The Good Life

Luxury at work

Raise the fashion bar at office with these high-end wardrobe essentials

Amal Clooney can turn heads. It’s not because she is George Clooney’s wife or a famous human rights lawyer, but because she has style, especially with her workwear. The suave alpha woman has made headlines for her designer pencils skirts, a simple white dress, sunglasses, pumps and even her matching document cases. Wearing luxury brands is not just about parading one’s wealth. It can also be about rewarding oneself, for achieving a certain level of success in life.

Here are a few picks from pens to shoes from the best international labels, which are worth slogging for. This Diwali, upgrade your office desk and wardrobe.

Pens: These Caran D’Ache limited edition pens are technology meeting perfection. The Astrograph has 99 components. It is rocket-like in appearance and is claimed to be the fountain pen made up of our childhood dreams and wonders. Coated in rhodium, these pens are priced at Rs.2 million each. It takes five years and 500 manual operations to make one of these pens at the company’s Geneva-based workshop.

Another gem from the same brand is the 1010 Timekeeper pen, available in both fountain and roller variants. The design pays homage to watch dials. Exclusive elements of watchmaking, such as guilloché, engraving, manual polishing and lacquering, have been used in manufacturing these pieces. Only 500 pieces each of these pens were made. A single pen costs Rs.1.05 million. A retailer of luxury brands, William Penn, sells at least a dozen of these pens in India every month. "Sometimes the count can go up to 10 or 12," says Nikhil Ranjan, MD of William Penn.

“Caran D'Ache is the only brand manufacturing pens in Switzerland that is known for its watches. So the brand brings in the same craftsmanship as used in watchmaking,” says Ranjan.

Belts: A necessity in men’s formals and a glamorous accent in women’s formal dresses, the perfect belt completes an office attire. Salvatore Ferragamo’s double Gancio logo leather belt is a treat. The iconic Italian brand’s belt has a sleek black-metal buckle bearing the signature logo with intricate engraving. The calf leather belt is priced at Rs.92,978 on the luxury wear website Elitify. The e-commerce website’s CEO Ritesh Srivastava says, “These brands are heritage brands. They have time and again inspired different fashion trends across the globe.”

Likewise, the bright pink Dolce and Gabbana piece for women declares its brand with its big logo-shaped golden buckle. The calfskin strap of the belt has cufflink-style press-stud fastenings. Each cost around Rs.57,090.

Document cases: Few are happy to carry work home. But, if you have to, why not do it with panache. While German brand Montblanc has famous pens, they also sell coveted document cases. The Montblanc extreme document case and the 4810 Westside from its Sartorial collection are two such. The former, priced at Rs.61,300, is a dark blue leather bag with a subtle woven carbon look. It could also be attached to a trolley, for when you have to zip through airport lounges. The latter, priced at Rs.70,700, is a slender black office bag made from calfskin leather. It has a shiny gunmetal hardware finishing.

Delhi-based Kapoor Watch is one of the major sellers of the brand in India. Prateik Kapoor, head (operations and marketing) of Kapoor Watch, says, “Post liberalisation, we became the first ones to import Montblanc, in 1995, in India. The leather used in Montblanc bags is handpicked by expert craftsmen who do not allow even the slightest of imperfections. They are designed keeping in mind elegance, quality and comfort. Therefore, it commands a premium price."

Shoes: A pair of Prada shoes never fails to get listed as a wardrobe essential for power dressing. Worn by the who’s who of the fashion world, it definitely should be what you slip on for the next big office event. “The point-toe pumps in Saffiano leather is a Prada classic. These came into existence in the late 1970s, and continues to make a powerful style statement,” says Srivastava. The timeless high-heeled black pumps are priced at Rs.96,218.

Salvatore Ferragamo has a beautiful black pair for men. It is called the Fortunato lace-up shoes. Again made from calf-skin leather, a pair is well-suited for both formal events and parties. Srivastava says, “Every time you wear them, they will feel like they were meant for your feet.” This pair comes at a price of Rs.106,370.

Over the past few years, the trend of wearing international labels to work has been catching on in India. “40% of our customers come from tier-II and tier-III cities. Now, they don’t have to wait to visit a designer store in a big city,” says Ritesh Srivastava, CEO, Elitify. New luxury-brand online portals have been catering to the ever-increasing market demand for such indulgences.