Inspiring Inclusion: Women Shaping the Design Landscape

Embracing Unique Voices through Jewellery Design with Sugandh Makwana

International Women’s Day 2024 is coming up this week, with this year’s edition honouring the theme of ‘Inspire Inclusion’.

We’ve spoken to a number of inspirational members of the #NDCommunity who have shared their experiences of being a woman in the design industry, and what inspires them to forge a more inclusive future. In this series of interviews, meet the individuals who are breaking down barriers and driving inclusion in their practices to shape the future of design with creativity and resilience.

Sugandh Makwana – Creative Directress and Founder, Sugandh Makwana Studio

Sugandh’s design practice is guided by an underlying intention to modernize Indian jewellery through innovation in form. She does that in her project ‘Euphonious Seasonality’ through the language that we all speak regardless of what culture, class or religion that we belong to – that is through the language of food. Each creation brought to life reinterprets the delicacy and expresses it through bold designs, prompting the wearer to embrace their individuality and use it as a superpower.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Inspire Inclusion’, what does this mean to you?

‘As a jewellery designer, ‘Inspire Inclusion’ for me means creating pieces that celebrates the uniqueness of each individual and ensuring that my designs reflect and embrace various cultural, social, and personal backgrounds. Inclusivity is not just about the aesthetics but also about making everyone feel represented and empowered through my creations.’

Is there a particular woman in the design world that inspires you?

‘Jackie Barbosa (@barbosanewyork) inspires me in many ways. Her innovative and boundary-pushing designs and setting new trends and her commitment to authenticity and fearlessness in pushing creative boundaries motivates me to continually evolve in my own design journey.’

What piece of advice would you give to women pursuing a career in the design world?

‘My advice to women pursuing a career in the design world is that I would emphasise the importance of staying true to your unique voice and vision. Don’t be afraid to challenge norms and bring your perspective into your work even when someone makes you question it, listen to that inner voice that’ll always guide you. Your uniqueness is your strength, so let it shine in your design practice.’

Is there a particular woman designer or women-run design business you’d like to give a shout out to?

‘I’d like to give a shout out to Andrea Jose Jewellery (@andreajosejewels) because of her commitment to sustainability, innovation, and community engagement that sets her brand apart. She not only produces outstanding designs but also actively contributes to positive social and environmental impact. It’s inspiring to see how they balance creativity with responsibility, setting a great example for the entire design industry.’

To experience Sugandh’s work for yourself, join us at New Designers 2024 where she will be exhibiting her designs as part of ND Selects. Learn more below.

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