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The classic with a new element is Ivar’s zing factor in the Maldives

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Ritika Ravi’s jewellery brand Ivar is brewing up a storm in the picturesque Maldives. The Retail Jeweller World looks at how her wires string together to belt out the beautiful music through her pieces.

When did you discover your love for jewellery?

I’ve loved jewellery for as long as I can remember. Even when I was very young, I had very specific ideas about the kind of jewellery I wanted to wear. I would draw it out, as well as I could back then, and give it to my mother. She loves jewellery as well, so it’s definitely possible that I’ve inherited it from her.


What kind of designs do you think do well? What inspires yours?

I’ve always been of the opinion that jewellery is meant to be worn as much as possible. I think the kind of designs that have the best chance of doing well are ones that are unique, yet wearable. Most of my designs are inspired by associating the traditional with the contemporary; as can be seen in my three collections.


How would you describe your style?  What is your design language?

I would describe my style as sophisticated yet edgy. You can rarely go wrong with the classics but it’s always nice to add in a new element so that’s what I try to do with my designs. 


How do you think the jewellery industry in your region has evolved with time?

I think there’s been a lot of change in a relatively short period of time. The focus with jewellery is now on how versatile it can be- we always look to wear it in multiple ways, stack it or reverse it. There is also a big focus on sustainability now as well as wearability. 


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

I’ve mostly worked with 18k gold in my collections, but I think it’s always fun to experiment with new material. The way I’ve set polki diamonds in my collection “10.18” is a favourite of mine. It was fun to experiment with a traditional craft and figure out a way to make it contemporary.


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

I think it would be really hard for me to pick one favourite collection. The first ones I launched- the 10.18 and Troubadour will always be special to me. The 10.18 specifically is inspired by the sands and the sea of the Maldives, while the Troubadour is a younger collection, inspired by the whimsical tunes of the musical wanderer. My newest collection Charu holds a distinctive place in my heart as it is inspired by my relationship with my mother and is a take on the South Indian traditional ring – the Nelli.

What are your feelings about sustainable jewellery designing? How do you incorporate that in your work?

Sustainability is something Ivar has strived for since the very launch of the brand. I think it’s definitely important to be as sustainable as possible in both design and in the brand’s daily operations. In order to reduce our overall impact, Ivar has also adopted a made to order policy at our flagships. This reduces our overall environment waste and improves efficiency. We also try to be as transparent as possible with our supply chain and all of our packaging is made only from recycled material and is biodegradable.


Where do you think retailers and manufacturers need to improve when it comes to the jewellery industry?

I would say the first step is transparency with the client, which I think a lot of brands have been doing recently. I don’t just mean in terms of environmental sustainability but also in terms of human resources and being open about their manufacturing process and labour practices.

2021 is the beginning of a new decade, what is your vision for your organization and the overall jewellery industry of the region?  

Both 2020 and 2021 have been more difficult years than anticipated for the world in general and more specifically for India. I’m sincerely hoping things will get better this year for all of us. My vision for the brand would ideally be to open a new store, and expand our presence in the global north.


What have been the learnings from the pandemic for our jewellery industry.

I’ve learned that we can rarely predict the future with too much accuracy. I’ve learned the value of our craftsmen cannot be overstated and that it’s important for all of us in the industry to look forward and stay optimistic.


What products according to you  have done well in the region this year in terms of Gold / Diamonds / colour gemstones / platinum / anything else and if there are any specific trends. 

In terms of my products, I would say the polki diamonds have done well in India. A really big trend over the past year and a half has been the stackable rings and bracelets and I think that is here to stay.

How do you see the post pandemic and current scenario in retail?

I think we will definitely see a lot more digital or virtual stores in general in a post pandemic world. Shopping has been made much easier for the client sitting at home over the past year.

However, for jewellery, with it being such a high value product, clients still want to see the pieces in person, try them on and even consult with a designer for bespoke orders. So I think jewellery stores will continue to be an important way to sell jewellery.


How has digital media and technology helped in the jewellery business and what would you like to see more?

I think digital media has made our exposure to new ideas, designs and brands more accessible and has been instrumental in making the jewellery industry more global and helped in increasing sales. I would like to see more platforms to help newer and younger brands get more visibility. 

What is your advice for budding designers? My advice to young designers would be- Figure out where you would like to be first and then work backwards. You may start and restart an idea more than ten times but it’s always better to be sure you’ve explored every option before settling on something, whether it’s an idea or a design or anything.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller World News

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