‘It’s been special to create a statement piece for Forevermark and South India’s most famed jeweller’
Last week we were invited to an exclusive media preview of The Forevermark Promise Exhibition- a collection of pledges and exceptional diamond pieces by some of today’s most prodigious design talent. There we met the beautiful and very articulate India-born, Canadian designer Reena Ahluwalia who has designed a piece for Forevermark select jeweller Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers (Est. 1900). We spoke to Ahluwalia about her work and experiences.
The Eternal Necklace
Reena at her studio in Toronto
Q- Tell us about the necklace you have designed for Forevermark
The ‘Eternal’ necklace designed for Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers, is inspired by the promise of eternal love. The piece captures the nature of eternity and a lover’s promise. Just like Forevermark diamonds, the design of this piece celebrates the promise of love that stays forever.
Q- Since how long have you been living in Canada.
I moved to Canada 14 year back. I was born in the city of lakes – Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, India. That’s where I did my schooling. Toronto is my home, here’s where I work from my studio. Most of my creations are custom-designed based on my interaction with clients, and of course, their style philosophy and interests. Besides this, alongside my own collections, I work on special commissions, and on collections for some of the most recognized international jewellery brands.
Q- Are a lot of your clients of Indian origin?
My clients are truly global, including from India. My designs are versatile, cross-cultural which can be teamed with different garments. Thanks to my travels, exclusive showings and work with the global diamond community, I have built a formidable client base of jewellery lovers from around the world.
Q- Tell us a little about your style and the kind of jewellery you like to create.
I like to create pieces that are simple yet symbolic, sensuous forms that celebrate a woman’s body. My signature style is distinctive of forthright femininity, innovation and subtle symbolic references, sometimes edgy but always feminine.
Q- How often do you visit India and do you sometimes feel you would like to work from here.
I mostly visit India for my work, and occasionally take a vacation or two. Since as long as I can remember, I have been very curious about different cultures, this exploration has helped keep my designs fresh and innovative. Canada is home and my work is of global nature, I feel it would not make much of a difference where I live. I love India, one thing that makes life special for any creative thinker or designer in India is the fact, that here– every stage of life is a celebration, and everyday things are infused with so much meaning and symbolism.
Q- Tell us a little about your award-winning creations and recognition.
I am fortunate to have many in my career. Recently I was recognized as a winner of ‘Rio Tinto Diamonds Global Design Competition’. My work had won the ‘De Beers Diamond-International Awards’, the same piece was featured by iconic British fashion designer Alexander Mc Queen in his Spring/ Summer 2000 debut in New York. In 2009, I was invited by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and De Beers Canada to design a diamond setting for the first two mined diamonds from the province of Ontario in Canada. More recently, in 2012, Rio Tinto Diamonds entrusted me with creating an inaugural collection with the very first diamonds of the Bunder Mine, located in Madhya Pradesh, India. It has been at least a century since India has mined, designed and manufactured its own diamond jewellery. And of course it’s been special to create a statement piece for Forevermark and one of South India’s most famed jeweller – Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers.