Tribune Edit (Sept 2019)
Find out what’s inside The Vault with AZURE- learn about their jewellery line, the narrative behind pieces, and what buyers should keep in mind when shopping for jewellery especially when it comes to wedding jewellery.
A true art lover at heart, Sana Khan found her true calling in designing and creating jewellery. Academically, Sana holds an MPhil from University of Cambridge and was earlier pursuing her career in Development Studies till she decided to take the plunge and focus on her creative side. AZURE is a luxe jewellery line that was launched in May 2019. Each piece is made using valuable material and crafted by the finest artisans with gemstones that have been hand-selected to ensure a perfect end experience. AZURE quite literally means an enchanting deep blue colour. It stems from the Persian term for Lapis Lazuli, associated with a richness, depth, and wisdom. The jewellery line embodies the magical nature of the ‘azure’ in its distinctive design construct.
How and when did you become interested in jewellery?
I’ve always had a penchant for the arts, fine art in particular and have enjoyed looking at and collecting jewellery pieces. At the time of my wedding, I designed a bridal set with a jeweller, which someone else saw and wanted to buy. I let them purchase it, settled on something else, and didn’t think much of it. I now realize how poignant that experience was. Some years later my nani started having jewelry exhibitions. I would help her with these while I worked full time in the development sector. Before I knew it, I found myself thinking about new designs I wanted to create, to wear and showcase. I discussed starting a new line with her but sadly, she passed away. I then temporarily moved to London in 2017 and began vigorously pursuing my interest. I would attend art exhibitions, research the jewellery market, and sketch designs. Some months later I moved back to Karachi, and the grind began- I worked silently towards building my collection. To provide technical support to this impetus, I studied Jewellery Making as a course at Central Saint Martins, and the rest is as they say history.
What are your favourite pieces of jewellery?
My favorite piece of jewellery is the Cross-Hatch Earrings from the AZURE fine collection. They can be worn as a stud or with a pearl drop for more dressy occasions. The pearl in the centre gives a glow to the complexion, whilst the diamonds dispersed against the gold cross hatch design shimmer when worn. Its beauty is encapsulated by the sophisticated finesse it gives the wearer, enhancing any and every look.
Share a story with us about how you acquired one of your favourite pieces.
I wanted to create a pearl flower earring, but the challenge lay in obtaining the right stones and figuring out the appropriate technical setting. I played with different pearl options, until I found the perfect pearl shape. There were other gemstones lying next to the pearl and I noticed an ethereal beauty of the feroza next to the pearl. One of my elderly karigars argued that this design was difficult to create and would look better with a different stone, and so I decided to make both. We experimented with various settings until we found one that worked. Once completed, he pushed forward the AZURE White Champa Earrings with Turquoise. I was so pleased, with a simple gesture he acknowledged the vision of design, the beauty of the end product, and the hard work that went into it.
Is there any piece you are emotionally attached to?
There are so many! Over the years I have been lucky to obtain (often through ‘long term borrowing’) several jewellery pieces from my mother and maternal grandmother. If I had to shortlist it would be my pearl bangles that belonged to my nani’s mother, that my nani wore as a child in India (I luckily have thin wrists!). The other, a favorite at the moment, is an Emerald and Diamond ring that belonged to my godmother. This was given to my mother, and was gift to me to celebrate the birth of my daughter.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Observation- A particular shade of colour, a textile pattern, the curvature of a petal, the angle of the light. There is so much to draw inspiration from within our surroundings. Research- books, articles, exhibitions. The above contributes to the development of our mood board for each design. Creating a jewellery piece involves creating an experience; its design, the materials used, the technical setting, how it makes the wearer feel, and the effect it has on the onlooker.
What is your signature piece or style?
Feminine, contemporary, and bold. AZURE celebrates the versatility of the ‘feminine’. Our design aesthetic reflects the multidimensional nature of the contemporary woman; sensual and vibrant, delicate and bold. Our designs are crafted for every look that a woman adorns, and that which sets her apart from another. Pearls play an integral role in our designs, as their organic form exudes an ethereal and unparalleled radiance when worn.
What is one thing a client should keep in mind when purchasing jewellery?
Buy pieces that you love. Jewellery is a form of art and you must enjoy looking at and wearing what you own.
What is one jewellery trend you wish desi brides would incorporate more?
I am a huge fan of traditional bridal jewellery. The teen/panch lara and the nath are some of my favourite styles. However, other than the main weddings set, I would recommend investing in jewellery that will be worn to the array of social gatherings that occur throughout the year- from daily wear, to tea’s, dinners, parties, and wedding functions that one attends. Such pieces can be exquisitely crafted and allow for versatile usability, for decades to come.
Is there anything on your radar that you want to introduce in the future?
There are lots of plans for the future but It’s too early to say just yet!
What’s next for Azure by SZK?
Focusing on growing the business and creating more accessibility for the international customer base.