For a diamantaire who has had international clients haggling over his rare jewellery at Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions, Nirav Modi is getting set to tackle the domestic market in a big way with the launch of his Mumbai store. He talks to us about his brand philosophy and expansion plans. Excerpts:
From creating rare auction pieces to catering to a larger retail audience on home turf, how has the transition worked out?
It has been an eventful journey and one that I have enjoyed immensely. We are proud of the fact that the same amount of dedication that goes into auction pieces, is replicated when we create jewellery for our boutiques. I often spend months conceptualising and crafting everyday jewels than the high-end jewels.
What insights have you gleaned from the Indian consumer?
Jewellery is an emotional investment and a statement of individuality. While the Indian clientele has always been well-versed with jewellery, women today are looking for jewels that they can wear every day that reflect their personality rather than the traditional, heavy gold jewellery that used to be predominant at Indian weddings.
Spanish interior designer Jamie Hayon has worked on the Mumbai and Delhi stores. How has he translated your brand vision into a reality?
We wanted our boutiques to have an international appeal, be it the decor, ambience, service, or the message we try to convey. Jaime Hayon is an artist. He doesn’t believe in just buying things and placing them. Together we have designed every single object in the store. Chairs, lighting fixtures, the mirrored staircase, even custom chandeliers. Everything is well thought out, planned and as close to perfect as can be to reflect the brand’s emphasis on making jewellery purchase an unforgettable experience.
What will make the store stand apart from others of its ilk?
More than a boutique, I wanted to create an unparalleled experience, which has always been at the heart of our brand ethos. Theatrical window displays with a hand-crafted paper art frieze, which will change every quarter, a bridal salon and a live workshop are some of the elements that will be at the store. The Mumbai boutique will feature our ‘artistically engineered’ iconic collections such as the ‘Celestial’, ‘Luminance’ and ‘Embrace’. With regards to pricing, the same amount of passionate commitment goes into all our jewels whether they cost Rs five lakh or Rs five crore, so we will have both varieties and everything in between.
What’s next in terms of your expansion plans?
Our store in New York will be located on Madison Avenue and is slated to open in June. The Hong Kong store will also launch this year. Within the next five years, we are looking at 20-30 boutiques in the Far East, US and UK. We also plan to expand our footprint in India and are looking to launch in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai in the near future.