In conversation with jewellery designer, Archana Behede

by Radhika Sathe Patwardhan | November 30, 2018, 12:00 AM IST

Archana Behede

Getting the most exclusive jewellery for D-Day is every bride’s dream and brand Gautam Banerjee does just that. We have a tête-à-tête with designer Archana Behede where she talks about her journey, the design process and the brand’s collections.

“I did not know much about jewellery,” says Behede, “I was only a buyer.” But it was when she started learning jewellery design that she had found her calling. “I never knew my potential till then. I used to design for a few jewellery houses and seeing the good response my designs got, I decided to start this brand. I trained under designer Gautam Banerjee – whose name is given to the brand. I learnt everything (about jewellery design) from him.”

Archana Behede

Designer jewellery is considered very expensive by most, and it is something that one gets only for occasions – how much ever one may like it. “We wanted to clear this myth when we started this brand. We wanted every woman to wear a nice (jewellery) piece. When one spends one’s hard-earned money, they have the right to get one of the best pieces. As a designer, I always make something which fits the pocket of everyone. I want every woman to relish the jewellery she buys from us. We give good designs at good rates also. We don’t target to make only expensive jewellery; we are very flexible. We make jewellery so that a woman can keep it lifelong.”

Archana Behede

The brand has all the types of jewellery – cocktail jewellery, wedding jewellery or simple daily wear jewellery but “while designing we make sure that every design is really unique. We have simple designs because few people want really simple thing and therefore we have something for them too. But despite being simple, it is also unique in its own way,” Behede elaborates, “When it comes to the techniques we use in manufacturing, the quality of polish and the setting of the diamond, we always take lots of care and pain to see that there is no fault in them when they come to the store as well. After a jewellery piece is made – be it earrings, neckpiece or rings, I personally check it if it is done right, and there isn’t any problem with it like if it is uncomfortable to wear, any joints are stiff, etc. We have a very strict quality check.”

Archana Behede

The inspiration for design, Behede claims, comes from anything and everything. “Sometimes, even an ensemble or a motif on the dress inspires me to a particular jewellery piece. The inspiration can sometimes be something vague; sometimes it is just whatever catches my attention or my eye. For example, once I was travelling to Mumbai and was looking outside the window, and I saw multi-storeyed buildings. So I thought I should do something in multi-layered jewellery. So I designed a bangle which was multi-layered which had three layers. Anything can inspire me when it comes to work.


Here’s how online shopping websites are planning to deal with frauds

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-commerce companies are focusing on artificial intelligence and virtual reality with a view to cut logistics costs and identify fraudulent orders, said a report by global auditing and consulting firm PwC.

With an emerging middle-class population of more than 500 million and approximately 65 per cent of the population aged 35 or below, India represents a highly aspirational consumer market for retailers across the globe, said the PwC TechWorld report.

“E-commerce players are revamping their technology strategies to maintain their competitive edge. Most e-commerce platforms are upping their investments in areas such as conversational commerce, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR) and analytics technologies,” it said.

It observed that to identify fraudulent orders, reduce return rate and also cut down on logistics cost, e-commerce companies are investing in robotics and AI heavily.

“AI-based voice-based shopping in vernacular language enables deeper customer engagement and smoothens the transition from offline to online by overcoming the language barrier,” it added.

Then there is advanced analytics that allows for better optimisation of stock management as well as customisation of content based on data-driven understanding of consumers’ online behaviour and preferences.

Also, there are blockchain technologies that improve fraud detection and enable companies to offer a secure and transparent online medium as it helps in determining authenticity in multi-party transactions and expedite payment settlement, PwC said.

“Almost all customer interaction for online retailers occurs via phone or email and involves banking information or personal data, e-commerce sites are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

“Given the recent episodes of data breaches and alleged misuse of customer information, the need for adopting appropriate security measures has escalated significantly,” said Sandeep Ladda, PwC India Partner

The report further highlighted that frauds or data thefts cause not just financial loss but also reputation damage and consequently loss of business, which is detrimental in today’s global digital economy.
According to research from the Ponemon Institute, in 2017, India recorded the largest average number of breached records at 33,167 (global average = 24,089).


Bring change with fashion

The fashion industry is not just about the style quotient. It has taken a big leap with new technological expansions, opening up various doors for the designers to innovate. The budding designers are taught new softwares to aid their ideas, use eco-friendly fabrics and incorporating milk and even pineapple.

Fashion is more than what the big brands make it. If we combine the immense amounts of creativity and technology available today, sky is the limit. The JD Institute of Fashion Technology (JDIFT)’s fashion awards themed  ‘Change’ is a great example of that. Students were encouraged to think about the future, not only in terms of sustainability but in terms of inclusiveness as well. Right from the making of the fabric, to the selling of the garment, the designers are now looking to do things and bring about change.

“The theme was on how sustainability works. It is an attempt to make more responsible designers and think about more than just the fabric and the stitch,” Akshara Dala, director academics, JD Institute of Fashion Technology, says.

From a corporate line for the visually challenged that has QR code tags to read the description out loud to special athleisure wear in support of the LGBT community and a new collection for people with Down Syndrome, the students took up  various issues into consideration that they see around  and come up with a solution with their clothing line.

The collection ensures that it is comfortable with special care taken while choosing a fabric. The theme was also a great way to educate people and help them open up to ideas that they are otherwise unaware of.

Rudrani Chettri, India’s first a transgender who founded India’s first LGBT modelling agency, says: “People are a little intimidated but they know fashion is all about experimenting. The idea of a transgender is rather ugly to the people but with the help of fashion, this misconception can change. Fashion is now in the hands of the youth and they’re taking this opportunity to do more for the community than just setting trends. Fashion is about what you want to be and with the right kind of grooming and education, this is now a very realistic possibility.