The phrase ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ is may be an overused statement, but they sure are Moni Agarwal’s best friends. This Hyderabad-based jewellery designer has gained substantial popularity early in her career for her modern yet traditional designs.
Her new collection ‘Zohrakshi’, an ensemble of diamonds, is inspired by vibrant flowers. She explains, “‘Zohar’ in Arabic means ‘flower’. My new collection has about 25 neckpieces and all of them have floral patterns.” They come in the form of ‘chokars’ and have strands of diamond attached to them, which she details about, “They are detachable, simple, three-layered neckpieces. The ‘chokars’ are unique in style. I have also designed diamond hair accessories including diamond crowns and tiaras. Youngsters are experimenting with their looks and the trend of wearing tiaras and brooches is back. When it comes to diamond hair accessories, a certain sense of royalty is emphasised.”
She adds that they suit a modern bride who wants to add a touch of tradition to her look. “I am a garden person and a bunch of flowers blooming early in the morning make my day. Every woman, at least majority of them, like flowers and they hold a special place in their heart. My jewels too are designed to make a woman feel special.”
An MBA graduate who hails from a family of businessmen, she wanted to start something that kept her interest intact. So, she joined a jewellery designing course in Mumbai. “I knew I had a curative eye for jewels as I looked up to my mother and grandmother, who have a unique taste for jewellery.” On completing her course, she attended a couple of shows in Dubai that inspired her to start a brand of her own. “Coming back, I launched my label and it has been four years now,” she says.
While the diamond designs with floral inspirations form the base of her recent collection, it is Rajasthan’s culture and tradition that inspired her previous collection ‘Niravari’. She says, “I seek inspiration from all the small things I see. These small things give birth to intricate patterns and designs in my collection.” Catering to younger brides, her designs have a contemporary look with grand and heavy patterns. She says, “The younger lot look up to my designs and now I am designing a neckpiece for Sania Mirza’s sister, Anam Mirza.”
Although, she has a soft spot for diamonds, her favourite gem is emerald. She also plays around with ‘polki’, ‘kundan’ and ruby. A veteran in the field, she has explored her market globally. “I have done a couple of shows in New York and Dubai. There are a lot of Indians there and it has opened up a good market for my designs. Post Deepavali, I will be part of a show in New York and London, which I am looking forward to,” she says excitedly.
She travels back in time and talks about the challenges she faced in her career, “ I started off when I was 26 years old. There were many big players in Hyderabad then and proving myself in such a big market was definitely a challenge. Also, I have been mocked at with comments like ‘She is a young bee. What does she know about diamonds?’. Nevertheless, with hard work and dedication, I have proved them all wrong and I appreciate the support of my family and friends.” With a confident attitude, she says, “Style to me is an epitome of beauty, grace and sophistication. I always keep these three things in mind while designing the jewellery.”