LONDON — Alighieri, one of London’s most talked about jewelry labels, took a fresh approach to showcasing its spring 2022 collection, “Inferno Unlocked.”
The founder, Rosh Mahtani, eschewed a traditional presentation format, and instead released one piece at a time on the label’s Instagram feed, giving herself, and her customers, more room to revel in the stories attached to each product.
In a fast-growing — and very saturated — fashion jewelry sector, amplifying the rich story behind each piece is a way for the label to highlight its point of difference.
Instead of hosting a big press event during fashion week, or following the traditional calendar, Mahtani is also planning to host more customer-centric events in October to mark the opening of her new London showroom, which she describes as a “magical space.”
It will house the entire Alighieri team under one roof and be open to customers. They can shop, meet the team, hang out — or read some poems by Dante Alighieri, for whom the label is named.
“It felt quite timely to say: ‘Let’s just do it our way, when it makes sense for our supply chain and everything else that’s happening in the business.’ The industry is based around doing these big shows, and it’s so press-driven. I wanted to go back to the roots of our customers because that’s what makes our business so strong,” said Mahtani. “Slowing down the pace is synonymous with allowing the story to be more powerful.”
Mahtani has a lot of captivating, timely stories to tell with her new collection. Intrigued by the depiction of hell in Dante’s “Inferno” as a place that’s frozen over, where there’s no movement or progress, she started playing around with sterling silver much more to capture an “icy, fresh feeling.”
Each piece then morphed into a magical tool — or spell — to help break through the ice of the inferno.
“The collection is all about the moment when the ice starts to melt, and you start to have progression again, you break through, you break the status quo and start to innovate in new ways,” said Mahtani.
“Releasing one piece at a time really allows each piece to breathe, and captures this idea of a magical spell or a treasure hunt. When you’re on a treasure hunt you find one piece at a time, so I wanted to replicate that journey for our customers.”
The aim is to launch two to three pieces a week, “as and when it feels right,” with all 33 pieces in the range — one for each canto in Dante’s “Inferno” — being released by the middle of October.
There are a lot of dagger motifs in the new range, offering a darker, more symbolic twist to the brand’s core medallion and chunky chain core collections, which still make up about 70 percent of its business.
“It’s exciting to bring a bit of a dark turn to the round medallions and have a point of difference, because medallions are everywhere at the moment,” added the designer.
Every piece being released is also immediately shoppable, in line with the brand’s customer-centric focus.
It’s the way our customers like to shop and even if something is made to order, because of our local manufacturing it will only ever take four to six weeks, it’s never this six-month delay. Isn’t the whole point of a brand to make products that customers can enjoy?” said Mahtani, adding that since launching the first few products via the brand’s Instagram and newsletter people have been responding positively to the new sterling silver look, and sales have been strong.
“We’re really going for it with this new metal that feels fresh and almost a bit more grungy — a real breath of fresh air. People are ready for really mixing the metals and going for a silver, frosted look,” she said.
As the collection unfolds, team Alighieri is also readying the launch of its new London showroom, in the heart of Hatton Garden, the city’s jewelry district that Mahtani has championed since the start of her career.
“It feels old school Hatton Garden, it’s down this little alleyway, and you have to search to find it,” said Mahtani, adding that over two floors the new space will house her marketing, wholesale, and production teams, as well as her own design studio.
“The ground floor showroom, which will be open to customers and industry professionals alike, was designed to feel like a gallery while the courtyard at the back will be open for people to read, hang out, have after-work drinks or join the brand’s al fresco restaurant pop-ups in the summer.”
She said the idea was to offer people a place buy jewelry and “to come and be part of our universe. With all of our team being based here as well, customers can also get an insight into the brand from beginning to end, experience the production side of it and meet the team actually doing the making,” added Mahtani.
“We want to bring back human contact. For us, because of that physical aspect and personal journey, the momentum of the last 18 months around jewelry will be able to sustain itself.”