Alighieri’s Rosh Mahtani Gets Personal With Votive Offerings Collection

LONDONRosh Mahtani, the founder of the London-based jewelry label Alighieri, is celebrating 10 years in business in 2024 and to overcome a difficult personal time last year, is pouring her emotions into a new collection, Votive Offerings. The collection is being shown in Paris at the Alighieri Apartment until Tuesday by appointment only.

“The apartment is a ritualistic space, featuring a Korean Tea Bar, with Be-oom, and daily breakfasts with the chef Laszlo Badet,” the designer said in an interview.

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“I started working on this collection at the beginning of January, so it’s been a very short lead time to launch it. However, after going through a very traumatic abortion last year, I think the concept has been percolating in my mind for months — a way of healing through art,” she said candidly.

Inside the Alighieri Apartment
Inside the Alighieri Apartment.

Creating the collection was a means of gaining energy and catharsis for the designer despite the process being exhausting and poignant.

Bones, vessels and ancient spearheads — which are symbols of strength, protection and healing — informed the collection. She chose the items to reflect a metaphoric journey.

Mahtani, who grew up in Zambia, would often see spearheads carved out of broken bones. Meanwhile, vessels have always been a significant trope in the brand’s designs and the designer’s personal life.

“There is a picture of my grandmother holding a silver vessel carrying water on her head as part of a wedding ceremony. This idea of offerings — to the gods, to ourselves and to the universe — was completely encapsulated in this one image,” she said.

“It’s a collection of ritualistic objects, inspired by the spiritual practices of ancient and modern civilizations — it’s all about hope and rebirth,” she added of the new collection.

Inside the Alighieri Apartment.
Inside the Alighieri Apartment.

All the pieces were carved in wax-like miniature sculptures before being put through the process of lost-wax casting in London’s jewelry and diamond quarter, Hatton Garden.

“Most of the pieces are cast in sterling silver [with a few gold items], for it to be icy and fresh — a collision of the ancient and the futuristic,” said Mahtani, explaining that she worked with a matte silver, as well as patina on some of the pieces to symbolize time passing and regeneration.

Earlier this year, Alighieri dropped a retrospective collection to commemorate a decade in the business and in the summer, she will be launching “something that’s been in the pipelines for years,” the designer said.

Mahtani is open and honest about the health of her business, admitting that it hasn’t been an easy ride over the last year, a sentiment shared by many British labels.

Inside the Alighieri Apartment
Inside the Alighieri Apartment.

“We experienced incredible growth over the last 10 years, and I like to be open about the fact that running a business is not always plain sailing,” she said, adding that last year she downsized her team to ride out the tricky period.

Running the business in a tighter family structure, which is how Mahtani started the brand, has had its benefits, financially and creatively.

The majority of Alighieri sales are generated through the brand’s e-commerce site and showroom appointments, stabilizing the business during tough times.

In 2020, Mahtani was the third recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.

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