Payal Kedia Bor and Anuja Kedia took different routes to
becoming jewelry designers, but when the stylish sisters ultimately
did it, they did it together, creating Allia-named after their
Their father is a diamond dealer who operates a jewelry
manufacturing facility and their mother designs precious jewelry
for private clients in India and Thailand.
Initially, Payal didn't want to follow the family's
jewelry-making tradition. First, she worked in Web design in
Mumbai, India, and then in marketing for a jewelry designer in New
York. But she found herself more and more enamored with the idea of
jewelry as something that lasts, and that can be collected like
"As a girl, I would collect little trinkets here and there and
as I grew older, it continued, only those trinkets became more
valuable jewelry," Payal recalls. "That realization, plus access to
my dad's factory and my mom's inventory made me want to design my
own unique line of jewelry, a line that was a reflection of my
aesthetics and taste."
Anuja, meanwhile, started out with an interest in the arts, and
studied metal and jewelry arts at the California College of Arts
"I initially wanted to be a painter, but found myself being
drawn towards the metal arts the more I was exposed to it," Anuja
says. "What appeals to me about jewelry is the idea of creating
unique, wearable pieces of art out of raw materials for the sake of
adorning the body."
Ever the artist, Anuja carries around a sketchpad so that when
an idea comes into her head she can sketch it.
"I think our jewelry's appeal to women is its classic, yet modern
feel," Anuja says.
The sisters, who grew up traveling all over the world, say
exploring new places have inspired their creations. "My travels
exposed me to various cultures and their aesthetics," said Anuja
says. "From the elements in architecture to metal grill works
on buildings to stained glass in churches to nature."
Although it may sound cliché, everything about nature inspires
her, including the lines on a tree trunk and bold animal
"I carry around a sketchbook with me all the time and have been
doing so for years," Anuja says.
"When I am surrounded by inspiring objects or forms, I sketch
them. A lot of times, I end up incorporating them in my
Television, books, and their immediate surroundings also serve
as inspiration, the sisters say. The two also enjoy visiting
museums, and inspirations include various contemporary Indian
artists and abstract paintings, including Gerhard Richter.
At Allia, beautifully cut colored gemstones in fancy shapes are
the centerpiece, and the designs are set in either 18-karat gold or
- for those seeking the 18-karat gold look at a more affordable
price- gold vermeil.
The gemstones used in the collections include smoky quartz, white
quartz, citrine, onyx, blue topaz, honey quartz, rainbow
moonstones, labradorite, lapis lazuli, rutilated quartz, green
chalcedony and olive quartz.
"What appeals to women about our collections is the quality of
the pieces, the bold and unique cut and shapes of the stoned, and
the interesting color combinations," Payal says.
The sisters love the way yellow gold brings out the glamour and
"oomph" in gemstones such as citrine and white quartz, and the
combination of opaque stones with translucent ones.
While basics like hoops and three-stone fancy earrings in white
quartz are popular, the designers love to see customers take a
chance with larger pieces like long, cluster earrings or a 36-inch
white quartz stone necklace.
Anuja points out that the sisters also take into consideration
the weight of jewelry "as we are aware of the importance of
comfort." Their customers tend to be modern women between the ages
of 25 and 50 who appreciate bold style and versatility.
"We have created jewelry, keeping various types of women in
mind," Anuja says. "We have everyday, easy-to-wear jewelry, and
jewelry for special occasions that are bold, statement pieces. Our
Jewelry can be worn during the day and transition into
We love Prada. There are so many staples in the collections and
they are also so experimental. Another favorite of ours is Burberry
Prorsum, especially what they are doing with trench coats-classic
with a twist. We also love Indian contemporary artists and
abstract paintings like that of Gerhard Richter.
The asymmetrical clothing by Helmut Lang and Rick Owens would go
well with the Allia asymmetrical cut earrings and rings. Our long
chain necklaces would look great with the draped and gathered and
pleated tops and skirts by Donna Karan and Lanvin.
A three-line diamond bracelet that my parents gave to me. All
three sisters have the same bracelet.
The Fancy Collection white quartz charm drop earrings, the Ice
Cube Collection honey quartz hoops, the 3-stone cushion and
baguette smoky and the citrine Ice Cube earrings.
1. A tan Burberry trench coat
2. Prada shoes
3. A Donna Karan long draped evening dress
4. A cozy cashmere cardigan
5. A soft Bottega Veneta weave bag.
To the Canadian Rocky Mountains this summer for our mom's 60th
birthday, to Thailand to visit our newborn nephew and niece and to
design the new collections. And to Bordrum, Turkey, for a
girlfriend's 40th birthday celebration.
Either the white quartz charm drop earring, which is affordable
and great for everyday wear, or the small fancy white quartz hoops
or small white quartz cluster hoops.
Alberta Feretti 1920's inspired flapper like dresses for
Spring/Summer 2012. For Spring/Summer our favorites are the
aquatic-y/batik-y prints by Peter Pilotto and the way the colors
blend into each other. And I love the tribal Batik prints by
Burberry Prorsum and the graphic and retro prints by Marni. I also
love the printed cropped pants, which are so fashionable for this
year-so fun and young.
Audrey Hepburn, particularly in Breakfast at Tiffany's, because
of her poise and the way she carried off every outfit from Givenchy
dresses to cropped pants with flats, to the scarf around her head.
We also like 1950s fashions, which remind me (today) of Roland
Mouret's pencil skirts and his hourglass cuts.
Someone who invests in developing and enhancing their jewelry
wardrobe and sees it as a rite of passage toward becoming or being
This was Allia's first collection and the one that inspired and
directed those that followed. Clean and chic, the design team was
drawn to the versatility of clear white quartz -but not just any
stones. They chose fancy-cut stones in one-of-a-kind shapes to give
the collection a bold and edgy look. The irregular facets of the
gemstone similarly add a lovely luster-the icing on a very sweet
and fancy cake.
The Ice Cube collection, as the name suggests, features gemstone
shapes that are either square, baguette, or emerald-cut, or some
slight variation thereof. These classic, modern shapes were
inspired by the Art Deco era of the 1920s where flappers of the era
would delight in the mix of gemstones including honey quartz,
Madeira citrine, citrine and smoky quartz. Offering rich warm
shades of yellow and orange, the stones are a mix of classic facets
while others are irregularly yet gorgeous. Placed side by side in
either a dangling or fixed fashion, they are modern classics.
The strong, directional shapes in Allia's Jagged collection are
perfect for those with a taste for drama. The sultry hues of smoky
quartz evoke power and confidence, while the labradorite's
dimensional hues lend an air of mystery. The defined yet feminine
stone shapes are set in 18-karat vermeil to add a bit of
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