From Bollywood to Hollywood, India’s premier jewelry brand Amrapali is quickly becoming known as the jeweler to the stars. With its modern interpretations of classic Indian craftsmanship, it’s no wonder that A-listers Jennifer Lopez, Sonam Kapoor, Rachel McAdams and the Queen of Jaipur count themselves as devoted clients. Luxemi was lucky enough to catch up with designer and Head of Operations Tarang Arora at India’s International Jewelry Week 2011 to find out his inspiration for the latest collection and his own personal style icon (hint…she’s not Indian).
- Who is your inspiration? India and its wide array of traditions and cultures, each of these facets as a rainbow inspires me.
- Any fashion icons you relate to or whose style you really like? There are so many people experimenting and expressing themselves with the way they look and dress. My all-time favorite is Gwen Stefani, who continues to look stylish even after being in the industry for so long. Currently, Lady Gaga is such a breath of fresh air – her outlook is unique. We need more people like her with an unabashed showcase of what she likes.
- Indian fashion is making waves on the global front, how does that effect the fashion scenario here? India is now seen as a big fashion creator and it gives us more exposure. Amrapali can boast of a distinguished clientele amongst Hollywood celebrities. It’s great to know that international audiences are opening up to our designs and culture. Our transition started with the movie Troy and after that, Hollywood took notice of our jewelry and style. Also, that was the right time when Indian fashion had started making its place in the international market.
- What is the biggest difference between Indian and international fashion? What are our strengths and weaknesses? Indian fashion is less experimental than international fashion. People are still quite restrictive of what they wear even though it’s evolving. Our strengths lie in our technique, when it comes to hand-made garments, jewelry etc. Also we love to experiment with colors and fashion here is unapologetically vibrant. In terms of jewelry you can really create some magnificent pieces and the masses love it. Our weaknesses in terms of fashion would be the lack of knowledge and services – pre-sales and post-sales. Also Indians hesitate in truly experimenting and actually going all out but that too is getting better now.
- How would you describe your design sensibility? Amrapali’s designs in two words are ethnic chic.
- What are your opinions on recycling jewelry or preserving vintage jewelry? Jewelry is not something which can be recycled. Gold is a precious metal and each time a piece is melted there is a lot of wastage. We believe we have a good collection of vintage jewelry which has been built over the years. Sometimes we get just parts of old jewelry like a part of an old necklace or a hair pin. We add our own touch to it and join it to make it a new piece altogether.
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— By Fashion Bombay for Luxemi