On her circuitous path to 20 karat success
It’s not surprising to learn that Coomi Bhasin once worked as a textile designer. Her jewelry—all waves, coils, beadwork, and tactile shapes—begs to be touched. Her past career as a landscape designer explains such nature-inspired collections as Trinity (recalling a pebble-strewn riverbank) and Serenity (evoking desert sand and cactus flowers). Her time as an architect undoubtedly contributed to her sharp sense of space and proportion—her diamond and gemstone pieces are substantial, yet never overwhelm the wearer. Since 2002, Bhasin has been creating jewels for her Coomi brand—organic, hand-crafted designs in high-karat gold. Her metal of choice: 20k gold. “The purer the gold, the better the physical effect of the metal against the skin,” she says. Here’s more about the multifaceted artist.
Coomi’s sons Sahil and Akash
Age: I am reborn every morning.
Number of years in the biz: 10
Number of employees you oversee: 11
Family and pets: Precious
Describe your personal style: It’s what makes me happy. It’s not about the latest trend, or what everyone will think.
Coomi’s dog, Dhara Singh
First piece you ever designed: My mom’s necklace. Took most of my mom’s precious jewelry when I was 6 and broke them into pieces and stuck them on a piece of fabric. To me it was the most beautiful jeweled collage, but I doubt if my mom has forgiven me. Till today, when we disagree, it always comes up.
The single piece of jewelry you’re most proud of: The Antiquity boat pendant. It is truly a wearable piece of art.
Best piece of advice you ever received: Live every day like it’s your last. My father always said this to us.
First job ever: Designing screen prints for T-shirts
How did you get started designing jewelry? As far back as I can remember, I have always designed jewelry—since I was a child.
If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? I would be a chef, as I love to cook.
|Antiquity 20k bracelet with three-strip paisley cuff||Antiquity 20k ring with carved ruby and diamonds|
Jewelry you’re wearing right now: Always my engagement ring. Have not taken it off for over 40 years.
Antiquity boat pendant
Favorite gemstone: Spinel
Five items on your desk right now: Family picture, sketchbook, jar filled with precious and semiprecious stones, eye loupe, music
What did becoming a member of the CFDA mean to you? I still think I am dreaming and will wake up. It is the biggest honor anyone in fashion can receive.
Exercise regimen: Yoga every morning and breathing exercise after. A bath.
What did you have for breakfast? Oatmeal with nuts, black sesame seeds, and fruit. No milk or sugar.
Guilty pleasure: Sleeping late
Drink (daytime/evening): Mango juice (day), red wine (night)
First website you check every day (not your own!): Kitco
Scent: Essence of night jasmine
How do you unwind? Cooking, gardening, or reading
Mango juice…great with Indian food!
Favorite thing to do when you’re back in India: Eat, eat, and eat.
Superstitious? If your feet touch someone else’s feet, you shake hands. I find myself doing
this all day.
Book you’re reading: Steve Jobs biography
Book you’ve been meaning to get to: At least 100. I am a compulsive reader.
Preferred news source: The Wall Street Journal
Main means of transportation: Driving
Favorite movie: Ben Hur. It has great childhood memories.
Who would play you in your life story? Julia Roberts
Personal motto: Just live for now.