11 QUESTIONS WITH DESIGNER KICHU DANDIYA
WORDS BY JUHI PANDE
Kichu Dandiya’s eponymous jewellery brand doesn’t create your run-of-the-mill designs. Kichu, she says, as a brand or an individual is someone who is well travelled or has an appreciation of the various ethnicities and respect for new age design movements – someone who not only appreciates the creative process that goes into the making of jewellery but also understands the value of using alternative practices in jewellery as a form. The City Story has a quick chat with Kichu Dandiya about the brand and some other essentials.
TCS: Where did you grow up and what did you study?
KD: I grew up mostly in Maharashtra, between Mumbai and Panchgani (where I did my school). I completed a B.A. (Honours) in Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London
TCS: When did the idea of starting Kichu come to you?
KD: It took a while until I figured out what exactly wanted to do with Kichu and jewellery. Right after my shift from Mumbai to Jaipur in 2014, it became easier to manage good quality production and suddenly I had the resources to start Kichu. I launched my brand in July 2014.
TCS: Tell us a little about your design aesthetic.
KD: Strong, impactful, yet not too much a fuss. I prefer things to be less complicated, and that doesn’t necessarily make it weak in its aesthetics.
TCS: Could you name a few artists whose work you really admire?
KD: I like Tanel Veenre’s work, especially the deer hoof necklace. Rene Lalique’s dragonfly brooch. Naomi Filmer made these metal fangs for Hussein Chalayan, which I quite like, and finally Henrik Vibskov’s jumpers.
TCS: Which is your favourite account to follow on Instagram? Why?
KD: Norblack Norwhite for their vibrant and whimsical visual sense.
TCS: Were you always immersed in design or was it something that you cultivated?
KD: Yes I was. My upbringing was influenced by a variety of designers in my life. My father was great with design and we got along very well on that note and still do. An uncle who is a fashion designer has also encouraged my growth in design. With them, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people whose work I respect.
TCS: What do you love about Bombay?
KD: Vada paos, Malwani/Konkan lunch homes and Parsi cafés
TCS: Name an object you couldn’t part with. Also tell us why.
KD: My travel pillow. I am all over the place these days.
TCS: Tell us 3 things about your design aesthetic that are most important to you.
KD: Form, material and finish
TCS: Do you have a favourite piece of jewellery? If yes, what is it and why do you like it?
KD: I have these massive silver kadas that I wear on my arm. They are samples from my father’s workshop, which were extremely hard to get.
TCS: It’s 2 a.m. in Mumbai and you’re hungry. Where do you go and what do you eat?
KD: Amar Juice Centre for the juices and Mini Punjab for their rolls.
You can buy Kichu products at Fantastique, 5, Battery Street, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai 400 001.