How did designer Harshita Sultania create a demand for polki jewellery among millennials?
In the last few years, jewellers have been steadily focusing on ways to appeal to younger crowds, and we have to say it’s working. Millennials are giving expensive and heavy-set jewellery a chance and not just for occasion wear. Polkis, emeralds, chunky gemstone pieces obviously help them channel the oh-so-chic boho look; this is also why youngsters have adapted ways to wear traditional-inspired jadau with their little black dresses. There happens to exist a bridge between the old school and contemporary style memo, thanks to designers like Harshita Sultania.
The Kolkata-based fine jewellery label Harshita Sultania Jewellery has been extensively working with uncut polkis, emeralds, gold but the designer's look book has found astonishing renown among teenagers and 20-somethings. So, how does Sultania keep it so fresh with her ornate festive numbers? Here’s finding out.
Your last collection did really well with your younger clients, which is unusual for polki jewellery.
Yes! Our last collection had a focus on chokers which do really well in the festive season, millennials wear it a lot. We used polki diamonds on an 18K gold base and we featured some interesting gemstones and freshwater pearls, which gave it an edge. We source all our gems from Khambhat, where most gemstones are cut originally.
In fact, for our next collection, we are planning to shift the focus from gold, and use more diamonds and emeralds, as they do so well and helps us add a fusionist vibe.
Your label is all set to step into its fifth year. How has the need for fine jewellery evolved in Kolkata?
People between the ages of 25 to 40 appreciate good artisanship which is why we have really fine-tuned our designs; we’ve also noticed that our attention to usage of gems have served us well because it stands out, more than gold numbers. It also translates to cocktail wear, which is a fashion genre that’s really expanded and more and more people are exploring this area, they are looking for newer ways to style themselves with jewellery.
Have you observed a change in buying patterns when it comes to fine jewellery?
More and more youngsters are buying their own jewellery now, which is something that didn’t happen as much earlier. They are doing their own bling shopping! Moreover, when we have brides or bridesmaids coming over to shop for their wardrobe, they know more about what they can pull off and what they want. Their minds are made up. So, I think with our frequent travels and international exposure, that influence has brought in changes to our buying patterns, which is very noticeable.
How diverse is your client list?
It’s funny, when I started out we would only get older, middle-aged women who were looking to buy statement fine jewellery. Now the number of young women dropping in to buy my stuff is astonishingly high, they come in with their friends as they can pick their own style for themselves, so in that sense our niche has definitely expanded.
What are some of your bestsellers?
My chandbalis, definitely! They are mostly in gold. My bracelets and kadas also do well.
Can you tell us about your price range?
My jewellery starts from Rs 35,000, and goes up to Rs 7 lakhs, and beyond that for particular orders.