Anthropologie’s $2,200 makeover to Indian cycle rickshaw
Who would have thought that the Indian rickshaw, which is a means of transport for many, would get a high style fashion makeover by designers? Well, the Anthropologie store designers, who took an inspiration from this humble three-wheeler on a visit to India are offering a green and red rickshaw on the eve of Christmas that will retail at $2,200. Interestingly, the rickshaw is a mode of communication to thousands of people in India, who cannot afford a car or other means of transport. The Philadelphia based company considers it as a smash hit gift item for the customers round the festive season.
After seeing the price tag if you are guessing that this rickshaw is adorned with precious stones and made of gold or chrome then you will be highly disappointed. The body of the rickshaw is made of regular iron metal, seats are made of cotton with plain jane rubber tires.
The Antrhopologie team says, “While on a trip to India, some of our team flagged down a rickshaw for a spur of the moment tour of the town. Inspired by the ride and feeling a bit whimsical, we decided to design our own set of wheels, with some very special touches like a collapsible kantha fabric canopy, handlebar streamers, a bell for bring bringing on the bike path and even a headlight that illuminates when the pedals are cranked. An instant conversation starter on the road or on display, we’ll bet you’re whisked away on the adventure of a lifetime once you hop on – or into – our quixotic carriage. No two are exactly alike.”
The rickshaw has a hood like it regularly does, but the designer touch is visible in the seat covers, which are made of ethnic batik print, and one of the two rare wheels has a Hindi inscription on it inspired by the Bollywood movies. Though, a rickshaw ride sure seems interesting to people from outside Indian culture, but making this a part of your decor should only appeal to bollywood lovers. Unless, you are planning to feature this in your home theatre room at home, we don’t see this adding up much aesthetic value to plush interiors. Though, the New York Times Editors has listed this rickshaw in their dining and home gift guide section, but we do feel you can use your $2,200 bucks elsewhere for what originally costs raround $300 in India. Moreover, if someone wants to ship this limited edition rickshaw from Anthropologie they will have to shell out extra $300 bucks, which will further increase the cost to $2500.
Earlier similar set of designer rickshaws were up on display at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week last year. Several Indian designers such as Rajesh Pratap Singh, Shantanu-Nihil, Kavita Bhartia and Parvesh-Jai, added their imagination to the otherwise dull and dreary rickshaws, often seen on Indian roads.