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Appeared InWhen Esha Soni started designing jewelry, she knew she had her mother’s blessing, and more importantly, her help. As the founder and designer of Poonam Soni, a popular eponymous fine jewelry brand, Esha’s mother had a few insider tips when her daughter, a fashion designer in New York, returned to Mumbai to begin sketching. “Before I went home, I remember looking at images and getting so inspired to start designing,” says Soni. “So I called my mother and told her that I really want to do this. And she had everything ready as I started to sketch. I went to the same jewelry markets in Bombay — these small stores filled with stones — and used her same craftsman. She was very open to the idea.” What Soni developed during her stay in India she titled Experiment 101. She created chunky pendants, cuffs and earrings made of mixed metals, including silver, copper and brass, incorporated with colorful stones in black and green onyx and mother-of-pearl. “I was drawn to this industrial feeling of metal in its most honest form, in crude and heavy metal,” Soni says. Already available in Mumbai at the city’s two Poonam Soni stores, Experiment 101 is launching next in New York at Debut. Wholesaling from $400 to $500, Experiment 101 is only the beginning of the Esha Soni brand. Soni has already begun designing Experiment 102 and will number her ventures — which may extend beyond jewelry — accordingly.
Special IssueWWD A issue 07/21/2008