Bespoke jewellery label Nornament opened the doors to its Elgin Road showroom last year. The jewellery house, created by Sushma Maloo in 1998, has managed to make some significant strides in the luxury jewellery spectrum in the last two decades. The label’s curation has a balance of cocktail picks, bespoke pieces and heritage designs that are rooted in homegrown thought. The brand’s steady focus on personalised jewellery has helped it find its niche, especially in the shifty post-pandemic market.
“Nornament is all about the amalgamation of wearable artisanal craft with sustainability, responsible sourcing and best, circular practices. We strive towards a seamless execution of personalised luxury,” says Sunanda Maloo, who took on the mantle of lead designer for Nornament Kolkata last year. But what is luxury buying really like in Kolkata? Maloo, in a short chat with My Kolkata, helps with some insight…
My Kolkata: Tell us about your approach to modern luxury jewellery. How are you contemporising it?
Sunanda Maloo: The idea behind our pieces is to let women and men feel confident in their own skin. In terms of contemporising, we are working with bold colours, patterns and textures. We put special care into sourcing each component.
Our newest line, for instance, is based on the rich cultural heritage of our country. It features a collection of coveted diamonds and coloured stones that have been responsibly and carefully sourced. These are timeless classics and also pieces of art.
Nornament caters to online buyers. Has that affected your design process? Are some pieces easier to sell online than others?
Our online buyers are inquisitive and interactive. At times, clients have specific designs they’re looking for, and with current technological advancements, we can design exact pieces to match their requirements. At the moment, virtual buyers are looking to accessorise, so easy-to-wear jewellery for day-to-day use is selling the most.
Since we design simple yet personalised pieces, they are versatile. For example, chokers have been the most loved trend in the last few years. They are also top-sellers this year so far, and we are currently working towards offering personalised chokers.
What do you think of Kolkata’s buyer base?
Kolkatans are deeply rooted to the city and their choices reflect that. Kolkata is a city of art, culture and literature, so Kolkatans have an inclination for contemporary craft. We have observed that our brand ethos totally resonates with the clients we have found in the city.
Tell us a little about your design journey
I’ve always been creative. While there were various options available to quench my creative thirst, jewellery seemed to be the most beautiful and well-preserved avenue of art. This disorganised industry can be a bit challenging, but that also leaves room for so much to be done. Being a fresher in the legacy-driven industry, my journey started at a private institute in Mumbai where I learnt designing. I got a lot of exposure to the industry there, beyond the classroom training.
Then, I went on to study diamonds and coloured stones from the pioneers of diamond grading – GIA. Here, I met a bunch of wonderful people who guided me into the industry. Ever since, this journey has been slow, steady and increasingly intriguing. After a pandemic, a few internships and countless webinars, I'm ready to take a significant plunge.
What are younger jewellery shoppers in Kolkata looking for at the moment?
Younger shoppers in Kolkata, and in almost every other part of the country, are bold and experimental. They're clear in their choices and seek a meaningful value in every purchase now even more so. Passion is the keyword for Kolkata’s young buyers and they’re always looking for that in their jewellery too.
Nornament’s store is located at 26, Elgin Road, Bhowanipore, Kolkata - 700020