When two childhood friends cruise around an island city, conversations can be very random. One such evening gave birth to the idea of a stunning jewellery label called Akaliko, which means ‘timeless’ in Pali.
Tehzeeb Merchant, an interior designer, studied at London College of Fashion and also worked with Elle Magazine’s fashion styling team. Her partner, who got married shortly after the launch, is armed with a degree in English Literature from Columbia University.
Surging against the customary vein of regurgitating products through mass-production, the girls were seduced by the idea of handcrafted goods. Every Akaliko product is handmade by skilled artisans, and all elements are hand-sourced and selected to make one-of-a kind pieces. ‘There is a large community of artisans in our country and I think it’s important to support them and try to better their standard of living,’ says Tehzeeb.
Moulded in brass with luminous vintage buttons, old coins and bone and jute and clusters of quart stone for embellishment, each piece exudes a raw, industrial vibe. ‘Sometimes, there are bits and pieces and we’re not even sure what machine they came from. But they’re on your jewellery.’
Their new collection has a tribal edge to it, with silver plating and jute elements and lots of standout pieces. As for 2016, Tehzeeb has a lot on the cards. ‘I want to keep designing and creating! I plan to further expand Akaliko’s retail base over the next year, and after that I am thinking of starting a heritage line of precious jewellery.
More about them here.
Text Hansika Lohani Mehtani
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