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A combination of design, material and technique sets Ananya’s pieces apart

Ananya Malhotra’s brand, Ananya, is taking the shores of UK, USA and Qatar by storm. She talks to The Retail Jeweller World about her brand’s plans in the Middle East

When did you discover your love for jewellery?

Born into a family with a heritage in design and fashion, I began my journey at Central Saint Martins with the intention of pursuing fashion. When I had the opportunity to try my hand at jewellery in my foundation year, there was no going back I fell in love with the subject. After my BA degree I studied gemmology at the GIA. Jewellery has always been a big part of my culture and heritage growing up. It is symbolic and marks a special event or moment in life. 

What inspired you to launch your brand and how did you find the journey so far?

In my final year at CSM, I spent some time in jewellery workshops in India learning about old jewellery making techniques and it fascinated me. After my gemmology degree, I went on to do a gemstone healing course. I wanted to fuse all my knowledge and create a brand that celebrated the meaning and association with jewellery. I believe that jewellery is so much more than a material object and I wanted to create a brand around that philosophy.

How would you describe your collections?

My collections are often inspired by spiritual subjects. The collections are an intricate combination of design, material and technique. Each collection has a unique identity. They are feminine, delicate and detailed. Different gemstones are unique to each collection.

What kind of designs do you think have done well in the UAE region this year, in terms of gold, diamonds, coloured gemstones, platinum or any other trend?

Yellow gold and rose gold have been very popular. Ombré gemstones and rainbow sapphires have been trending as well. 

What inspires your designs?

Growing up with grandparents that are spiritual, I have always been greatly inspired by them and so are my design concepts. I love to work with coloured gemstones, layers and shapes. My designs are an amalgamation of concept, colour and form. 

How would you describe your style?  What is your design language and how do you go about it? 

My style is classic with a twist of feminine-edgy. My designs are a representation of me. I love to draw and watercolours are always involved in my initial design process. Everything for me has to be very visual, I love to work with sketchbooks and mood boards. 

How do you think the jewellery industry in the Middle East has evolved with time? How has the digital boom affected your industry and what have you learnt during the pandemic?

In the Middle East the taste in jewellery is very evolved and elegant. There is also a serious appreciation and understanding of coloured gemstones. 

The digital boom has been really positive for the jewellery industry. It has pushed people out of their comfort zone. Jewellery used to often be associated with a very outdated methods of selling however the pandemic has changed that. It has forced the industry to evolve its ways especially with the online space.  

What has your target audience been? How do they respond and connect to your work?

We have clients from several age groups however the one thing that they all have in common is that they are fashion forward and are never afraid to embrace their own personal style. 

Do you have any favourite metal or gemstone you like experimenting with?

I enjoy working with rose gold, I love the way it complements a ruby or highlights an emerald. I enjoy experimenting with emeralds and sapphires. Emeralds for their versatility despite having the same colour and sapphires for all their variety of colours. 

Talk to us about some of your most memorable collections.  What is your personal favourite till date?

The collections that are my favourite are Mogra and the Chakra bracelet. Mogra is inspired by jasmines. The collection is composed of hand-cut mother of pearl set in layers with sapphires, tourmalines or emeralds. They are surrounded by diamonds. The jasmine is symbolic of unity and hope, traditionally adorned by women to celebrate their femininity as goddesses. Chakra bracelets are crafted to give a deeper meaning to jewellery. The bracelets are combination of bar and beads, which can be personalised to the wearer’s requirements. Our In-house gemstone glossary helps find the right gemstones that resonate with the client. Different gemstones have different healing powers, and the Ananya Chakra Bracelet celebrates that.

Where do you want to see your boutique a decade from now?

I really enjoy taking on bespoke projects. I hope to be doing lots more of that and working on more high jewellery pieces with very rare gemstones. I also envision my boutique becoming a sanctuary for jewellery and healing as it is very much part of the brands philosophy. 

What are your feelings about sustainable jewellery designing?

Sustainable jewellery is the future, every small step counts in making a bigger change. We have worked on a few projects that use recycled gold and recycled gemstones.

What is your advice for budding designers?

My advice would be to have a clear vision for your designs, concepts and company. No matter what happens always stick to what you believe. Nothing comes easy but have to have patience and belief in your designs. 

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller World News

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