Buttoned up sophistication

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Kesya  is a word derived from kesariya by Divya Shekhawat and Shivangani Singh meaning Saffron is one of the costliest spices in the world, used for seasoning and colouring. But there is a deeper connotation to it which means your darling or the only person you care about the most in this world by calling him “saffron beloved” in Northwestern Indian villages of Punjab, Himachal, UP, Kashmir and Rajasthan; makes it all the more desirable.
So with marriages and more parties just around the corner, their simple yet elegant tuxedo/achkan buttons and cufflinks made of sterling silver – hand painted and enameled, fits my bill for an androgynous ensemble. And super excited me decided to share our tete-a-tete being a fan of vintage inspired dressing.

MD: How did you begin designing buttons and cufflinks?

Divya: Firstly, we noticed a gap in the Indian market for premium buttons and cufflinks, with very few classic and traditional designs for men. Secondly, being a Rajput I noticed during our weddings, how fashionably the men paired their finery with beautifully handcrafted accessories such as buttons, sarpech or the sword.

Shivangani: Same here, I too was fascinated by the dressing sense of the men folk in our families, during the formal occasions. When in their Bandhgalas or Achkans, its their buttons which stand out the most.  And another reason that motivated us to start Kesya was a lack of gifting options for men. So through our design outfit we hope to provide ideal gift options for our men-about-town, to be cherished forever.

MD: Who is your design inspiration and why?

Divya: My father’s sense of dressing is deeply embedded in the recesses of my brain, and so has become my biggest inspiration to start a men’s brand catering to the old formal style. Also the diverse family background, paternal side from Rajasthan and maternal belonging to the Rana Family of Nepal, shaped my aesthetic sensibilities through heirlooms such as jewellery, saris, art etc.

Through Kesya we would like to reacquaint more people with traditional techniques such as enameling and hand painting, using designs inspired by Rajput insignias, Mughal motifs and European art elements such as the game birds.

Shivangani: My grandfather, Late Lt. Col. Thakur Govind Singh of Khatipura and grand uncle Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur, were the best dressed men I have ever known. It was a treat to see their impeccable fashion. Growing amidst a rich and colourful culture…. our frescoes, architecture, interiors of forts and palaces have left me more creatively stimulated.

MD: What is your design background?

Divya: I haven’t had any formal training in design but was born with an artistic bent of mind. So for my higher education I did Bachelors in Mass Media from Mumbai and Masters in Luxury Brand Management from Instituto Marangoni, London.

Later after coming back to India I did a stint in PR and Marketing for over 3 years with The Communication Council and Kama Ayurveda. And learnt the most under the tutelage of Vivek Sahni and Dave Chang (partners in Vivek Sahani Design).

Ultimately moving back to Jaipur, I thought it best to apply my luxury brand management training there, as its the hub of true luxury and ancient art forms.

Shivangni: Also inclined towards design since school days, I eventually graduated in Communication Design from IILM School of Design, Gurgaon. Post that, just like Divya I too joined Vivek Sahni Design which as a graphic designer has been a great learning curve; as it broadened my creativity towards a varied client base.

Hailing from a historical town, the young girls have made a luxurious handcrafted product by reviving the skill of the local artisans in Rajasthan; using the traditional Byzantine technique of Enameling, which was made more Indian by the Mughals.


email for orders: info.kesya@gmail.com

instagram:  kesyajaipur

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