Do watch the video at the end of the story!
Always on the move, Farah Khan, the leading jewellery designer, has recently relocated into a bigger manufacturing unit and gives us a tour of the whole facility.
A jewellery designer by profession, a wanderer at heart and a social media diva, Farah Khan effortlessly impersonates all these characteristics at once. Hailing from a famous Bollywood family, Farah broke the stereotype when she decided to become a jewellery designer. Today, with more than 20 years of experience tucked under her title, she is a celebrated designer globally and the proud owner of one of the most successful jewellery brands in India.
Unlike the usual process of a journey starting from design, for Farah the journey of a piece starts from her thoughts that come to her while on the move. It could be a river in the Amazon, architecture in Mumbai, a bee on a flower or even colourful ice cream in Turkey: the smallest of details can capture her attention and bring ideas to life. Not to lose out on any ideas, a small sketchbook and pens are a permanent fixture in her handbag and one can often spot her scribbling little doodles even by the side of the road.
The brands tagline ‘Where Precious Becomes Priceless’ says a lot about the brand’s DNA as unique ideas find their way into her jewels. It is intricate, striking, bold and feminine at the same time. Not shying away from volume, Farah’s jewellery is flamboyant just like her own personality. As one enters her office in the newly relocated manufacturing unit in Mumbai, elephant statues, zebra paintings and colourful goodies against white backgrounds greet you. Taking one’s cue from the same, one can often spot tigers, snakes, insects, flowers and butterflies encrusted with the finest quality of diamonds and gemstones like the latest Art Deco-styled elephant pendant with a magnificent aquamarine and black onyx combination that I got a glimpse of.
One thing that sets her jewellery apart from her counterparts in India is her unusual use of coloured gemstones that is both fresh in colour and fearless in size. “I believe that customers don’t know that they have a taste for what is different until they no longer see what is different. I love vibrant colours and therefore use gemstones which have life & lustre, which sparkle and leave a twinkle in the eye”, she says while examining her latest gemstone purchase spread out in front of her. Though emeralds rule the list of her favourites and one can often spot a large emerald ring on her hand, she uses a whole gamut of colours in her jewellery from rubelites, amethysts, turquoises and aquamarines to tanzanites, chrysoprase and citrines.
Educated at GIA and heading a team of over 80 jewellery designers and artisans working for her, each piece designed is manufactured in-house and Farah personally overlooks each piece being manufactured at every step of the process. “Every jewellery piece that comes out of our Farah Khan Fine Jewellery (FKFJ) brand is a representation of me and therefore, I need to make it special. Being a perfectionist, I make sure that every detail of the piece is right before it goes on display. Till then, my team and I keep working on it to make it perfect”, adds Farah.
As we go down corridors lined with workbenches, separating different processes, wax modelling stands out as it is the most used technique in her workshop, giving life to many realistic looking forms from nature. This helps her capture the tiniest of details and visualize the final look easily. CAD/CAM is also used for model-making but for more classically styled pieces. Followed by master making, casting, gemstone setting, finishing, the process ends with stringent quality checks in terms of product finish and ergonomics.
Apart from her own boutique in Bandra – the jewellery hub of Mumbai, Farah has also partnered with the leading Indian brands Tanishq and Caratlane, where she retails her signature collections through their showrooms and online platforms.
With an infectious smile and energy, Farah is very health-conscious and her workout regimes have inspired many in the jewellery and Bollywood fraternity. “Fitness for me is as important as daily chores. It not only makes my body fit but also makes me positive on the inside, which reflects in my work and personal life”. On her personal style statement she summarizes: “It is important to make a style statement but one should not overdo it. Just a perfect mix of confidence and attitude is the trick!”
For a glimpse inside her design inspirations and her working style do watch the following video