Classic Touch

Maheep Kapoor talks with You & I
Having begun her career in jewellery design 17 years ago, Maheep Kapoor has become one of the most sought-after designers in the country today. She says it’s her love for what she does that accounts for her success, and goes on to tell us about the perks of being a star wife, her partnership with her friends Sussanne and Seema Khan, and her unique personal style.
You’ve made quite a name for yourself as a jewellery designer. What’s it been like so far?
It’s been going great. Everything about jewellery design is enjoyable, and one gets to learn something new every day. The most important thing while doing anything is to enjoy it, and when that happens you’ll excel in it. So don’t take designing as a job, but as something you love doing.
How did you get into this field?
By default! I’ve been a working woman ever since I was 17, so staying idle at home while expecting my daughter was just not on. It made me restless! It was then that I took up a course in jewellery design, with the snowball effect that landed me into designing jewellery for friends, and then to a full-time profession. It’s been 17 years since, and there’s been no looking back.
How is designing for movies different?
While designing jewellery for movies we have to keep in mind the scene – action, dance sequence, or romance – and the outfit the person is wearing. But most importantly, the jewellery has to be comfortable! The earrings shouldn’t tear the lobes and chokers shouldn’t literally choke the wearer, so the jewellery has to be light and comfy.
What is your take on jewellery as an investment?
People often ask me this question. I don’t think about reselling it when buying jewellery, but rather as beautiful pieces that can be passed on to children and grandchildren. Any woman who loves jewellery doesn’t think of it as an investment. Of course, it does have considerable value and that makes us feel great, but that does not mean we’ll sell it. Jewellery is a part of our culture. Every Indian woman, no matter how rich or poor, owns some valuable piece of jewellery. Even babies are adorned with jewellery soon after they’re born.
Name a Hollywood celebrity you would like to see wearing your work.
Honestly, I’d like to see them all in my jewellery. But if it comes down to choosing just one it would be Angelina Jolie. She’s truly beauty personified and would be able to carry off Indian jewellery with élan.
What about an Indian designer you love to collaborate with?
Seema Khan. Her Indian clothes and my jewellery work beautifully together and we share a very comfortable rapport.
Which movie, in your opinion, has the best jewellery?
All of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movies! Right from Devdas to Bajirao Mastani, Sanjay’s films are a visual treat. He goes into so much detailing that I go crazy when I see his movies. It’s like taking a child to a candy shop!
What is it like to be a star wife?
There are many perks of being a star wife and coming from a filmi family. There are a lot more eyeballs on you and it’s easier for people to believe in you. It has definitely helped my work a lot!
Tell us about Bandra 190.
Bandra 190 is a great store that has something for everyone. We’re always coming up with new collaborations and roping in new designers. Whether you’re looking for Western clothing, ethnic apparel, traditional jewellery or designer accessories, we’ve got them all!
How is it to be partnering with your friends, Sussanne and Seema Khan?
It’s great! Luckily, we all get along really well and complement each other. It also makes going to work so much fun!
You’re quite a fashionista. What’s your personal fashion sense like?
Growing older has brought on the realisation that comfort is most important. I go with the flow, and buy and wear anything that appeals to my eye. Of course, I follow trends, but not blindly. When I travel I love to see the local street fashion, and that blows my mind.
If it hadn’t been designing jewellery, what profession do you see yourself in?
No idea! I’ve never really thought about it; jewellery designer is all I can see myself as. But coming to think about it now, perhaps a talk show host, meeting people from various walks of life would be very interesting.
What do you do in your free time and what are your likes and dislikes?
Free time is rare, but when there’s some, I love to read. However, for now all my free time goes in doing my son’s homework (laughs)!  --- as told to Niharika