STYLE QUOTIENT - Joti Anand (Natural Flair For Design)


       

 
‘I stay away from the big four’
 
The Retail Jeweller (TRJ): Your designs are highly varied in colour and shape. What is the thinking behind them?
Joti Anand (JA): I tend to stay away from the big four — diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds — and prefer natural, unique and understated stones that are valuable thanks to their aesthetics. To me, the labradorite stone is special, because if you tilt the stone in the light it presents amazing colours and hues. One can wear it with so many outfits. Asterism in a star ruby, labradorescence in a labradorite and chatoyancy in a cat’s eye chrysoberyl [the terms describe specific aspects of the stones’ visual qualities] always attract me.

TRJ: What challenges do you face in creating a unique identity for your brand in the competitive market of Dubai?
(JA): Finding an effective platform to showcase creations to the right consumer demographic is a challenge. Exhibitions here in Dubai tend to be extremely one-dimensional in nature, with each show targeting a specific audience of a certain ethnicity. On the contrary, my designs are a mix of Asian sensibilities and European flamboyance, and target a larger audience. Also, in Dubai, it’s extremely difficult for an emerging jewellery designer to make their presence felt, as the markets are dominated by popular international brands. You need to have marketing muscle to penetrate the mindspace of your consumer. However, word-of-mouth publicity helps a lot, because it strongly influences consumer decision-making in Dubai.

TRJ: Consumer trends in Dubai seem to be diversified. How challenging is it for a jewellery designer to cater to such a complex market?
(JA): On the contrary, I find Dubai’s consumer taste predictable. It’s all about big, bold, expensive statement pieces. Artistic and uniquely designed pieces are hard to find here because local and lesser-known designers don’t always get the exposure they deserve. Alserkal Avenue Art District, the premier arts hub in Dubai, which is supposed to promote artists in various disciplines, does not promote upcoming jewellery designers at the moment. So it’s a quite challenging scenario for an upcoming jewellery designer.


TRJ: Tell us about your creative process.
(JA): The stones actually influence the primary shapes and the colour palette. While travelling, I hand-pick a lot of stones that are not really mainstream. Then I put together some other smaller stones that complement them in terms of colour and shape. These smaller stones include diamonds (such as black and champagne diamonds), rubies, sapphires, emeralds or amethysts, aquamarines, etc. Then I sketch a few options, and colour the sketches based on the stones selected. Eventually I finalise one design option based on my sensibilities and the client’s preference. While designing, I make sure that the cost of materials fits the client’s budget effortlessly. The selected design then goes to my manufacturer in Dubai.

TRJ: Who is your target audience?
(JA): My target audience is women and men who are more than 30 years old who dare to be different — people who are sophisticated, elegant, young at heart, and want to wear one-of-a-kind pieces. I promote my designs on the social media and at small private exhibitions. 

TRJ: What is your retail strategy?
(JA): My strategy is to cater to the B2B level. I want to offer my uniquely designed pieces to select high-end fashion and department stores or boutiques, locally and globally. I also wish to design bespoke jewellery, be it for daily wear, red carpet or bridal use, or other festive occasions.


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