Beate Steinfeld, Head of Trend & Design, Titan Company Limited, in an exclusive email interview with Solitaire International, discusses the birth of the collection Samāvé by Zoya, and the first-ever unique setting developed for it that has been registered for a patent.
Zoya recently announced its exquisite autograph collection Samāvé, which sources inspiration from ancient fables of women, water and life. The new-age collection is designed with clean lines in rose and white gold and its visual vocabulary interprets architectural elements of India’s ancient stepwells, to deliver a versatile selection of rings and earrings, necklaces and bracelets.
Beate Steinfeld takes us through the journey of Samāvé:
What inspired you to pay homage to the Baolis (stepwells) of India?
Stepwells are architecturally stunning. In the ancient times, these stepwells or baolis were unique spaces that served as catalysts for women to come together and create meaningful bonds. These bonds nourished women, enabled them to reconnect with their feminine power and became a source of strength for them.
With Samāvé, we wanted to create something unforgettable that reflected this powerful sentiment, especially in today’s day and age. We wanted to design a collection that celebrated the facets of a woman as she journeys through life. The inspiration for all our collections has the Zoya woman at its core and all that is meaningful to her.
What does Samāvé mean?
Samāvé is a Sanskrit word that means to unite, come together, to be connected intimately. As stepwells essentially served as important spaces for women to gather for chores, recreation and to worship, the name of our collection captures and showcases our design inspiration beautifully.
How long did it take for you to bring out the collection from concept to creation?
Each collection at Zoya is a labour of love and takes between nine months to a year from conception to delivery. With Samāvé, our design inspiration was the stepwell which is an ancient architectural marvel but we wanted to give it an international design language with the patented setting.
Tell us more about the diamond cuts and placements? Did you encounter any challenges during the production stage?
Impeccably crafted, every aspect of the crafting process is a demonstration of the Zoya team’s technical mastery. Gemstones have been cut with precise artistry to tease out their lustre, and they have been set at an unusual incline to match the geometry of the outer square of the stepwells, while balancing the inequities of natural stones. The angle and placement of baguettes in an unending loop, gives rise to a continuous stream of light, structurally designed to create a dramatic play of light and shadows. In the unexpected ‘reverse’ architecture of the setting, a round brilliant-cut diamond is placed in the centre, representing the aquatic heart of the stepwell. The inaccessibility of the areas inside the setting presented a challenge for precision in shaping, making traditional prongs impossible to use.
Samāvé’s unique setting has been achieved through precise casting of diamonds directly into the gold. Only diamonds of the finest quality were chosen based on their ability to survive the intense heat of the casting process that takes place in a furnace. Tiny azure-cut windows behind the stones ensure accessibility for polishing tools that finally deliver the impeccable finish.
Did you emulate any aspects of baoli architecture in this collection… Was scaling down to the size of wearable jewellery a problem?
When we have an idea, we build around it, creating cohesion and identity for the collection. The diamonds and white gold reflect the clear purity of water, while gentleness of the rose gold is a nod to the earthy stone steps of the well, all with the form of the recurring, patented, diamond collet of the ‘Zoya Baoli’ setting, with baguettes strategically placed to create the shimmering central core.
A Step Well Taken!
Amanpreet Ahluwalia, Business Head, Zoya, provides details of the first-of-its-kind setting called ‘Zoya Baoli’.
Design/gem-setting patenting in India is still in its infancy. What made you seek patent rights and for which aspect – setting or design?
This setting is a first of its kind worldwide, it is unique and innovative and we have a ‘Design Registration’ for the setting and it is ‘Patent Pending’. We have sought patent rights for the setting, called the ‘Zoya Baoli’, and it will be used in our future collections, thereby evolving into a brand identifier in the coming years and becoming a Zoya autograph collection.
How tedious is the process to get a patent? How long is it valid?
‘Patent pending’ implies that we have applied for the patent. Since the process is longer it generally takes above two years to get the patent and it is valid for 20 years from the date of filing the patent.