brand, they get to connect with their customers in India in a more intimate way and we get to make Sabyasachi a little more accessible! But most of all, it’s about combining our platforms to help support and amplify a very worthy cause, the education of girl child in India, with our partner Educate India.
Q: Tell us about the concept, design and products.
Sabyasachi: Their coffee mugs and tumblers are probably the most iconic merchandise because they are linked so directly to drinking coffee. And for me, I wanted to celebrate the iconic.
The Sabyasachi Art Foundation has always played a significant role in our collaborations and I wanted to pay homage to Bengal through the Sundarbans and its natural flora and fauna. I’m very proud of my Bengal roots. And I thought that it would be nice to be able to showcase the skills of the Art Foundation and render it on the most iconic merchandise of Starbucks. Because I think when two strong, distinctive forces come together, we should come together to celebrate our very best. So we paired their mugs and tumblers with our signature interpretation of Toile de Jouy by creating something that already has a strong visual connection to celebrate the heart of both our brands.
Q: With this collaboration would you say aspiration and heritage come together to cater to an urban-millennial audience?
Dash: Honoring both Starbucks’ and Sabyasachi’s commitment to offering a world-class service, this collaboration brings together our profound heritage, aspirational values and our longing to give many customers the unique opportunity to experience two of their favorite brands come together. Starbucks as a neighborhood store is committed on being a catalyst for change by bringing together its partners, customers and communities to take positive action around the world.
Sabyasachi: A collaboration like this, of course increases our access to various audiences. But it also offers us a chance to share both our platforms to support and help amplify the wonderful work being done by Educate India. And I hope their work with empowering girls in India, spreads far and wide!
Q: Sabyasachi yours is a luxury brand, and yet you effortlessly and simultaneously sell out within minutes with a line at fast fashion brand H&M, you have a luxury collection with Thomas Goode and now an aspirational line with Tata Starbucks, how do you create the magic?
Sabyasachi: The magic of the sales is a question for my customers! But I am very grateful for the warm reception my work receives. It is very overwhelming and humbling.
As a luxury brand, I am committed to craft, heritage, value and the finest of quality. And I will not compromise my standards and values because the integrity of what we create is sacrosanct, but it is not an accessible model. The beauty of collaborations is that I can work with someone who works in a different model and it makes things dynamic and exciting. We are thoughtful about our collaborations and come together with partners to either increase accessibility or to create visibility for Indian crafts and luxury, or to help further India’s presence in sectors where we are under-represented or to create an impact for causes that are very dear to our heart. And I think when the intention is pure, the magic follows.
Q: Tata is known for its CSR initiatives, and this one too is supports Educate Girls in their endeavor towards empowering girls in rural India. How important is it for the future of this country to give girls the opportunity and support they need to shine?
Dash: As a global brand, it is our prerogative to be able to give back to the community we serve. We believe that ‘education’ is the ultimate catalyst of change and hence it becomes pivotal for organizations like us to not only support such causes but also be an impetus to change.
Since entering the market in 2012, Tata Starbucks has honored its commitment to grow the representation of women in the workforce and encourage a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion through various initiatives. In fact, women now make up to 35 percent of Tata Starbucks workforce, a key gender diversity milestone toward its goal to achieve 40 percent gender diversity by end of 2022. As part of Tata Starbucks’ ongoing commitment to contribute to the community, we aim to take significant steps to impact the lives of girls in rural India and our rich relationship with Educate Girls is testament of that.
The limited-edition collection launched on April 12 is priced between INR 1600 and INR 2500, and is available at all Starbucks locations in India, while supplies last.