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Interview: Mona Shroff

Leading Hong Kong jewellery designer Mona Shroff talks to Hannah Hodson about the origins of her business, which has become a red carpet favourite

While many areas of the fashion world continue to pay homage to minimalism and muted hues, high fashion jewellery, by contrast, is getting bigger and bolder every season. One designer leading the way for statement pieces is Hong Kong’s Mona Shroff.

Kicking off her career back in India, Shroff remembers: “I wasworking at Garden Silk, one of the biggest textile companies in Mumbai, before I came to Hong Kong in 1988. Since then it’s been my home.” It was her arrival here that ignited her relationship with precious stones. “My friend from Dubai was looking for a designer who could handle designing and manufacturing [jewellery] for a small showroom,” she explains. “I took the job and started sourcing factories that could make my designs.”

As her relationship with factories expanded, so did her responsibilities. Shroff tells us: “I joined with factories for long-term business and eventually big department stores followed. I started manufacturing all sorts of accessories – jewellery, sunglasses, evening bags and more. At one point I was dealing with 150 factories all over the world and was enjoying the fun of being within the fashion world.”

Though her contacts in the industry were growing, Shroff was yet to launch her own label. 2008 proved the turning point. “I was in a major car accident in 2008 and while lying on my hospital bed I decided it was time to launch my own label,” she recalls. This dream came true in 2011, once Shroff was on the mend. “After going through surgeries and treatments, I was finally back to a semi-normal life by mid-2010,” she says. “Even though I had to keep going to Mumbai for pending surgeries and checkups, I started a collection for my own label. I registered the name of my brand in January 2011 and began working on the website and designs.”

Today, Mona Shroff Jewellery is at the forefront of modern design, stocked worldwide in leading stores including Selfridges in London. Shroff sums up her label: “My style is designing timeless and classic pieces. I make statement pieces, so you only need to wear one necklace or a pair of earrings and you’ll make heads turn.” These pieces have proved to be popular among celebrities, including Danielle Robay, who sported her designs on the Oscar’s red carpet earlier this year.

Mona Shroff Jewellery Available at various locations inc Harvey Nichols, Shop G11, G/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Rd C, Central, 3695 3388; monashroffjewellery.com.

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