Meet Kamdar Avlani always knew that he wanted to pursue a creative path. He understood how jewellery worked and so whenever there was a family occasion, he would get involved in buying jewellery. To learn more about jewellery making, Meet studied at Gemological Institute of America and equipped himself with the knowledge on Diamonds, Color stones and Pearls. Further he joined the Indian Academy of Jewellery and Design, where he studied Manual Design and CAD (Computer-aided Design), which helped him with both technical and theoretical knowledge needed to perfect his art. Four years of hard-work and dedication helped him master his skills and then Meet laid the foundation of his luxe boutique the Atelier KamdarAvlani.
Located at Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, Atelier KamdarAvlani offers affluent customers, Meet’s impeccable pieces and warm hospitality that make the tedious process of jewellery buying a smooth and pleasant experience.
In a conversation with MARWAR, the master jewellery designer talks about his journey, the current market scenario and his future plans.
What is the USP of the design house?
“The USP would have to be my designs, my take and how I look at jewellery. The issue today is people already have so much jewellery made and kept. Then why would they buy new jewellery? Jewellery has a lot of emotional and sentimental value which you can’t let go off. People always buy jewellery when it’s a celebratory occasion, or they have achieved success in their financial life, so it’s a momentous buy and not a normal one. And that’s where my vision of re-aestheticizing jewellery becomes a very strong USP”
“At the Atelier, Clients are free to choose from the ready designs, but generally I tell clients to bring an existing piece of jewellery that I can re – aestheticize. In this process we don’t melt any metal or remove any stones, we take the piece as is. Thus, we don’t touch their existing piece, we work something around it.””
“With an existing piece, you can visualize a lot and I think I love that process. There’s a different story altogether, we design, computer animate their piece and then give them a few options till they are satisfied.
Do you think the buying patterns of consumers have changed over the last few years?
“There are many changes in last two decades that have triggered consumer behaviour, A client’s perception of luxury has been shifted in India from – properties cars and fine jewellery – to branded watches, clothes, leather etc. Indians overall have amassed fine jewellery over the years, received them as inheritance and heirlooms and are now becoming cautious to splurge on more fine jewellery. Expensive jewellery is worn on celebratory occasions and in expensive ones or classics on the day to day basis. But with the rise of destination weddings and fast fashion the luxury client has opted for imitation jewellery. With the over all economic slow down in the last few years the sentiment on spending on fine jewellery has further taken a hit too.”
“Regardless, Fine Jewellery today is no longer being looked upon as an investment – it is looked upon as some thing unique, that makes a statement and some thing that is also a piece of art. To a luxury client looking to spend on fine jewellery these criteria are a must.”
How does your process of creating a piece take place?
“Maestros say that the stones end up dictating the design, and this is very true. My designs generally revolve around a center piece or a stone. I draw rough sketches over and over and it takes me a lot of time to come up with a concrete finalized design.”
“I take inspiration from very many different things, nature, architecture, other pieces of jewellery made before, motifs etc. Once a sketch is finalized, I prefer getting it on CAD and then I go back and forth with the design and finalize the piece that is to be casted. The end to end process from the initiation of the design to the final product takes between 4 – 6 months.”
Was it a boon to start anew?
“If jewellery was my family business it would have been much easier, but I feel I wouldn’t have learned the process and the craft as I have now. The journey of becoming a jewellery designer has been interesting, and I have enjoyed it every way. The struggle was real. But the good thing was I had a fresh slate to start. In India customers go to a jeweler they trust; since I am new, I have to build that trust, confidence and comfort level with the client. I feel it is a boon to start new as I can use my own aesthetics.”