Stalked: Rosh Mahtani, Jewellery Designer, Alighieri Jewellery
18 February 2015
Preparing for your first exhibition at London Fashion Week can be a rather daunting exercise, especially for a young designer. I recently met with a gorgeous jewellery designer who is doing just this, Rosh Mahtani is the talent behind the brand Alighieri Jewellery. After graduating, she spent two years learning as much as she could about the industry, interning at Harper’s Bazaar, working with Estelle Deve and Avenue32.com, all the while dreaming of her collection and creating it by night.
We strolled around the backstreets of Westminster with a Matcha Latte (Rosh adores these and has subsequently got me addicted!) chatting about her love for Dante Aligheri and how she’s preparing for this very prestigious exhibition starting this week.
What do you love about being a jewellery designer and how did you get into fashion?
I love creating pieces with a story, and seeing that story told in different ways on different people.
As for how I got into fashion; it all happened very organically. I studied French and Italian literature at university, and always wanted to do something that was both creative and strategic. Whilst studying Dante Alighieri’s ‘Divine Comedy’ at university, I started making a piece of jewellery for every canto, and that’s how it began! I was never gunning to be in the fashion industry, I just wanted to create a successful business.
What influences your designs?
So many things! Literature, taking photographs, meeting new people, making huge life mistakes! Dante’s poetry is always the starting point, and then I love to travel, with the ideas in mind, (and the book in hand.) I would say travelling to places like Iceland, road trips through Europe, and spontaneous adventures to Australia, have influenced my designs immensely.
If you could live in another city where would it be and why?
When I was younger I always wanted to live in Paris, and in Florence. I’m lucky enough to have lived in both cities, and now I’m so happy to be back in London, that I always want to come back here after my adventures. However, if I must pick another, I would say Copenhagen; I recently visited for the first time, and I got a great energy from the city, and the people.
How do you prep for London fashion week and what are your favourite bits about it?
I’m prepping at the moment; having just finished designing and producing the new collection we are shooting the Look Book, arranging buying and press appointments, putting together sales strategies, and the list goes on! This is my first time exhibiting in London, so I can’t wait; I’m enjoying the momentum and the pressure- I work best under these circumstances. I’ll have to tell you about my favourite bits once it’s over!
Any tips for young designers wanting to exhibit?
Focus on making what you make, don’t worry about the fanfare of it all. Be ready to work! And don’t compare yourself to other designers- that can drive you mad. Don’t push things too hard, if a potential opportunity keeps falling through it probably isn’t the right fit, just be yourself and the best opportunities will happen with ease. (At least that’s how it happened for me). These are tips that I try to remind myself of everyday, in moments of stress or sleep deprivation- it’s not always easy to abide by them.
How would you describe your personal style?
Monochrome clothing and lots of gold jewellery. (My friends often tell me off for only ever wearing dark colours and sneakers). I don’t like high maintenance- so much of what I do is running around London, from production to press, so I just want to be comfortable, and warm!
Where do you shop in London and where do you eat?
I love admiring and dream-shopping at the Conran Shop; I usually shop at COS, Liberty, and Joseph. I have too many favourite places to eat in London: for lunch on workdays- Flat Planet on Great Malborough Street have great spelt pizzas; I’ve been going to Lemonia in Primrose Hill since I was a child, so it’s a nostalgic Greek Meal; Jin Kichi in Hampstead has the best sushi in London; the Italian ‘Bocca di Lupo’ is my favourite restaurant for a date- they serve food from different regions in Italy, and the gelateria across the road makes for the perfect post-dinner lingering.
Five items you can't live without?
1. My Alighieri Fortuna Necklace, it’s my lucky charm, and I never take it off. It reminds me to be courageous.
2.Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser- the only thing I wear in terms of make-up.
3.My old Pentax camera, it’s the greatest luxury to go to a new city, and explore with it.
4.My Moleskin Diary- I write everything down in it, and would have no idea what I was doing without it.
5.Matcha Latte- one a day. I’m addicted.
STALK THE STALKER ON