We often feel like the second career of every stifled creative woman working an analytic job is jewelry designer. The volume of press releases announcing new jewelry designers breaking free from their corporate life simply astounds. Everyone it believes they can help us accessorize. And yet so little quality seems to emerge from the morass of hopefuls that we had despaired of ever unearthing something of value. It seemed best to stay with established names when laying out for life's most precious purchases.
But just as we reached the pits of disinterest a beacon of hope emerged. Manju Jasty's namesake Manju Jasty Fine Jewelry is a new line worth discovering.
Inspired by classic Indian design, crafted from the finest quality materials, and honed by fresh aesthetics, Manju Jasty is a cultural treasure trove of ancient influences for modern women. With a focus on updating traditional Indian jewelry, the line features "negative" space as a way to lighten and renew for sophisticated yet easy to wear designs.
This was certainly the opinion of Barney's Fashion Director Julie Gilhart who by a chance encounter met Jasty. The designer charmingly did not know the director and was unaware of the buyer's incredible influence when Gilhart encouraged her work. In fashion fairytale form, Gilhart picked up the line for Barney's.
Jasty, an MBA and investment banker, had just left her job at Barclays Capital and from talking with her it sounds as if she was not entirely convinced jewelry was the route to go. And while its tempting to say it was meant to be with a first name derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “jewel box,” trust us when we say it could have gone poorly. The fact that Jasty had talent and inspiration to transcend the cliché made us take notice. But then perhaps we were simply jaded, for if anyone knows the true value of an updated cultural classic its a banker. We like to think its akin to rebranding a jewelry tradition. Nothing says success like taking an underperforming asset like one's heritage and making it live again.