Making the Cut
Designer Nirav Modi shares some of his jewellery-making secrets as his brand presents its latest collection in Hong Kong, writes Emilie Yabut-razon
From left: Nirav Modi in his Mumbai office; the Hong Kong boutique; Modi with Anita Yuen n elegantly suited Nirav Modi sits in the intimate parlour of his eponymous jewellery brand’s Hong Kong boutique, which is a far cry from his 28,000sqft Mumbai headquarters. Indianborn Modi is here to present to special clients his latest line, Luminance. Like the rest of his range, it pares the metal to a minimum and maximises the visual impact of the diamonds.
The soft-spoken designer says he has always aimed to create pieces that stand out, a goal clearly achieved in Luminance. The flower-themed line includes rings, earrings, ear cuffs and necklaces created with a mix of diamond cuts—brilliant, old, rose and a special pear-shaped cut called Jasmine in which the diamonds are angled a certain way to enhance their brilliance. All the stones are set en tremblant, creating movement.
“Every cut has a purpose,” says Modi, who has patented three of them. “We don’t create the cut just to add facets; we do it for a reason, and it’s usually to make the pieces light, with little metal and brilliant stones. They move with you.” Modi adds that in his line of work, innovation is important. “I want my pieces to be comfortable but be made of the finest quality possible. It’s a combination of art and engineering.”
One of Modi’s great innovations is the Embrace bangle, which is made of metal and diamonds but stretches like elastic. “It took us two years and 800 different parts to achieve,” he says. The inspiration for it came while he was watching his daughters playing with plastic bangles. “I thought, why can’t women have fun with their jewellery?” The Embrace, which