Kohar Fine Jewellery: Bringing Old School Glam Back into Accessories
The creative power behind Kohar Fine Jewellery, Ahmed and Danish talk to FUCHSIA about the hard work they put in everyday to raise their baby, where they source inspiration from, and what the market for today’s jewellery designers looks like.
Tell us about yourself, your journey?
As a team, we bring to the table unique perspectives and strengths. Ahmed is the mastermind behind the design and aesthetics. Our pieces have an arts background and a strong artisan spirit. Danish is more hands-on and is responsible for the operations at Kohar. Both of us have one major thing in common though, we admired the craftsmanship of the locally manufactured jewellery our parents and grandparents owned. It started a few years ago when we began to sketch our own designs and learn about different metals and stones and the complexities of putting together a statement-worthy jewellery piece.
The word ‘Kohar’ has an interesting sound to it. How did you decide on this as the name?
‘Kohar’ is an Armenian word which means ‘jewel’ itself. After an entire week of brainstorming with a billion different options, we felt this was the best pick.
What is your creative process like? How do you decide what you want to create?
There is no definitive answer to these questions, really. We don’t stick to a specific area for inspiration. For the most part, however, it’s old school glam…Renaissance art, Mughal era, 60s Bollywood. Old world charm inspires us whether it is for our big pieces or smaller ones that are more modern.
What material do you usually work with?
We manufacture our jewellery in 22k gold and diamonds, however, we also have a great variety of diamond-polky statement pieces.
What makes your collection unique in the current market?
Kohar is all about creating heirloom pieces – we use the best class in stones and most of our designs are handmade. We as artists believe in helping our customers achieve their desired look and make them feel comfortable and beautiful in it; this is what we feel, makes us unique.
Would you say a formal education in design is necessary to pursue this field?
We believe it is always better to have some formal education [in the relevant field], as it not only helps you learn the basics but also shows you the in-depth picture of the work. However, experience is something that teaches you a lot more than a formal education does, so a mix of both is ideal.
Do you think the jewellery designers get the same recognition and coverage as the dress designers?
We believe jewellery is something that is as important [as the dress], as they both complement each other. As far as recognition is concerned, everyone’s work speaks for itself. Be it a dress designer or a jewellery designer, if your work’s good, you will get recognition for it.
Do you think FPW should have a separate day or a section dedicated exclusively to jewellery designers to promote their craft?
Jewellery is something that you can only judge when you see it up close, so having a specific day just for jewellery wouldn’t do justice to the entire point behind the event.
Which of your pieces is your personal favourite and why?
Our favourites are classic pieces that never go out of style. Personally, we really like our pearl and diamond combinations. They go well with both, eastern and western attires.
If you were to advise a bride about one piece for each of her events, what would you say to her?
Personally, we feel that as the wedding scene evolves in Pakistan, brides should explore the idea of investing in looks that go with their theme. Go regal for traditional events such as nikah, baraat etc. For mehendi/dholki, go for colours like emerald, ruby, and jhumkas with more dangly, dreamy designs. For valima and formal evening events that are dressier where the gentlemen are in their tux/jackets, go for pearls, sapphires,diamonds. Geometric designs like chokers are a personal favourite!
Do you feel our old school jewellery is now going out of style with Pakistani women who live abroad?
Old is gold, this saying applies well, since old school designs are trending now. A heavy heirloom piece with light clothes is what we think would be the perfect combination even for Pakistani women living abroad.
The best praise you have received for your work…
Alka Yagnik, the versatile Indian singer, loved our craftsmanship when she wore our pieces on her daughter’s wedding.
One jewellery piece that every woman should own…
A ring is something every woman owns and should own, as they are very personal to women.
Its is so easy to copy designs these days. How do you keep ahead of competition?
We draw ideas from images, paintings and artifacts. Based on the design and the occasion it is being created for, we choose stones or no stones to bring the design to completion. However we are strictly against replicating designs from local or international jewellers, as we have strong work ethics. Appreciating other artists’ work is one thing but taking credit for it in anyway is unacceptable.
What’s your advice for the aspiring jewellery designers?
Our message to them is to stay true to their design sense and vision. The key to success in this field is to create original pieces that resonate with the modern woman, whether it is for her everyday look or for when she has to dress up for an occasion. For anyone who is looking to enter this industry, we will also say, it’s a lot of hard work, so be here only if you are truly passionate. It will show in your work. Good luck!
Disclaimer: Picture courtesy Kohar’s official Facebook page.