Tastemaker. Stylist. Bespoke menswear designer. Sartorial consultant. These are a few adjectives that best describe Mumbai-based designer, Govinda Mehta. Founder of Raisson D’Être, a bespoke menswear brand, Mehta defines his tryst with designing as a “happy accident.” He recalls how his friends used to come to him for advice to help with their sartorial choices, as they loved the way he “could put together a look.” One even coined the title “tastemaker!” While helping a friend out with getting a suit made, Mehta realised that he wasn’t satisfied with the fit, and ran between four to five tailors to get it customised. During this process, he found his ‘reason to be’ or in other words, Raisson D’Être; with no formal training whatsoever. The rest, as they say, is sartorial history. Today, his storied clientele includes—industrialists, young entrepreneurs, investment bankers, architects and celebrities. Actors Farhan Akhtar, Ranveer Singh, Kunal Kapoor and more, turn to him for well-tailored and customised designs.
Raisson D’Être, started off from a small 100-square feet studio/workspace. Now, his warehouse-style atelier in South Mumbai, is spread across an expansive 4,000 square feet—with Burma-teak wood floorings, custom-made furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows. “Earlier, I was running between my office and the factory. I wanted to consolidate and get everything under one roof.” Much like the clothes he creates and his unmatched personal style, the studio-cum-factory is an extension of the same aesthetic—everything has synergy and tells a story. “Some of my clients drop by to just hang out because the space resonates with them.” In his atelier, there is a wall dedicated to the paintings of his kids, a son and a daughter. “Since work keeps me busy and in office for long hours, I sometimes feel like an absentee dad. This right here, is a piece of home for me.”
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Mehta also loves Italians: Their effortless style, craftsmanship and the way they pronounce his name in true Italian fashion; ‘Goveeendaa’. He’s a regular fixture at Florence’s Pitti Uomo—the menswear tradeshow that draws retailers, editors, designers and menswear enthusiasts from around the globe. He sources his fabrics from Italy too; one of his current favourites: A material that’s a blend of linen/wool/silk (Lano/Lino/Seta in Italian).
For him, the ‘product’ is the focal point. “Putting together a new wardrobe for a client is great fun—balancing colours, textures and personalities. I love what I do. I need to understand a person’s personality to create something that will work for them the best. ” The studio stocks thousands of fabrics—comprising formal/business wear, evening/leisure wear and holiday wear. You can customise shirts with their exclusive range of collars and cuffs for your own unique piece. “The personality that a shirt collar and cuff carry, make the shirt.”
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The designer doesn’t believe in doing collections. He wants his clients to have clothes that are functional yet stylish, and are not season-bound. “Colour is also an integral part in my effort to convey an idea or emotion through my work.” You will find unusual colours as Bordeaux/wine-hued, sage green, icy blues and much more in his collection. His grooms’ wear/wedding line has unusual collars, contemporary silhouettes and other functional and stylish elements. Mehta’s clothes are known for ‘fitting-like-a glove.’ Gurkha trousers inspired from the British Army, Shacket (shirt+jacket) an easy throw-on layering piece to suit our weather, Goth-inspired contemporary suits, bomber jackets and kurtas in unusual hues and prints and combos—are a few standout pieces.
It doesn’t take you long to realise that he prefers to stay out of the limelight. He’s almost uncomfortable with it. Mehta’s inactive IG page is proof that he likes his work to speak for itself, and his ever-expanding list of clients is a testimonial to that. The minute you walk into his atelier, you’ll get a sense of who he is—someone with an impeccable eye for detail and with the quiet confidence to boot.