The experiences of a designer born in Navsari, India, and raised in Tokyo have helped to hone the aesthetic of the Kapes Jewelry brand, and it’s a wonderful thing to behold.
The offerings of Karishma Patel, founder of Kapes Jewelry, boast a trifecta of the designer’s Indian heritage, Japanese culture, and Italian craftsmanship—an altogether striking combination that beckons the jewelry fanatic in anyone.
But it’s the brand’s pearl jewelry that is distinctly alluring: styles that prove easy to wear and incredibly modern, with a focus on pearl that isn’t overly pearl (if that doesn’t make sense, you might understand when you see it). Kapes has a way of putting out there a range of jewelry one may never want to take off (but should, given the delicate nature of pearls), and plenty of pieces that are versatile in nature—its two-way jewelry (necklaces that can be turned into bracelets) offers easy-on, easy-off glitz that can truly be worn every single day.
Below, some of Kapes’ chic styles, along with a bit of perspective from its designer, Karishma Patel.
Versatility is such an incredible quality to see in jewelry these days, as shoppers look to buy fewer, higher-quality things and hope to get maximum wear from their purchases. Can you tell us a bit more about your adjustable and convertible jewelry? What inspired you to create these styles?
I was born in Navsari, a small city in India close to Surat (the diamond city of India). At a young age I moved to Tokyo, where I grew up. My father had a wholesale diamond business there, and I would always go help him at his office and at the trade shows. I was so inspired by the Japanese work ethic, workmanship, and technology. I have always wanted to design jewelry that would suit my lifestyle. I wanted to be able to wear jewelry pieces that could take me from day to night and even work well with my Indian outfits. Though I was not living in India, the culture was still a big part of me.
Jewelry is a huge part of the Indian culture. We get gifted a lot of high-end gold jewelry, and most of the time it just sits in the safe unworn. I wanted to change that and create high-end pieces that were more wearable and versatile. I started to incorporate the adjustable spiral and magnetic technology into gold necklaces, bracelets, rings, and bangle designs. This concept allows you to wear a necklace as a bracelet or wear one necklace a few different ways depending on your mood or outfit. The spiral bracelets and rings fit all wrist and ring sizes, making them a perfect gift. Our designs really give the freedom to wear jewelry pieces the way you want and also give the option and flexibility to dress it up or down.
Your jewelry is just so wearable! That’s not always an attribute associated with pearls. Still, they’re such a delicate gemstone, what tips can you offer customers to care for their jewelry when they might not want to take it off?
I would say to keep a jewelry tray in your dresser drawer or a little padded tray on your bedside. Always put the jewelry on some kind of a cloth or padding when you aren’t wearing it. I have a little pouch in my bag as well with little nooks where I keep my on-the-go jewelry pieces. Also, try to remember to put on your pearl pieces after you’re done spraying perfume, as pearls are sensitive to chemicals!
What’s your favorite thing about working with pearls?
Pearls are truly timeless. You can never go wrong with them, as they go with everything. There are so many different kinds of shapes and colors, which keeps me motivated to keep creating unique and different pieces all the time. I can never run out of ideas! We use a lot of Japanese akoya, keshi, South Sea, and Tahitian pearls in our designs, and those are the keepsake kind of pearls. These are the kind of pearls that are passed on for generations, and that brings me a lot of joy thinking that these designs will be passed on to so many loved ones!
How has the pandemic impacted your business?
The pandemic has impacted the luxury and retail markets all across the world—stores being closed, shows being canceled, and not being able to travel. It has been a learning curve for us as we had been wanting to rebrand our business and we were able to do it during the start of the pandemic. We redesigned our website, made it more user-friendly, offering flexible payment options, and really bringing out the unique versatile concept to the online world. It has worked out really well for us because our design concept is unique, high-end yet affordable, and we have been able to reach a lot more people on our online platform.
What do you predict will be the biggest sellers this holiday season?
Most certainly everyday-wear pieces that are minimalistic, modern, and versatile. Jewelry pieces for stacking including rings and necklaces. Different styles of chains, paper clip chains, and paper clip bracelets. We have the 18k gold adjustable chains that are perfect for stacking necklaces and adjusting your pendant to be at a desired length everyday!
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