The week began with International Jewellery London (IJL), a premier exhibition of gems and jewellery at the Olympia London from 1st to 3rd September. Jewellery is always an attraction for everyone, so it is difficult to say what particularly was the main attraction of the show. But there were certain Indian elements which I must bring to the forefront.
For the first time, there was an India-UK bilateral round table meeting where I held discussions on bilateral engagement in gems and jewellery sector with Simon Forrester, CEO of the National Jewellery Association. It was the first meeting, but a very fruitful one. It would not have been possible without the support and active efforts of Indian jewellers, especially Jayant Reniga of Pure Jewels.
Moving ahead, there was a panel discussion on the topic of ‘British Asian Jewellery Consumers and their Insatiable Love of Jewellery’ which was moderated by David Brough, Editor and Co-founder of Jewellery Outlook magazine. Panellists were Paul Beesley, (Biard & Co.), Pravin Pattni, (Minar Jewellers), Manju Munot, (Dimee International) and Sameer Lilani, (Amrapali Jewels) where I delivered concluding remarks.
During the day, I interacted with several jewellers and designers to understand and also to promote India’s engagement in the sector. Very interestingly, there were some noticeable India-connected jewellery designers, more like start-ups. One of them was Kastur Jewels of Rajvi Vora. She won the ‘Fashion Fusion’ category in the first-ever ‘Leading Lights Awards’ held at the IJL. The brand derives title from her grandmother’s name and she creates fusions of classical designs with modern fashions. Rajvi’s primary inspiration lies in Historical royal India, yes Maharajas and Maharanis.
While Indian origin jeweller Jayant Reniga’s company Pure Jewels was shortlisted for ‘Best Use of Technology’ category, a Delhi based blogger Preeta Agarwal won the ‘Blogger of the Year’ award.
Another interesting designer was Aurelie Dellasanta, a Swiss-French designer who has engaged with underprivileged children in India for making her jewellery. She also funds some children’s schooling in India. Dhrangadhra in Gujarat was the place where she learnt some techniques of jewellery making and she proudly displays them in her collection which is inspired by animal shapes. One of her collection – Jeevan – highlights Indian style and make.
A young entrepreneur Dhwani Bansal proudly exhibited her collection which she had brought from her Bangalore based showroom. She studied Jewellery Designing in UK, went to India and started her own brand which she aims to expand in the UK. Her promising work will certainly become favourite of many in the near future.
The gems and jewellery sector is very important in India with the domestic size of approximately USD 75 billion, having more than 300,000 players, generating 4.6 million employment and earning USD 32 billion in export revenue during FY 2018-19. Similarly, here in UK also, Indian consumers of jewellery provide a sizeable market in UK as they still retain insatiable love for jewellery. The craftsmanship of India, with a long tradition of jewellery making, can add a golden touch to the jewellery market of UK.
Can we say, these jewellers and the connection of jewellery is a living bridge between India and UK?
(Expressed opinion is personal)
Do you have a story or suggestion for this column?
Email at: [email protected]