India Today - - COVER STORY - —Chumki Bharad­waj


ti­ful. In­ter­est­ingly, th­ese are su­perla­tives that can be used in­ter­change­ably whether defin­ing the edgy, con­tem­po­rary jew­ellery brand Isharya or its dy­namic founder-duo, Gauri and Rad­hika Tan­don. When an in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty lawyer, prac­tic­ing in Cal­i­for­nia comes to­gether with a grad­u­ate from the London School of Eco­nomics to start a busi­ness, jew­ellery isn’t your first guess. But for sis­ters-in law- Gauri and Rad­hika Tan­don, it was as or­ganic as be­ing mar­ried into the same fam­ily. What be­gan as a hobby to fur­nish re­quests from fam­ily and friends who ap­pre­ci­ated their aes­thetic sen­si­bil­i­ties, led to them for­mally launch­ing Isharya in 2007. The brand has cer­tainly come of age, es­pe­cially if their en­vi­able client list of Kim Kar­dashian, Jen­nifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, Freida Pinto, Sonam Kapoor, Se­lena Gomez and Priyanka Cho­pra is any in­di­ca­tion.

So it be­gins...

Although the brand re­tails at Har­vey Ni­chols, Har­rods, Sel­fridges and at The Chanakya, Delhi, among other premium lux­ury des­ti­na­tions, the birth or the growth tra­jec­tory of the brand was never the re­sult of a care­fully stud­ied busi­ness plan. “We were just hav­ing fun un­til one day, a ring Rad­hika was wear­ing was spot­ted and featured by the ed­i­tor of the Daily Candy, an on­line mag­a­zine. The re­sponse, queries and over­whelm­ing in­ter­est this gen­er­ated made us re­alise that we had found a niche and this In­dian-in­spired aes­thetic ap­pealed to more peo­ple than just us,” says Gauri, who heads the design team and over­sees prod­uct devel­op­ment. “We just knew the In­dian mar­ket wasn’t ready for us when we started so it was by de­fault that our en­er­gies were in­vested in de­vel­op­ing the Amer­i­can and Euro­pean mar­kets at that time,” adds Rad­hika who over­sees global mar­ket­ing, brand­ing, sales and busi­ness devel­op­ment.

Of DNA, design and drama.

What de­fines their design phi­los­o­phy is also their keen­est dif­fer­en­tia­tor: Isharya de­signs do not at­tempt to mimic or sim­u­late fine jew­ellery. “We are a brand that iden­ti­fies its aes­thetic as an In­dian-in­spired premium ac­ces­sories brand,” says Gauri. With a di­verse prod­uct of­fer­ing that in­no­vates each sea­son with some­thing novel, they walk hand in step with

a di­verse range of tastes and global trends with fine qual­ity and top-grade work­man­ship. “We use fil­i­gree, hand cut Polki mir­rors, novel stone cuts and enamel, which are all In­dian tech­niques of jew­ellery mak­ing but are all ex­e­cuted with a con­tem­po­rary spin. This is a very unique look abroad and that’s what makes us stand out.” Their jew­ellery is crafted in gold-plated brass and use dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als in each col­lec­tion such as ebony, resin, pearls, Swarovski crys­tals, and exotic stones. Their sig­na­ture mirror glass that mim­ics In­dian polkis, also known as rose cut di­a­monds, is their take on the clas­sic con­tem­po­rary. “We also ex­per­i­ment with tech­niques such as 3D printed jew­ellery, and have rein­vented In­dian style enam­elling to in­fuse colour to our pieces. Apart from clas­sic In­dian tech­niques, they have also used the French tech­nique of Plique A Jour (trans­lated as light of day) with stretched resin and no back­ing so that the nat­u­ral light shines through, cre­at­ing a stained glass ef­fect. This sea­son, they have incorporat­ed the iri­des­cent and fiery stone abalone in their Demigod­dess col­lec­tion and ex­per­i­mented with black plat­ing. The ef­fect: dra­matic and sur­pris­ing; much like their jew­ellery; a lot like their brand.

STAND­OUT STYLE Demigod­dess col­lec­tion (left); quirky, whim­si­cal design us­ing traid­tional tech­niques like enam­elling are used (above)

LOOK­ING AHEAD A pop of colour and unique shapes define much of their col­lec­tions (above); Rad­hika (left) & Gauri Tan­don; The Isharya store (far left)

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