On Confessionz Today : Sumit Sawhney : "Apala "

Thursday, May 31, 2012
"In Conversation with - Sumit Sawhney  "

Few Weeks ago when I was invited to meet “Sumit Sawhney” the designer and owner at “Apala” founded  in 2006 ,which  has the most exquisite, elegant and stunning pieces of jewellery in silver with precious and semi precious stones with 22 karat gold layering over silver..
The first look of the store left me Awestruck rather Bling* struck! and the interior of the store is so fascinating ,it will take you to some other Era ..you'll think of " Mughals "and "Romans" at the same time.. Apala means the" most beautiful" in Sanskrit and that’s the right word to describe his jewellery....

In conversation: Me , Mansi( in blue blouse) and Sumit (the designer)

Apala has its outlets at Hauz Khas village in Delhi ( the one I visited) and Galleria market in the heart of Gurgaon  .Talking of his stores.. He told me ,how he stayed at the Hauz Khas store the whole night, doing the interiors ,to make sure that each patch on the wall , textures and the whole look of the store is exactly how he imagined it to be....

Apala store in Hauz Khas Village, Delhi 

He is from a family of designers, His mother, "Arti Sawhney" is a successful Furniture designer .. But instead of following his mother’s footsteps he made his own path and his jewellery Label “Apala” is now a Big name in the  Fashion scene.. and this is what he had to say about it. “..From the very childhood I have been very creative, I have always been into paintings,.. I am a creative soul totally .. Luckily my parents never forced me into something that I didn’t wanted to .  10th grade , I did Fashion Design and Merchandising from NIFT, Delhi along with my schooling and somewhere down the line I realized  ,I am meant for jewellery . So immediately after my 12th i started my formal training in jewellery designing , gained technical skills in designing and grading of precious stones from JDTI and Gemmological Institute of America respectively.thats how my journey started..matter of 4-5 years there I was off to certain institutes grading diamonds for them , doing up celebrity jewellery , couple of movies like Paheli(2005) and few art films ..
I can kill for this necklace.. :p yes, we had a little photo session..and guess who is the photographer.. Sumit , the designer himself.. He does all the jewellery shoots himself.. a true Creative Soul he is..

On asking about his Clientele he shares.., "My clientele includes Bollywood’s leading ladies like Vidya Balan , Deepika Padukone , Shabana Azmi.. politicians.. people from different backgrounds , artists , bands.. We have jewellery from Bikers to Brides ..and for any mood or occasion "
And very rightly said.. The lady in this picture just came in with the intention to pick a souvenir that she would take back to her country and ended up buying three gorgeous pieces of earrings from" Apala " and she didn't even have her ear pierced .. so she got the stems removed from each earring so that she can attach those clipons later.. 

I wonder how his jewellery is  so beautiful ,contemporary and  timeless . A man with such aesthetics and this deep understanding of designs that its hard to believe that its the work of a male designer..and to this he said..
“I think its pretty cliché and we moved on, if u see women, they are doing men clothes and started dressing the way men use to and men have started experimenting different colors. I think it was an old perception and we have moved on.  We are family of designers and we are open about it.Jewellery is more of a craft , detailed work.. So, I relate myself better to jewellery.If I was doing clothes, I would relate myself to jewellery v/s Clothes..there is a strong passion for this art.Since i use to paint before my medium has transformed. Whatever creative mood I am , my designs transform into them. Everything from music to monuments inspire me.." 

Designer and his Mouse :p The Necklace I am wearing is from the " Tomb Collection" 

Sumit  comes up with  new collections every now and then...because.. “ I am constantly on the move , designing things.I don’t wait for an occasion . The USP of my store just that we have jewellery for everyone and for every mood. At times I am forced to do a commercial range but I would still add my touch to it. At times I do really bold pieces , I would really not care that they have commercial value or not. But because of those bold pieces my other jewellery pieces would sell. So that’s where people come to me and they experiment, they don’t care whether its gold or silver, they just care for more artistic designer pieces." -Sumit..

Who said neck is the only place to flaunt a necklace.. one piece of jewellery can play many roles.. I was in the mood to wear it like a Passaa.. 

He is very selective when it comes to selling his jewellery. He says “ There are certain people who will not attract that energy to posess that piece ,so I would be selective to whom I sell at times, not every time. Being a designer, my job is to design and if the person carries it off well, gets compliment for that piece then my job is done. I have to move on and  start creating much more beautiful pieces and break the same bench mark that I created for myself."

I am definitely going to Apala for my Wedding jewellery.. I heart those earrings and ring ..

 And.. about copycats ,that's what he said “ people would come to the store , see the show -window and  click pictures , copy my stuff  , it really use to put me off. I was like an Eagle watching over my stuff.. But with time I realized.. that if they are doing it.. its okay. Ultimately its going to be my design and they can’t take my creativity away and they can’t get the same finish.”

I asked him, how does he classify his style of work “More than my personality it’s my Mood. So.. I am moody but in a good sense. My mood would depend on what I am listening , what I am reading ,the kind of architecture, what I am studying  , whenever I design I avoid to look at jewellery pieces from books, so I don’t get influenced. It would be actually my mood that would influence me.. But yes if you say personality overall my personality is very bold , as a character of design, very outgoing , very trendy , combinations of old and new, I love to revive old  Era back. My sense of style dressing is also very similar, bringing ancient and contemporary together so that’s my style and that’s what overall dominates my personality of blending the old and new . Very ‘Contemporary Centric’.
that's such a beautiful Passaa..

“From a pair of shorts to an evening Gown.. the same piece of jewellery can transform your whole look.. fitting into so many areas of style.. that’s the Boldest character of my Jewellery” says, Sumit.


When I asked him about his favorite piece of jewellery, that he wears everyday, he shows me a Sapphire Ring that he made out of a silver key ring and a broken earring , its very rugged and unfinished, and that's what he told me about it , “I don’t like it very finished , I like it rugged . if I wanted it to be perfect, I would have given it to a worker to do it . I would do a finished watch but wear a ring that’s totally rugged and unfinished. That's my personality”-Sumit..

This designer has no interns. On asking why, Sumit shares..“ This phase of  my life, my creativity is flowing and I don’t want to get influence by anybody or anyone’s idea . It might happen sometime in future , but right now, i am happy with the way things are going.”

At times He  designs furniture pieces,but Would love to get into designing of Men’s wear, he thinks there is a dearth for Men’s wear.. He said " People are not experimenting and are stuck up with their blues and whites "

When I asked him about expansion and future Plans.. he tells me " We are planning to open stores at Bangalore, London....we  are already exporting in Europe and middle East.., we have stuff happening in UK.."

I'll have to break this conversation here..  as I don't want to make this post too long for readers.. But there is so much left to share about this afternoon.. I promise to come back with more about his jewellery , updates, new collection.

Like their official Page HERE to  get updates about the new colections and tips from  Sumit