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  Green Street brings Bollywood to London

  By Tom Wildhern/July 30, 2008

The vigorous branding campaign of east London’s predominantly South Asian Green Street jewellers underscores the heightened impact of multi-culturalism on jewellery design and tastes.

Green Street, a long avenue crammed with shoppers of South Asian and Caribbean origin, milling in and out of sari boutiques, curry houses and Bollywood DVD outlets, showcases the rising influence of South Asians in Western culture, which is due in large part to their growing contribution to economic development.

And yet South Asians – Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis – are increasingly influenced by Western TV culture, notably the obsession with celebrity.

And the flamboyant fashion and jewellery styles emerging from India’s Bollywood movies refresh the tastes of many women in today’s multi-ethnic society. As the Asian community has grown richer, due to their entrepreneurial dynamism, brides across the globe – from India to the United States -- now insist on having a full diamond set amongst their jewels, rather than just the 22-carat gold from ancient times. Some Asians choose Green Street to shop for diamond studs for young children.Green Street is one of the fastest growing areas for South Asian shopping in Britain.

On Green Street, jewellery fuses with fashion. Women take newly purchased saris to the local jewellers where sales assistants with an expert eye match fabric to jewel. On Green Street, jewellery items can range from a highly precious colourless diamond necklace in traditional South Asian style for £25,000 ($50,000), to much more economical sterling silver and costume jewels. Aluminium bangles cost just 20 pence (40 U.S. cents) each.

Green Street is one of the fastest growing areas for South Asian shopping in Britain. On Green Street, jewellery fuses with fashion. Women take newly purchased saris to the local jewellers where sales assistants with an expert eye match fabric to jewel. On Green Street, jewellery items can range from a highly precious colourless diamond necklace in traditional South Asian style for £25,000 ($50,000), to much more economical sterling silver and costume jewels. Aluminium bangles cost just 20 pence (40 U.S. cents) each.

Green Street jewellers also offer Western designs to suit increasingly globalised Asian tastes, like minimalist white gold and platinum bridal rings. Green Street is a melting-pot for the best styles from both Eastern and Western cultures, and the economic success of the Asian community augurs well for its future.

The great opportunity presented by the 2012 London Olympics will be a final arbiter of Green Street’s branding initiative.