Jewellery shows reveal quality of Brand India
MUMBAI, India, August 20, 2010 – Two jewellery trade shows have revealed the full extent of Indian jewellery design talent and the potential of “Made in India” products to challenge European designs.
UK actress Ayesha Dharker adds a
touch a glamour at IIJW
“The perception of Indian jewellery in the last 15 years was that India sells mass jewellery – medium-range jewellery,” Vasant Mehta, Chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), told a news conference after the first day of the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS).
“Now the time has come to show the world what we make,” Mehta said. “We want to change the perception of the retailers and the consumers to jewellery that is made in India.”
A stunning series of catwalk events held during the first India International Jewellery Week (IIJW), revealed the vast scope of India’s jewellery design talent.
One highlight was the “Tribute to GAIA collection” by Indian designer Bina Goenka, featuring the show-stopper masterpiece necklace GAIA – resembling the tree of life.
Studded with diamonds and precious stones, GAIA (Mother Earth) is a hereditary magnum opus, wherein each generation has the option to customize the necklace with their choice of precious stones. It’s like adding the fruit of your choice to the tree of life.
To underscore the growing interest in Indian jewellery design skills, a leading UK designer Stephen Webster, who has his own international brand, came to Mumbai to witness the catwalk events of IIJW.
“I have come to every show,” Webster told Jewellery Outlook at the “Best of the Best” event on August 19 after attending over 30 catwalks during IIJW at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Mumbai.
“The designs are stunning. The models are excellent.”
IIJW is expected to return to Mumbai in 2011, GJEPC officials said. Precise dates have yet to be announced.
IIJW, which wrapped up on August 19, coincided with the 27th edition of the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), which runs until August 23 and has attracted some 1,500 potential buyers from the United States, Europe, the Gulf Middle East and North Africa.
Senior Indian industry officials say the IIJW catwalk events, which featured glamorous Bollywood actresses such as Mugdha Godse, who supported PC Jewellers, and celebrated Indian singers like Sonu Nigam, who made an appearance for Surana, were a perfect way to show off the best work of India’s leading jewellery designers – such as Bina Goenka and Laksh Pahuja.
The GJEPC is promoting what it terms “Brand India” – that is, “Made in India” products that highlight the skills and quality of Indian fine jewellery today, using Indian creative inspiration, craftsmanship and the latest technologies.
“Made in India” jewellery could challenge branded products from Europe if customers around the world realise the quality that India is capable of producing, GJEPC officials say.
Indian jewellery exports are selling well around the world with strong growth prospects in China, CIS countries and the Middle East, Mehta said.
The domestic Indian jewellery market is growing at a rate of up to 20 percent a year as the middle classes expand, said another GJEPC official, Sanjay Kothari.
“We want to see the leading designers in the world come and see what our best designers are doing,” Kothari added.
“Stephen Webster is here. We want more Stephen Websters (top designers) here.”
Haresh Zaveri of the GJEPC said the test of the quality of a product was whether or not the client wanted more.
“If the customer comes back, you have the quality,” Zaveri said.