Defining luxe with jewels

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 - 7:05am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

In a tete-a-tete with Mawi Keivom, we find out what makes this internationally-acclaimed accessory designer different from the rest

Born in Manipur and based out of London, Mawi Keivom's work reflects influences from around the world. She launched her label 'Mawi' at London Fashion Week a while back.

Over the years, India has seen a deluge of phenomenal talent, with some having garnered laurels on various international platforms for exceptional work. While some names in fashion have become household words despite being affordable to only blue-book inclusions, there have been a select few who have caught the fancy of the choicest fashionistas and exclusive style editorials. Accessory designer Mawi Keivom definitely belonged to the latter but is now a household name with her debut this year at the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Summer/Resort 2014. While her heart and focus have always been on creating a women's wear line, just the fact that A-listers like Beyonce, Rihanna, Nikki Minaj and the sorts have donned pieces made by her reiterates her keen sense of fashion and jewellery.

Edited excerpts from an interview:
A homecoming show after so long and that too at LFW. Tell us about it…

Mawi Keivom (MK): We were approached by LFW and that came as a total surprise. The 'Mawi' brand is born and based in London but since I am Indian, it is always a great honour to be back home and showcase my collection here. Even in the past I've seen immense support, being featured in Indian fashion magazines and editorials. But being a part of LFW is something else. This is a great beginning and I look forward to more such collaborations.

You've started with sewing and love(d) designing clothes. From clothes to accessories… what has the transition been like?
MK: I started off with creating women's wear and that was my first passion. In my growing up years, I always made stuff for myself from trinkets I would pick up at the flea market. I would wear those and walk around and people would ask me where I bought those from. That is when it all started. I never imagined that I could create these; it has been a self-discovery and a learning curve for me. Eventually I do want to get into women's wear though.

Define 'Mawi' the label.
MK: 'Mawi' primarily stands to express a style, emotion and confidence. I wouldn't label my pieces as anything but custom luxe. We make timeless and trendy jewellery that is unique and aspirational at once and that is what people get attracted to. It is eclectic and what's best is that it is collectible. Not so much fine jewellery but surely precious with respect to detailing, aesthetics, looks, luxury; it is also flexible. Not everything is a statement piece but we do standoffs as well.

You do have a knack for trend forecast; what's in store this season?
MK: There are so many trends around but what is more important is to express your own style. We've been lucky to be leaders and not followers. This year, charm jewellery and vintage pieces are the upcoming trends.

What scope do you see in the Indian market? Any stores the country can await?
MK: Jewellery plays an important part in Indian culture. It is part of most celebrations and people spend a lot on it. But of late, with Internet shopping, changing trends and buying habits of people, fashion has become more high-street. People are breaking away from viewing jewellery as just investment. About opening a store, yes, I am considering that as it will bring the brand's uniqueness to the Indian consumer.

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