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Winged beauties

Winged beauties
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First Published: Fri, Jun 24 2011. 08 21 PM IST

Fan fair:(clockwise from top left) Rajkumar Jain with one of his favourite pieces; Torrento, an outdoor fan; Enigma, a single-blade fan and a fan that can be tilted at five angles. Photographs by Raje
Fan fair:(clockwise from top left) Rajkumar Jain with one of his favourite pieces; Torrento, an outdoor fan; Enigma, a single-blade fan and a fan that can be tilted at five angles. Photographs by Raje
Updated: Fri, Jun 24 2011. 08 21 PM IST
Pronounced as “Amos”, Anemos is the name for the Greek god of wind. It’s also a store that puts some imagination into the modest fan. Mumbai- based businessman Rajkumar Jain, 40, who imports high-end fans from the US, Brazil, Italy, Taiwan and China and restores antique pieces, established Anemos six years ago in Mumbai. He wanted to redefine the concept of fans and make them statement pieces in homes and hotels.
With two flagship stores in Mumbai, one each in Gurgaon and Ahmedabad, and stores opening in Delhi and Bangalore soon, Anemos is picking up momentum. The new collection includes fans such as Mela and Sole, which have blades that retract above the lamp when not in use, what remains looks only like a light fixture. While the Gurgaon Anemos stores fans and wood floorings, the Mumbai stores have a collection of antique furniture, artefacts and curios. A trained pilot, Jain has a fascination for propellers. You will find replicas of helicopter blades, aircraft and boat propellers in the Mumbai store. We spoke to Jain about his love of fans. Edited excerpts from the interview:
What made you think of setting up showrooms for out-of-the-ordinary fans?
Fan fair:(clockwise from top left) Rajkumar Jain with one of his favourite pieces; Torrento, an outdoor fan; Enigma, a single-blade fan and a fan that can be tilted at five angles. Photographs by Rajesh Gupta
It all started with a search for a ceiling fan for my home. While I was setting up my house in Mumbai in 2002, I couldn’t find anything apart from the basic industrial fans, which if you see in other developing countries, such as China and Brazil, are used in warehouses. There is lighting, flooring and a plethora of most home fittings, but a fan seemed to be like a stepchild. That’s weird considering the seasons of India, where you need a fan during most months of a year. Homes built in olden times still had some exquisite designs, but mass production killed the romance of the fan.
Why is the fan such a neglected item in Indian households?
It’s because there aren’t any pretty fans in the Indian market to start with. In high-end homes, architects end up making the entire house air conditioned, because they don’t find anything that goes with the theme of the rest of the house. It’s unhealthy and bad for the environment. I realized that people decide to do away with the fan altogether. There was a Mumbai-based family who did their house without any arrangements for fans at all, because everything available was plain ugly. Then they stumbled upon Anemos and saw the possibilities. The whole family turned up at the store. The son, daughter, mother, father—all chose their favourite fans for their rooms, and ceilings were torn into, new wiring fitted in, and their home now has fans.
What are your best-sellers? Why do you think they do well?
The Ball fan, with its simple yet contemporary design, is popular. It fits well in most places. Artemis is a new fan in our collection and is increasingly becoming a best-seller. The Edgewood is a winner because of its evergreen look. There is a lot of variety—from traditional fans with ornate filigree, stainless steel or nickel finishes to eco-friendly, natural palm leaf blades, to modern designs like the Enigma. An innovative fan is one with a winter mode that instead of throwing wind downwards, pulls up the air from the room and pushes the hot air trapped above, downwards. It removes the chill in the room.
You also customize fans. What does that involve?
People can start by choosing the metal finish they want, depending on the decor of their home. Brass door knobs and other fittings call for a brass finish. You can change the blades to hardwood or wicker. If you want to use the fan outdoors, use a weather-proof material. Typically it takes two-three weeks for us to deliver a customized fan and though the price doesn’t vary much from the original cost of the fan, it depends entirely on what changes you make to the fan.
What advice do you give to people who come to your store to buy fans, especially when they seem confused with the kind of choices available?
It helps to know if you want something that will blend in or you want a statement piece. In either case, you should keep in mind the interiors of your home and go along with that. The height of the ceiling determines if an elaborate fan is better or a basic one. Your choice can depend on whether you want a direct blast of air or an ambience-creating fan that just lightly circulates air.
Prices of fans start from Rs12,500.To check the collection, visit www.anemos.in
komal.sharma@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, Jun 24 2011. 08 21 PM IST