Low profile designer Sagar Tenali works predominantly with natural fabrics. His personal style is understated, a lot like the clothes he designs.
My personal style signifier: Is understated. I am a jeans and shirt kind of person and I usually wear shirts I design, with a pair of jeans. I have a thing for shoes and watches. I like big watches and have at least 15 of them. I am not particular about brands when it comes to shoes, but the style and the fit are important.
An unforgettable place I have travelled to: I don’t like to travel much and I am not a very party person either. So if I travel for a holiday, I prefer remote places which are not very crowded.
One unforgettable place I visited was a tiny village called Gundalametla in Tirupati. It was so remote that there was not even a direct bus connection to the village. I had to hire a cycle and go there. The reason I went there was to learn a local craft — wood carving and metal casting. The master craftsman lived in that village and I stayed there for four days. The villagers were warm and hospitable and strangers would invite me to their homes and serve me food in banana leaves. The village itself was lovely, very green and set amidst mountains.
If I didn’t live in Hyderabad, I would live: On an isolated island. Being a Cancerian, I would want to live in a place that has a lot of beaches.
The best souvenir I have brought home: An umbrella I bought in Bangkok. I was there during the summer so it was very handy. I like it because it is hand-made from eco-friendly material and has no metal fittings. I have put it up as a permanent fixture in my store.
The books at my bedside table: I am not a voracious reader but I like reading books on philosophy. Right now I am reading The Bible. I also like reading Telugu literature, especially the writings of an old author called Endemoori Veerendranath. He has written books on philosophy that I find inspiring.
In my fridge you will always find: Amul butter. I love butter so I always ensure I have it at home.
My favourite restaurants in the city: I love experimenting with food and I like Arabian, Chinese and Mexican food. I visit Mainland China and Barbeque Nation frequently.
The music I am listening to: Sufi music and hymns and chants.
The best gift I’ve given recently: The master craftsman I learnt wood carving from had given me beautifully carved idols of Rama, Sita and Lakshman. I gifted them to a friend when he graduated from college.
The best gift you’ve received recently: A solitaire ring and a Tag Heuer watch that my wife gifted me.
An indulgence I would never forgo: Sketching. My house is full of papers with my sketches. It is something I would never stop doing.
The site that inspires me most: The monument at Tank Bund called Ma Sahib ka Maqbara. I love the lattice work that has been done on the tomb — it is so intricate. Someday, I would love to shoot a collection there, if possible.
A recent find: The Italian shoe store called Uomo Ricco. They have the most exquisite range of handmade Italian shoes in leather. I bought a pair from there for myself.
The last item I added to my wardrobe: I made a pair of pleated Patialas for myself in burgundy coloured silk. It looks gorgeous when I wear it with a black bandhgala and I must say it turned out really well.
Filmmakers whose movies I love: Madhur Bhandarkar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. I don’t watch films just for entertainment. I like to watch movies that make me think. A movie should leave me with something that makes me think about it for months and years.
The place I go to for my haircuts and facials: I go to Manea for my haircut.
Artists whose work I admire: M F Hussain is an all time favourite and I love the work of Laxma Goud. I like to paint too and someday I will get around to it. I find the way Subodh Gupta uses steel utensils to make his sculptures very interesting.
My favourite perfume: Issey Miyake. I always buy this brand.
As told to Minal Khona
Photographs by Sucharitha Rao