Whilst Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor makes headlines for his box office hits and misses, his hookups and break-ups and his current single status, his sister Riddhima Kapoor-Sahni has turned entrepreneur. Kapoor-Sahni has transitioned from star kid to wife and mother to jewellery designer, launching her eponymous line this month. Bollywood veterans’ Rishi and Neetu Kapoor’s first born is excited about stepping into her new shimmer and shine phase as a designer, and if the alluring Kapoor-Sahni’s quintessentially minimalist and classic personal style is anything to go by, her designs will have you clamouring for more.
She spoke exclusively to tabloid! from her home in New Delhi.
What made you turn to jewellery design after modelling for a well-known brand with your mother, Neetu Kapoor?
I have always understood jewellery and have an intrinsic flair for it, but I was never a jewellery person as such. I wear small pieces but not really bling myself up. But I was mesmerised by the designs of Notandas, the brand my mother and I were the face of, for the past eight years. Their designs were at par with top international jewellery houses and we had a blast shooting for them. Every piece was stunning and was a pleasure to wear. That made a deep impression on me during the period.
After the contract got over, I started telling my jeweller to make this and that for me, designs that were mine for everyday wear, instead of buying from stores. The result of that was that everyone started commenting and loving my designs. So I thought why not design jewellery for others too? No one [in India] has really tapped the mid-market segment for every day fun jewellery that’s made with diamonds, semi-precious and real stones and 18-karat gold from AED 1700 onwards and that’s how Riddhima Kapoor Sahni Jewellery came into being, along with my jeweller friend and partner, Anuj Kapoor in Mumbai, where the pieces are manufactured. [This collection] is affordable and light that anyone can wear every day to a lunch, brunch, coffee conversations, birthday parties, be it for your child — I’ve been getting so many orders for them — teenager, mother or just about anyone who loves jewellery.
It’s just the beginning as RKS is only about two weeks old right now and I am already overwhelmed with a fantastic response to the bracelets, especially the four-leaved clover one, and the evil eye one that was my first design. My plan is to launch ten pieces every month and I’ve been taking orders from London and New York too apart from India. Hopefully Dubai as well soon. January has been about bracelets and February will be another exciting launch of pendants as it is the month of romance with Valentine’s Day.
I will emboss, engrave and add elements to my designs for customised orders and even revamp a wedding ring for my customers, but in my style and design aesthetic. You just have to leave it to me and trust me on that. And no, I will definitely not be doing the whole “copying the Cartier” kind of customising at all. Online is the future and I am promoting my work through social media. I don’t want to open a store as of now, but, you never know.
Who is the woman who wears or will wear your designs?
Me! The woman who wears my designs is someone like me. My designs are an extension of my personality and who ever wears them can then reflect their own personas on them.
From a star kid to wife and mother to now jewellery designer and entrepreneur … what role is the most exciting for you?
Being a mother is by far the most exciting, satisfying and rewarding role in my life.
You are always dressed for the occasion you’re at without the Bollywood fuss. What are your must-dos for your look?
I like to make a statement with my look, but in a classic style. You’ll never see me in a set or wearing my entire jewellery box, blinding people everywhere I go. I’m a big watch collector, a classic, vintage Rolex person. That’s my jewellery. So, a watch is mandatory for every outfit of mine and then I’ll add my chain bracelets as I am in love with all my RKS bracelets or a cuff or earrings to complete the look, whether I am wearing jeans or a dress or an Indian ensemble.
What is your favourite gemstone to wear and now to work with?
Rubies are my favourite. I wear a small one on my little finger.
How did a beautiful girl like you not ever think of doing movies being a star daughter from the First Family of Bollywood? And how are you so comfortable being away from the spotlight given you grew up in the thick of it?
At 17, I went off to London to study and was away from all the filmi brouhaha. I came back home to Mumbai at 22 and got married soon after to Bharat [Sahni] who I had met in London, and moved to Delhi. If I had stayed on in Mumbai, maybe stardom might have beckoned. But staying away, I was unaware of its effects. My parents were swarmed and bombed with film offers for me but I’m really glad I didn’t do any and the way my life has played out. I love my life and I love my husband and my child.
You just celebrated your tenth wedding anniversary on January 25, but you look like a newly married girl. How has it been being Mrs Sahni?
Bharat and I have come a long way. It’s an amazing, ongoing journey together, and our precocious daughter, Samara, is almost five-years-old now. It’s incredible just thinking about it. I do miss my parents because I live in Delhi, and they are in Mumbai. But it’s not too far geographically, so it’s not that bad. My parents just celebrated 36 years of being together on January 22 and it’s been inspiring to see their marriage, looking up to them and seeing them surviving it all. I’m very close to both my parents and of course my brother. Family has always come first for my dad. So I’ve learnt to keep family first too in everything I do.
Your daughter Samara is a summation of all the Kapoors with her dubsmashes that you post on Instagram being very popular. Who does she take after?
Samara loves herself. As soon we are ready to step out, she makes me take selfies of us in the car, pouting and posing with her. She loves the camera and loves singing, dancing, dressing up, putting on pretend make-up, enacting dialogues from my dad and Ranbir’s films and imitating just about anyone. She’ll keep asking me, “Mamma, why do I gave to go to school? Let me help you in your jewellery business”; “Mamma, why do you get to wear pretty clothes, jewellery and make-up every day and why can’t I?” To a large extent I indulge her, as does everyone in the family. But I just want her to complete her formal education, as besides her naughtiness, she’s very bright and a thinker with an elephantine memory and sometimes, her thought processes befuddle me and make me wonder if she’s really only five. These days, kids teach you a lot. Samara is just like my dad — she is totally like him. She has him and Ranbir wrapped around her little finger and she means business. Girls chase Ranbir and he runs after Samara.
— Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. You can follow her on Insta: riddhimakapoorsahni
— Rubina A Khan is an independent Indian journalist and photographer