Darshan Dave’s Stunning Jewels Captivate Paris Fashion Week!

French couturier Stéphane Rolland showcased his designer creations at the Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer Couture 2024 runway, accentuated by high-end designer jewels crafted by Darshan Dave, founder and the creative force behind Diosa. The collaboration marks an important moment in redefining high jewellery in Paris, infused with the artistry of Indian craftsmanship.

Indian jeweller Darshan Dave’s journey from the bylanes of Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar to fashion week runways in Paris is straight out of a movie script.

Earlier this year, when models strutted the flowy silhouettes of French couturier Stéphane Rolland at the Paris Fashion Week, they adorned high-end jewellery crafted with silver and studded with cubic zirconia, designed by Darshan Dave, founder of Indian brand Diosa.

L-R Darshan Dave, Stéphane Rolland and Sidonie Larizzi (2)

High jewellery is about craftsmanship and finesse. It shouldn’t matter if the piece achieved is with precious or non-precious material,” he declared in an interview with Solitaire International.

Dave started his journey in the jewellery world as an apprentice during high school summer vacations in Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar in the 90s. Hidden in the narrow bylanes of India’s legendary jewellery market, his offices were minimalist “where everyone worked on the floor of the shop.”

Dave does not come from a family of jewellers and had no education in jewellery designing, but he continued to build his knowledge and his love for jewellery by working in various roles for a number of jewellers from Zaveri Bazar to Panchratna, near Opera House, and sometimes in the Middle East, “where I got to learn about overseas markets.”

Jewels by Diosa for Stéphane Rolland Paris Fashion Week

After gathering years of experience, Dave aspired to start his own fine-jewellery brand using gold and diamonds because “back then buyers preferred only these materials for fine-jewellery,” he remarked.

Dave’s first entrepreneurial stint didn’t quite work in his favour as he fell short of funding and resources. “To make the first prototypes of my jewellery, I needed precious metals and gemstones on loan. But nobody would give me raw materials on credit because I had no family background of jewellers. My grandparents were modest teachers,” he claimed.

Dave’s failure to acquire precious metals on loan fired his innovative streak. That’s when the light-bulb moment came to make jewellery with silver and cubic zirconia. “I thought why not fill the gap between fine and costume jewellery,” he explained. “I zeroed in on silver for the choice of precious metal and experimented to create an alloy that does not cause allergies or oxidisation because these were the biggest hindrances for jewellers when it came to using silver to make jewellery.”

The model flaunts an open necklace by Diosa on the runway.

But how did Dave know that his idea would work? “I had a client who asked me to make jewellery that was luxury but at a certain lower price point than precious jewellery. That’s when I realised that there is a market for well-crafted semi-precious jewellery.”

In due course, Dave launched ‘Diosa’ meaning ‘goddess’ in Spanish, inspired from his love for Salsa, a popular Spanish dance form of which he has been an instructor for many years.

At Diosa, Dave started crafting silver jewellery with expert craftsmen from India. His jewels came with a 3-year anti-oxidation warranty and a lifetime exchange offer for his avant-garde jewellery. “All the stones used were synthetic,” he adds.

“I started Diosa with only a laptop from my bedroom in Mumbai in 2011,” Dave recalled, adding that he kickstarted sales through multi-brand jewellery stores in India thereafter expanding to overseas markets by participating in jewellery fairs and shows in the Middle East and Europe.

The model sports Diosa’s flared silver and cubic zirconia necklace.

“It was around 2013-14 when I started building meaningful relationships with partners in Europe. Diosa eventually opened stores in collaboration with various designers and multi-brand jewellery stores in the UK and France,” he adds.

Darshan Dave’s collaboration with French fashion designer Stéphane Rolland was a result of his relentless networking.

Based in Paris, Rolland’s work has been worn by many global tastemakers such as Beyoncé, Naomi Campbell and Lady Gaga, to name a few. One of his recent popular stints was with Netflix show ‘Emily in Paris,’ where he designed several of the key outfits worn by the protagonist and other leading characters in the OTT series.

Dave was first introduced to Rolland in 2017 by revered footwear & purse designer Madame Sidonie Larizzi at a store opening in France. Dave recalled: “Rolland was overwhelmed, and he exclaimed, ‘Wow! This is just absolutely fabulous.’ He was certain of materialising a collaboration when the time was right,” recalled Dave.

A few years later, when the opportunity arose to collaborate with Rolland, Dave put all his research on silver into action. “The collection made for Stéphane Rolland was very special. He wanted certain shades on silver and to achieve that kind of bronze effect and chocolate-colour plating, took a long time to achieve,” Dave concludes.

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