He has been awarded the Jewellery Design & Development Award 2013 by the 33rdWORLD ENVIRONMENT CONGRESS and he has also been felicitated with Rajiv Gandhi Global Excellence Award. A thorough study in gems and Jewellery from Indian Institute of Gems and Jewellery, Gemological Institute of America and Foreign Trade Development Centre makes him the expert that he is today. Having been established in the industry in just a short span of four years with his label, Shubhashini Ornamentals, Akassh is someone who is on his road uphill. All set to showcase in the upcoming ‘Premia India Runway Week’, that starts this April 16th read on to find out, what his design sensibilities are and what sets him apart, in a tete-a-tete with Kiran Chopra, Editor-in-Chief, One World news
Tell us about your growing up years…
I have had a very grounded upbringing in a closet of an imperial residence in old Delhi, which was very much inspired from the Mughal architecture. My basic education is also from Delhi and I am very thankful to my parents and teachers for making me who I am today. My foray into the industry happened four years back with my label Shubhashini Ornamentals. Although, I have no godfather in the industry, I still feel confident enough to make my brand a huge success because for me every customer is special that is exactly what sets my label apart from others.
Why jewellery designing?
Jewellery entices me. It’s the shine of the metal; the brightness of gold and the sparkle of the diamonds will never fade, so what better profession to shine with than this sparkling industry!
What is the USP of your design?
The USP of our label is our brand approach – there is something for everyone. We have customer friendly designs with innovative manufacturing technologies that set us apart.
Where do you derive inspiration from?
I have been influenced by the art and literature of India from medieval periods. I am deeply inspired by the art work of Raja Ravi Verma. Also, the various holy texts dedicated to Indian goddesses have been really helpful in giving me the right insight to the history of ornaments in India thus the knack for creating unique designs that I come up with. In fact, even scriptures like Kamasutra have helped me to understand how ornaments were an integral part of a woman life back then and how they were equally important in enticing men. If you ponder, the art of intimacy according to the book, laid quite an emphasis on rightly ornamenting a woman. Jewellery was an important part of the process of intimation for both men and women to woo their partner.
What is the one ornament you think, every woman should wear?
I think any piece of Jewellery that an individual wants to wear should have a significance; be it love or any other emotion. When a particular Jewellery piece is dedicated to someone else out of love, it makes the piece special. And women are all about love and compassion for them even a small piece of Jewellery increases the bond many folds.
What do you like designing the most, when it comes to ornaments?
I love designing different forms of neckpieces from chokars to pendants to jadau haars to big chunky rani haar…I feel a beautiful neck piece is like an unsaid statement of ‘who you are’.
Is there any brand/designer that you look up to?
NO. I have never looked up to any brand in particular as I feel it starts influencing you some way or the other in terms of your creativity which I feel, professionally is not good. But yes, I do keep myself updated with what my contemporaries are doing and where do I lead.
Which brand has been a part of your fashion learning?
My fashion learning has never been subjected to a brand though being an Indian I have had a strong influence of the Indian art and culture. The impact of our heritage combined with my understanding of the colonial British work has played a very crucial role in my creative nuances. I think it’s this fusion of such extreme cultures that sets my jewels to be unique.
What’s behind the name Shubhashini Ornamentals?
‘Shubhashini’ is my mother’s name and she means the world to me. Her name is derived from Sanskrit and it signifies an ‘auspicious callings’.
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Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, comment.
The very first thing that strikes my mind is Marilyn Monroe, a woman I have idealized a lot. And yes, from the trade point of view, diamonds make for a perfect gift. A great deal to invest, only if you buy the right quality of diamond with certificate from a govt. approved institution.
Which is the metal that entices you?
I really never limit myself to metals or materials when it comes to creativity. I like to challenge myself with the best possible given materials and this is what I feel should be one’s forte.
Do you have a muse? If yes, who?
I believe every woman is a ‘picture-perfect’ beauty made by god. However, if you ask me who I admire, I would say ‘Sushmita Sen.’
What jewellery do you wear?
I love wearing Statement Rings. Rings have been a very powerful ornament since the ancient era and they are also a part of authoritative styling.
Tell us something about Jewellery designing that you feel most people are unaware of?
The made to order-customized-‘bespoke Jewellery’ is something people are less aware of and less demand it. It’s about having a particular Jewellery piece that is made just for you keeping in mind what you want. It is amazing to have your own personal possession, ‘just made for once and only for you’. I totally love doing customized Jewellery and my clients love the process and the whole experience, we take them through for this customized product making.
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When you design a piece, what is it that you focus on, selling aspect, uniqueness or your creativity?
The focus has to be on everything. You see, the major challenge comes from making a design into the reality, keeping in mind the customer’s perception and expectation. We have to keep in mind the price of the final piece, its durability and the creativity that goes into it. From a customer’s point of view, there is no flexibility when it comes to the final piece it has to be completely in sync with what had been ordered with absolute perfection, this is what makes me excited to meet the challenges for having a satisfied customer.
Akassh K Agarwal is a Delhi based jewellery designer and he retails under the label, Shubhashini Ornamentals. For exclusive and bespoke jewellery he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org