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All about the Atelier
Hidesign began as a hobby. A curiosity of leather, a chance to experiment and to build something by hand. That it developed into a successful brand from a two man workshop was a happy surprise. While much has evolved over the years, our love for innovation and leather artistry lives on, and is best experienced at our atelier in Pondicherry.
Through the 80s, Dilip Kapur, Hidesign’s founder, would bike across eight little workshops across Pondicherry’s Heritage Town. The company's first atelier was at 7, Rue Casern, now the boutique hotel Le Dupleix. Our workshops across town kept sprouting, as Hidesign grew internationally, until it was impossible for him bike between them all. Dilip, finally accepted that it was time for one large home for the brand.
“I didn’t want to work in a factory. I wanted a place that felt natural and wild, a place that would stimulate my mind and help build a community.” says Dilip. After many industrial proposals, full of concrete slabs, narrow windows and “productive” floor plans, Dilip began to despair. Help arrived from a fellow Aurovillian and friend.
Ray Meeker, a celebrated ceramic artist and architect used clay from the site to fire bricks that built our atelier. Constructed on a large campus full of lily ponds and waterfalls, landscaped by Claire Borg, the earthy building fit right in. Spacious halls circled by large windows that peep out into the lush garden, make the workspace airy and bright.
With over 90% craftswomen, set in a wild campus full of kingfishers, ducks and orchids, the Hidesign atelier is like no other. The rhythm of the tools, the laughter of our craftswomen as they work in small groups and the shimmering ponds in the campus, always remind us of who we are as Hidesign and why we and our products are different.