Farah Khan uses diamonds and coloured stones in a blend of modernistic and classical patterns to create trendy pieces. The Mumbai-based designer will be in Dubai for the launch of her brand on November 4, 5 and 6
Her father Sanjay Khan is a well-known actor and her mother Zarine is a successful interior designer. But rather than follow in either of their footsteps, Farah Khan has chosen to establish her identity in a different, though equally creative field.
A trained jewellery designer, she recently launched her jewellery brand named Farah Khan. "I think my personality is most suited to this profession as my sense of abstract reasoning is high. Also I am a visual person and can better express myself through sketches than words," says Farah.
Her work came in the limelight when she designed the jewellery for actress Raveena Tandon's wedding as well as for her sister Sussanne's wedding to heartthrob Hrithik Roshan.
Farah has many other celebrity clients, but rather than exploit her celebrity lineage or client's names to further her career, she prefers to let her work speak for itself. And it does. Farah's designs are bold, eye catching and have a distinct signature.
She uses diamonds and coloured stones in a blend of modernistic and classical patterns to create trendy bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, navel rings and tikkas. The Farah Khan brand of jewellery will soon be available in Dubai at Meena Jewellers.
Farah will be in Dubai for the launch of her latest collection and will be available for personal consultations at the Meena Jewellers store in Bur Dubai on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
In an interview to Tabloid, she was reluctant to speak about her parents, her brother-in-law or her husband DJ Aqeel but enthusiastically discussed her work and future plans for her brand.
Tabloid: Tell us about the line you are bringing to Dubai.
Farah Khan: The line I am bringing to Dubai is a reflection of myself as a person and what I would like to wear. Some pieces are adventurous, while some are classical. I believe that it is important to have a wide range of jewellery so that you can wear what the occasion demands.
The prices are reasonable and quite similar to my prices in India. I believe that my jewellery has an international appeal and will be appreciated not only by Indians and Pakistanis but also by the discerning Arab clientele.
In fact, one of my closest family friends in the UAE is an Arab family in Sharjah and I have spent many memorable moments with them.
Tabloid: Why did you decide to be a jewellery designer and what formal training have you had?
FK: I am a Graduate Gemmologist (GG) and studied jewellery designing at the Gemmological Institute of America in Santa Monica, California. I had actually planned a long vacation in the US but ended up enrolling in a Gemmology course just because a friend of mine was doing it.
To my surprise I found that not only did I enjoy the course but that I also had an aptitude for it. Topping my class with a 97 per cent average encouraged me to enrol for a course in jewellery designing. It was not easy because I had never done any drawing or painting.
But my instructor was extremely encouraging. He had designed for Van Cleef and Arpels and his belief in me motivated me to believe in myself. I then did an apprenticeship with Nirmal Zaveri of Tribhuvandas Bhimji Zaveri, India's leading jewellers. This helped me to apply my western education to Indian market conditions and prepared me for launching my own brand.
Initially I did small jewellery for family and friends. But I have never used my celebrity connections to promote my work. I do not compromise on quality and finish and have high standard for my work and myself. I think this helped me to increase my clientele.
I recently decided to be more available to the masses so I launched my brand FARAH KHAN in Mumbai in February this year. The launch was a star-studded event with some of my family members and celebrity friends walking the ramp for me.
Tabloid: Why did you choose Meena Jewellers to carry your brand in Dubai?
FK: After the launch of my brand in Mumbai I was approached by a number of jewellers who wanted to franchise my brand. However, I want to be associated only with people I like and can trust.
I have teamed up with Meena Jewellers because I liked Sanjay Jethwani's approach and professionalism. Dubai is my first venture abroad and I wanted to get it right, because I am a perfectionist and believe that first impressions last. I will soon open my third outlet in Hyderabad also with Meena Jewellers.
Tabloid: How often will we see your new collections in Dubai and will you do any star studded events here?
FK: I intend to introduce a new collection every quarter. We are having a soft opening now, but we hope to have a fashion show with lots of glamour and glitz in the near future.
Tabloid: What inspires you as a designer?
FK: Design is not about getting inspired from what you have seen in jewellery, but the process of being able to find design wherever you go. I am inspired by the process of life and my experiences of it and enjoy the fact that different people interpret life differently.
Tabloid: How is the creative process different when you design for someone you know well such as Raveena and your sister Sussanne?
FK: With someone like Raveena, who is a friend, I first listen to what she has in mind, where she intends to wear it, what outfit she is going to wear and other details. I then render a few sketches for her to help her make up her mind. We then set a budget and the design goes into production.
It is easier to design for my sister Sussanne because I know her tastes and the style she prefers. Eventually whether it is a friend or family, customer satisfaction is most important. By coincidence, both Sussanne and Raveena share the same birthday, October 26 but both are so different.
Tabloid: You have grown up in a highly creative atmosphere. How has it influenced you?
FK: Growing up in a creative atmosphere fuelled my passion for doing something creative. Jewellery design is very creatively satisfying and seeing something transform from a sketch into an actual piece of jewellery is pure joy.
The disadvantage of being creative is that I prefer not to do the accounting and depend on my partners to manage the business aspect of things.
Tabloid: Does being related to celebrities make it more difficult to establish your identity and credibility as a designer?
FK: Being related to celebrities has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that people come to you because they are curious about you and also because they feel they can trust you.
The disadvantage is that people assume you are expensive without even checking. But eventually all that matters is your professional approach and the value for money that you offer. I believe that building a long term relationship based on trust with my clients and business partners is more important than my last name or celebrity connections.