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Wednesday, April 7th 2010

Talking with Shashi Jewelry Designer Danna Kobo

Shashi bracelets can be worn layered, alone, or stacked with other bracelets for an eye-catching look.

Designed by Yuvi Alpert and Danna Kobo, the duo behind fine jewelry line Ruby Kobo, Shashi jewelry is a casual collection rooted in spirituality. We talked to Danna about how Shashi came to be, what the bracelets symbolize, and how she wears this must-have collection.

Shopbop: How did the jewelry line Shashi come to be? What inspired it?
Danna Kobo: My business partner, Yuvi, and I began working together designing a fine jewelry line named Ruby Kobo. Not long after, we decided to launch another line, Shashi, at a lower price point that would allow a larger demographic to enjoy our designs. This line was inspired by the cultures of India, Morocco, Nepal, and Africa.

In India, there is a traditional bracelet called the Rakhi which is given as a symbol of the bond between family or friends. I decided to make my own version of the bracelet inspired by the Rakhi. When I wore it, people would comment on how unique it was, so I made four versions which were immediately picked up by some of my favorite retailers. With a very positive response, the collection is now sold internationally. We continually add new styles and the line has grown to encompass a broad range of styles in every color. The bracelets symbolize friendship, love, and good luck.

SB: How so?
DK: In India, Rakhis are exchanged as a symbol of affection, fraternity, and sublime sentiment. This inspiration adds a special meaning to each Shashi bracelet when you wear or gift one. The deep-rooted significance, combined with the visually striking, unique, and flirty appeal, differentiates Shashi from any other accessories line. 

SB: There is an obvious spiritual element to your main line, Ruby Kobo, and Shashi. Does this come from your own life experiences?
DK: Yuvi and I are both spiritual people, and it is important for us to incorporate real meaning into all of our pieces. Not only are we inspired by our unique backgrounds—Yuvi grew up in California and Tel Aviv, while I grew up in Hong Kong and New York—but we are also inspired by a global culture. Our pieces are earthy and raw, yet simultaneously elegant and sophisticated. We aim to combine the seemingly opposite elements of “rugged” and “refined” to reflect a natural feeling, while still remaining chic and stylish.

SB: How and when do you wear Shashi bracelets?
DK: Shashi can be worn day and night. The collection can accessorize any outfit. The pieces can be layered with a watch or stacked with other bracelets for an eye-catching look. Or, wear one for a delicate, feminine look. Like the original friendship bracelet, Shashi never needs to leave your wrist.

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