In conversation with Avanti Goenka about Bina Goenka’s array of bespoke pieces that are a bride’s treasured keepsakes for her for the wedding day and beyond.
Photographer: Claire Harrison. Fashion Editor: Ayesha Amin Nigam and Shaurya Athley.
Unique, one-of-a-kind, and peppered with vibrant precious gemstones and diamonds—these are a few phrases that can be used to describe the brand Bina Goenka’s jewellery. The designer, who launched her eponymous label in 2007, uniquely entwines elements of art with creative design leading to sculptural high jewellery creations revered by clients around the world. Twelve years later, as the brand gravitates toward a younger audience, we speak to Avanti Goenka, managing director for Bina Goenka Fine Jewellery, about growing up enchanted by jewellery, her favourite pieces, and how she intends to transform the atelier into an international powerhouse for art jewels.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD. YOUR MOTHER, BINA GOENKA, IS ONE OF INDIA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL HIGH JEWELLERY DESIGNERS. DO YOU THINK THAT CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR LOVE FOR JEWELLERY?
I grew up in Switzerland and London and flew back to India to spend time with my family. During this time, I would often accompany my mum to work, whether she was going to the store or the factory. It was always interesting to see both ends of the spectrum—the factory on one end where she was playing with loose stones, and then the store which was full of completed pieces of jewellery, each of which I would try on and then want. Almost ironically, I was in India applying for internships when I accompanied my mother to a meeting with a client, during which she required my input. We both stepped out of that meeting knowing that we had very complementary skills, especially in this business and decided to grow it together.
WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY ASSOCIATED WITH JEWELLERY?
I have many! I grew up with a number of ‘trinkets’ that I would collect—many of which were purchased for me by my father. My fondest memories of jewellery involve opening the ‘treasure chest’ in which these trinkets are now safely stored, and marvelling over and over again at how cute they are. I have everything: from my first pair of earrings to a fancy amethyst stork brooch that was apparently my favourite!
Zuhair Murad clothing. Bina Goenka jewellery. OPPOSITE PAGE On Avanti: Bina Goenka Jewellery.
YOU HAVE MANAGED YOUR MOTHER’S JEWELLERY BRAND FOR YEARS. HOW HAVE YOU TRANSMUTED YOUR KNOWLEDGE ONTO THE BRAND?
My mother’s sense of design is unparalleled, so she needs no assistance in that. My input was useful in terms of growing the brand and making it well-known internationally. A fresh approach to a brand can often also increase its appeal to a younger audience who prefer to be catered to in a more indirect manner than seasoned clients of luxury. Understanding this and implementing it within Bina Goenka was one of my main objectives, and it was key to the growth and success we were able to see internationally.
Zuhair Murad clothing. Bina Goenka jewellery.
COULD YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE YOUTH- ORIENTED COLLECTION YOU DESIGNED FOR BINA GOENKA?
As mentioned, Bina Goenka has always appealed to the seasoned buyer who wants something more than what is available to anyone else. This also appeals to a younger demographic, who want a part of this story but are not ready to commission their own piece. As a result, we introduced a prêt collection that we launched exclusively with Net-a-Porter.com. We chose this medium to retail this collection for two reasons— primarily since we were reaching out to a younger crowd, we wanted to do it in a manner that made sense to them. In being able to go online, look at the piece details and the prices, the customer is no longer intimidated and has the comfort of taking their time before making a decision. The second reason was to broaden the reach of the brand while retaining its exclusivity. While prêt pieces do not need to be sold by appointment’ (unlike our high jewellery which is mostly bespoke commissions), they are still made as one-of-a-kind, so that a client of ours who has purchased a piece somewhere in the world knows that it is the only one.
Ralph & Russo clothing. Bina Goenka jewellery.
LASTLY, WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR BRAND IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
Our brand is moving in the direction of creating wearable art! So, in the next five years, we will hopefully be spotted at art fairs and galleries globally!
Photographer: Claire Harrison
Fashion Editors: Ayesha Amin Nigam and Shaurya Athley
Model: Amelia Foster at Premiere Model Management
Hair: Chris Kurx
Makeup: Lauren Alice
Get inspired as your favourite celebs don this timeless piece of clothing.