Manjari Sihare of Saffronart in a tête-à-tête with Namrata & Dharmesh Kothari of SYNA Jewels
New York: To mark the holiday season, The Story by Saffronart presents a collection of exquisite Mogul jewelry by renowned US based jewelry design firm SYNA, founded by Namrata & Dharmesh Kothari. Well known for curating private label collections for some of the world’s most esteemed jewelry houses, Namrata and Dharmesh launched their own designer label, SYNA, in 2003. Now in its tenth year, SYNA has made its way into most high-end stores across the United States. The designer couple talk to us about the simple, classic and timeless creations of SYNA, the materials, their use of age-old inlay and carving techniques and more in this exclusive interview.
Q. Please tell us about your brand ‘SYNA’?
SYNA was born in 2003 and excels in exquisitely crafted, luxurious jewelry using colored gemstones. SYNA means “together” It comes from synergy. The name relates to our desire to partner with people, be it our retailers, our vendors, our jewelers or our employees. We believe people can achieve great things by respecting each other and pooling their talents and resources.
Q. SYNA jewelry stands out for its use of semi-precious gemstones? Please elaborate on your choice of materials and the design philosophy?
Our design philosophy has always been to keep it simple. A piece should have only what is needed, nothing too much, and not less. You will not see pieces from SYNA with too much going on. We’re always always stripping a design to its core. We want to show the heart out instantly, and in it’s purest form, without losing its inherent character.
We believe in using the best of gemstones, which we source from all across the world. We collect roughs of various gemstones and cut the shapes we need as we want. We utilize complex methods to showcase jewelry in its simplest form possible, we never lose the inherent character of the stones, letting the natural beauty of gemstones take center stage. Everything is about achieving the most effective color display and combination. The silhouettes are classic yet striking and can complement a daytime denim or underscore a perfect little black dress. The simplicity of a SYNA piece with a twist of modern elegance is what keeps it timelessly fresh yet versatile.
Q. Do you manufacture SYNA jewelry in the United States? Tell us a little about your sourcing and manufacturing?
We make our jewelry in the United States using the most skilled jewelers in the industry. We cut and polish our gemstones in India. And our colored stone roughs are sourced from all across the world. We’re always in the search of exotic new materials and gemstones. Being hands on right from sourcing the raw materials to the finished product, there is no compromising at any stage.
Q. Could you talk to us about SYNA’s ‘Mogul Collection’ featured on The Story?
Like I said, our design philosophy has always been to keep it simple. We have taken intricate traditional Mughal shapes and extracted their purest forms and used them in our collections in simple, modern ways. Our signature & symbol is inspired by intricately latticed windows from Mughal palaces, effortlessly merged into a medallion. We proudly call it the Mogul. Our little signature identifies our roots and our design philosophy.
Being the heart of the SYNA brand are the Mogul Drops. The outer shape of the Mogul drops is inspired by the traditional red tilak, a Hindu symbol of victory,
success and good fortune placed on the forehead. We call them “Mogul” drops as they reflect the larger-than-life sizes (some even go to more than a hundred carats each). Our Mogul drops celebrate the culmination of Hindu and Mughal art influences in most architecture in India.
Little antiques, a child’s drawing, architecture, a landscape, door knobs, a memory , a word from a friend on the phone. There are always little things everywhere that gets us excited and thinking, be it during our travels or from our backyard. We love seeing how one inspiration fuses into another all the time.
Q. What are some of the key pieces in this collection and why do they stand out from everything else?
Our large Mogul Drops!! Each large drop is a over a 100 carats, cut to perfection and embellished with 18k yellow gold and diamonds. These can be adorned on vintage leather cords, blackened silver chains and 18k yellow gold chains (and even interchangeably). Each look transforms this simple classic piece into a versatile, chic style. We absolutely love the magic we see in the eyes of our clients when they wear these. The Mogul drops come in various sizes (large, medium and small) and in a lot of different stone species (amethyst, blue topaz, black spinel, rose quartz, blue chalcedony, moon quartz, citrine, lemon quartz, smoky quartz, rock crystal and more) embellished with 18k yellow gold and champagne and black diamonds.
Q. Please share the retail history of SYNA?
SYNA was born in 2003, when we came to the US. It’s been quite a joyride ever since, with some highs and some lows (and some serious bumps!!) Our first collections were taken by the big names in the industry. It helped us survive the giant leap we took from India then. Today, the SYNA brand is showcased in most high-end retail stores nation-wide including Neiman Marcus & Mitchells family of stores. We choose only the best in the business in each location.
Q. Where do you see SYNA in the next 5-10 years
The last ten years have been our foundation years, long and significant. These years were also some of the most exciting years of our lives. In the next five years, we’ll see a lot of “distribution” magic within SYNA. We’re here since the last ten years, but we’re yet discovering new places. We’re still touring each city, still discovering new store locations, we’re still meeting people, people whom we will work for a life-time. We are growing each day and we’re loving every moment. The next decade will be the most crucial years for Syna, and hopefully they will be path-breaking.
Q. What kind of buyers does the brand cater to?
Our clients are drawn to our pieces for the purity of color and elegance. They are compelled to touch the stones and get a feeling of spirituality. They love simple, sophisticated styling with an understanding of natural gemstones and appreciate fine quality.
Q. Your recommendations to build a classic SYNA Collection
A large or medium Mogul drop on a vintage cord. Some Baubles rings and bracelets. Simple modern Paris cobblestone earrings and a little SYNA bold chakra charm pendant is a good way to start with. From there on, one can build the collection with additional drop colors & sizes (for layering) and some more Baubles colors (to add more combinations to your existing look) and more earring styles. One will be amazed to see how they can use the same piece to create different looks all the time. Usually, we meet up our clients at various events with their existing jewelry (their SYNA pieces and their other pieces) and we create their jewelry looks right away. They always leave the event surprised and awakened on how some colors do so much magic on them than the others. It’s amazing how nature gives us these gems with such potent color, each of them providing us with the opportunity to create beautiful color stories.