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May 21, 2024

Monica Shah on 15 years of JADE and designing the flagship Delhi store

Arushi Sakhuja 
JADE was launched in 2008 as the culmination of Monica & Karishma’s passion for craft and couture, and over 20 years of experience in international fashion and haute couture. Working with several international designers under their flagship export brand Chanakya International, JADE by Monica and Karishma is a seamless union of old-world charm and new-age sensibilities.
This year, JADE by Monica and Karishma completed 15 years of redefining elegance for the modern Indian bride.To commemorate this remarkable 15-year journey, JADE unveiled a new emblem and expanded its horizons across the country, with three new openings in Mehrauli New Delhi, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad designed by Monica Shah herself. 
Karishma Swali & Monica Shah of JADE (2)
Photo Courtesy: JADE by Monica & Karishma
The twin JADE store in Delhi’s 1AQ Mehrauli is a paradise for design mavericks and fashion enthusiasts. While one store is dedicated to women, the other store is for men, be it a dashing groom or a modern bride. Boasting artistically displayed vintage pieces, the store celebrates Indian craft, from beautifully presented handcrafted shawls to embroidered walls and bandhani running across the stores.
At the store, traditional, bespoke crafts are juxtaposed with a new season of couture and luxury pret offerings from the brand. Signature crafts of Ek Taar, Kasab and tone-on-tone that are emblematic of JADE are enduring across this new space as well.
mens store
Photo Courtesy: JADE by Monica & Karishma
Monica and Karishma’s vision, to celebrate, sustain, and reinvent ancient crafts is visible throughout the store, especially the walls into a haven of Indian craftsmanship. Indian heritage finds its home in every corner – the intricately woven shawls that adorn the walls as panels carry the stories of generations past. These shawls are handcrafted especially for the store by the artisans of Barmer, Rajasthan. It’s where the past meets the present, tradition meets innovation, and every stitch is a tribute to the crafts that have shaped the brand.
JADE
Photo Courtesy: JADE by Monica & Karishma
LuxeBook spoke to the designer maverick behind the store, Monica Shah to know all about her journey at JADE.
Tell us about your journey in the Indian industry.
My journey in the Indian industry has been a kaleidoscope of creativity and dedication. I’ve been fortunate to not only witness the evolution of Indian couture but also be an active part of it, merging tradition with modernity, while crafting a brand that’s synonymous with fine craftsmanship and innovation.
What are your thoughts on completing 15 years and how do you feel?
Completing 15 years is an exhilarating milestone, a testament to our team’s relentless passion and dedication. It’s a mix of nostalgia and excitement, knowing that every stitch and creation has contributed to shaping the legacy of JADE.
Tell us what we can expect to find housed in the store.
The new store is a homage to Indian craftsmanship, where heritage and modernity converge seamlessly. Expect handcrafted wonders, bespoke areas for men and women, and curated spaces reflecting our brand’s ethos of celebrating Indian heritage.
Tell us about your new collection Tara and what inspired it for your 15th anniversary.
Tara, our new collection, is an ode to 15 years of artistry. Inspired by the journey, it embraces heritage techniques while infusing a modern twist. Expect a celebration of craftsmanship that spans generations.
Tara_JADE by Monica & Karishma_Couture Collection
Photo Courtesy: JADE by Monica & Karishma
How has Indian fashion changed over the last 15 years?
Over the last 15 years, Indian fashion has embraced a dynamic shift. Traditional techniques have been woven into contemporary designs, redefining the very meaning of Indian couture. A surge in cultural fusion, sustainable practices, and global recognition has reshaped the Indian fashion landscape.
What are your future plans at JADE?
The journey ahead at JADE is marked by a commitment to continue celebrating craftsmanship. Initiatives like ‘The Artisans Project’ will flourish, merging heritage with innovation and exploring new avenues to showcase timeless elegance. I also cannot wait to expand JADE’s footprint and take our savoir-faire all over India.
JADE
Photo Courtesy: JADE by Monica & Karishma
The most challenging point in your career?
The most challenging point in my career was navigating the delicate balance between preserving heritage crafts and adapting to modern demands. However, challenges have only ignited our determination to bridge the gap and create timeless pieces.
When you’re not creating couture, what can we find you doing?
When not crafting couture, you’ll find me exploring art galleries, immersing myself in literature, and spending quality time with my family. It’s in these moments that creativity is truly nurtured.
Advice for the younger generation?
To the younger generation, I say embrace your uniqueness and heritage. The future lies in preserving tradition while embracing innovation. Dreams are achieved through passion, dedication, and unwavering belief in your art.
About the new emblem and new collection TARA
Bridal JADE by Monica & Karishma_1AQ Mehrauli (5) (1)
Photo Courtesy: JADE by Monica & Karishma
JADE’s new emblem is a symphony of strength, pride, and sagacity. The logo features two majestic lions, embodying the essence of the brand’s philosophy. One lion, its gaze fondly turned towards the past, and the other lion gazes steadfastly ahead, a testament to JADE’s relentless pursuit of relevance and innovation. This emblem embodies the interplay of the past, present, and future.
In the latest presentation, Tara presents JADE in an avatar that manifests the learnings of the past, experiences of the present and vision for the future. “Empowered by our country’s centuries-old artisanal excellence and our own passion for innovation and reinvention, we are full of hope as we embark on new journeys in a new era with the help of our very own guiding light”, concludes Monica and Karishma. Rich red, tranquil blues, soulful greens, pristine ivories,  glorious gold and silver, along with the brand signature techniques of Kasab and Ek Taar can be seen across the creations.
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Arushi Sakhuja

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