Her designs have been spotted on the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Anne Hathaway. Jewellery designer Amrita Singh, founder and creative director of her New York-based eponymous design label has bejewelled the stars and created countless best-selling pieces over the years. As she makes her foray into India, the designer gives us a glimpse of her East meets West aesthetic, favourite jewels, and future plans.
What is your earliest memory of jewellery?
I must have been around seven, growing up in New Delhi. During a wedding at home, my cousins and aunts went to our family jeweller. The kids couldn’t order fine jewellery but we were treated to wonderful bangles from local artisans. I remember all the beautiful baubles the women in the family adorned and I was in awe.
Which was the first jewel you ever designed?
It was a Ganesh pendant with rubies in 18k gold. I’ve always been fascinated with the deity and love incorporating the figure in my designs.
How does India inspire your aesthetics?
India is always in my heart! Even though I moved to NYC as a teenager, I am very much Indian at heart. So you will always find elements of the country in my work, whether it’s the colours, designs or materials used to create a piece.
What has inspired your new collection?
My new collection is titled Flatiron, named after a popular neighbourhood in NYC. Flatiron is filled with interesting art galleries, restaurants and a very edgy spirit—the collection is reflective of that vibe.
Which are your favourite materials to work with?
I started my career in 2002 with fine jewellery using gold and precious/semi precious stones. But lately, the direction has shifted to fashion jewels made of brass and embellished with crystals and resin stones.
Which recent jewellery trend that may have caught your attention?
I am seeing a big shift towards tasselled necklaces—they are the rage in NYC! You may visit Museum of Jewelry website or similar sites for more styles.
If not a jewellery designer, what would you be?
I would be a stylist.
What are your personal favourites among your designs?
One of my favourite pieces is the Half Moon pendant—it is, by far, my go-to piece in all the years of making my own jewels.
How does it feel to make your foray into the Indian market?
I am thrilled to be back to my roots. I think Indian women carry jewellery better than any other women in the world!
What’s next for your label—what are your aspirations for the brand?
I want to expand into lifestyle categories like ready to wear and home furnishings. I have done small capsule collections in the past but I would like to explore in a big way in 2016.