In Conversation with Roohi Oomerbhoy Jaikishan
For the entrepreneur, a modern heirloom isn’t just an object — it’s a memory, an emotion, a moment etched in time. Exploring natural diamonds around the world with her mother as a young child not only broadened her understanding of jewellery but also refined her own aesthetic.By Esha Mahajan |
A member of the Natural Diamond Council Style Collective, Roohi Oomerbhoy Jaikishan’s creative vision and relationship with jewellery, natural diamonds in particular, shaped our Trend Report for 2022.
Who has been your biggest influence when it comes to jewellery?
My mother. She was always a collector of jewellery, natural diamonds in particular, and wore it beautifully. Some of my earliest memories are of watching her get ready before an event — the act of adornment was mesmerising. She had the most incredible knack for discovering that diamond in the rough and I was lucky to be able to see it growing up. She didn’t shield me from experiences; instead she exposed me to the finer things in life. We would see trays of brilliant diamonds, pearls and precious gems at jewellers in Park Lane; listen to incredible stories of design at hole-in-the-wall stores in Bombay, and browse vintage pieces at the Hong Kong Jewellery Fair.
How have these experiences shaped the way you invest in jewellery?
I have grown up admiring jewellery from all over the world, watching my mother search for the right piece — just the casing of a brooch could draw her attention; she saw potential. Collecting jewellery, therefore, is also about a sense of discovery. Sometimes it’s about a new cut or a novel setting, but many times it’s about the older pieces that capture a moment in time. A brooch seen in an old family photo or a necklace bought at an auction.
What is your understanding of an heirloom — not only as an object but in the context of the memories and refinement in taste that you have also inherited?
Each piece that I inherited from my mother and grandmother comes with an emotion, a connection to a particular moment in time when it was worn. There’s a diamond ring that I saw my grandmother wear all through my childhood and my mother’s wedding band that I now wear on a chain around my neck — they take me back to a potent memory of my life. My hope is that they will be passed on to my children and continue to evolve and hold bigger stories.
What is your approach towards fashion and the art of dressing?
I am very conscious of supporting upcoming designers, engaging in slow fashion, and buying from brands who support sustainability and ethical practices. For me, it’s not about attaining status from a price tag. When a brand has integrity and a narrative that is inclusive, ethical, and sustainable, that is purposeful to me.
How do you choose to style your jewellery?
I wear a lot of diamond Indian jewellery, but set in a contemporary way. Often, I may pair it with leather pants or a leather jacket to truly make it my own. I think all women universally wear natural diamonds beautifully — but I particularly love how the new generation hip hop artists have brought a sense of ease and cool to diamonds, wearing them with casual nonchalance.
Photographer – Mayank Mudnaney
Videographer – By The Gram / Piyush Wadhel
Jewellery and Outfit – Roohi’s own
HMUA – Recinda Martis
On Ground Producer – Danisha
Production – By The Gram