This Homegrown Fashion Label Draws Inspiration From Nature To Churn Out Designs
From scrunchies to statement jewels, Aarjavee encompasses all
Sustainable, hand-crafted and indigenous are three aspects that come together to build the DNA of Aarjavee. A jewellery and clothing label, the eponymous brand by Aarjavee Shah harbours an earthy, warm aesthetic. Following her graduation from NIFT Gandhinagar, Aarjavee converted her passion for nature and intricate details into a long-term project. Whether you’re on the lookout for OTT jewellery pieces that spells unique or simply looking for upcycled clothing, trust this label for addition.
Aarjavee Shah, Founder of the label, speaks to ELLE about its inception, inspirations, sustainability and more.
ELLE: Tell us a little more about the inception of Aarjavee. How did it begin?
AARJAVEE SHAH (AS): Aarjavee was born when I was just 13-years-old. I started sketching models wearing dresses, jewels and shoes and nothing distracted me from it. Even though I wasn’t sure of the product I would make, I was certain of being a designer and sharing all that I could create with the world. After graduation, I started working towards the brand with a more mature perspective. Understanding my personal style and needs when it comes to clothing and jewellery has helped shape Aarjavee in every way.
ELLE: What pushed you into jewellery designing?
AS: I have always been fond of jewellery, especially earrings. I have a huge collection, and it brings infinite joy to me. I cannot see it as a materialistic embellishment but only as a means of communication. For someone with imagination, I feel that sometimes when your hands are talking, a ring just adds to those emotions you are trying to communicate.
I believe that I have inherited my love for jewellery from my grandmother. She often gives me her jewels. Each and every piece has a story behind it with a sweet memory which she cherishes. It has stayed with me. It is a memory, a story to tell and a means of communication.
ELLE: What is the inspiration behind your jewellery designs?
AS: I get inspired by nature and the little things around me. Walking gives me an opportunity to look at the beautiful little things of nature that often go unnoticed. I am awestruck when I see textures and shapes made out of no human effort. Something that is fluid enough to be moulded into different shapes instantly makes me want to capture it.
One such recent inspiration has been pencil shavings. I was sharpening my pencil, and I was in awe of how the shaving fell off the sharpener. I remember how as kids, we would try and make an exact flower out of it. I couldn’t take my mind off it and decided to capture it permanently onto my canvas.
ELLE: Tell us a little more about Project Upcycle.
AS: Project Upcycle is very fulfilling. The process of seeing the junk turn into something little yet functional is beautiful. We always collect all of our clothing production waste. I started with using it as bedding for my jewellery packaging. Since the pieces are usually very small and are in random shapes, it makes a great alternative to bubble wrap.
With increasing waste, I upcycled and made a few bags. Now since scrunchies are back in fashion, we added those with our personal touch using beads for embellishment.
ELLE: What are your thoughts on upcycling and sustainability? Do you think it’s a fashion fad, or is it here to stay?
AS: I definitely think that it is here to stay. More than ever, people understand the benefits and importance of upcycling, recycling, a sustainable lifestyle, and being mindful. Not just with fashion but in every aspect.
Many young brands are being mindful with their production, fabric and dyeing choices. It is definitely slow but growing. There is no going back. It is the only future.
Photographs: Courtesy of Aarjavee Shah, Instagram