Anisha Parmar’s eye-catching jewellery is deeply influenced by her multicultural roots and the city she calls home. In this interview, she reveals the inspiration behind her label, her creative process and her plans for 2018.
ELLE: What inspired you to start Anisha Parmar London?
Anisha Parmar: I was born and raised in Wembley (London), and grew up spending my after-school evenings watching my parents work on their own menswear business — I really think the bug of having my own label came from those early days. I studied at London College of Fashion, where I did my master’s degree in Fashion Artefact. I see jewellery as the art of wearing miniature sculptures on one’s body. So for my final project, I opted to focus on body sculptures — and it was the ideal fit. I also worked at various fashion brands, including Gucci, before I took the leap to start my label in September 2015.
ELLE: Tell us about the influences in your collections.
AP: My family’s journey from India to East Africa, and then finally to Britain, as migrants, is where my influences stem from. But London, too, is one of my key inspirations: it’s so culturally diverse; it is the perfect setting for me to gather all my ideas. I take all these influences around me and channel them into my designs, for example, taking traditional tribal patterns and making them graphic and modern.
Bead statement necklace
Tribal pop crown and X statement choker
Style Tip: Parmar’s fun, quirky jewellery is perfect for summer travel. Team it with whites or neutrals to let the pieces pop.
ELLE: What is your process when you are creating a new collection?
AP: One of my starting points is to look at an archive of gold jewellery pieces that belongs to my mother and grandmothers. Whenever I feel a creative block, I pull out these incredibly intricate pieces, and always find something new and special in them. I then put together a moodboard, take pen to paper, and sketch. I spend a long time searching for unusual materials and unique techniques. Every piece is carefully hand-painted, so each has something unique about it, making it special to the wearer.
ELLE: What are your plans for 2018?
AP: To grow the brand, travel more to learn about other cultures and heritages, and work on my upcoming collection as well as on more sculptural body pieces. This year, I have also collaborated with London-based ready-to-wear designer Shilpa Bilimoria on a storytelling blog called Ani & Shi (Aniandshi.tumblr.com), where we share stories and imagery of the sartorial journeys of our migrant families, and how they inspire our work and style.