For just over ten years Hanut Singh has been quietly and meticulously designing jewelry that at once reveals his modern sensibility, appreciation of history and obsession with craftsmanship. Word-of-mouth buzz has grown into a significant cult following.
Although he was never formally trained, Hanut’s jewellery education truly began from the time he was a child. The designer is a descendant of the Kapurthala royal family of India who astonished the world with their style in the first half of the twentieth century. The family’s legendary treasures and discriminating taste inspired the greatest jewelry houses in the world to new heights. It also ignited Hanut’s passion to become a designer.
Hanut’s great-grandfather, the Maharaja Jagatjit Singh was a friend of American President Theodore Roosevelt and French statesmen Georges Clemenceau. He toured Europe annually and commissioned any number of exceptional jewels from esteemed French houses. Two of the most well known are the spectacular pagoda style Kapurthala tiara made by Cartier and a Boucheron aigrette. Both pieces were set with eye-popping emeralds from the family’s gem collection. Hanut’s grandparents the Maharaja Kumar Karamjit Singh and Maharani Sita Devi of Kapurthala — also known as the Princess Karam — continued the relationships with the best French jewelers during their frequent visits to Paris in the 1930s. Cartier’s artistic director Jeanne Toussaint created an Indian inspired necklace for the princess with motifs the Maison repeated on designs for decades. The Princess Karam’s beauty and style — the way she paired her jewels with her sensational saris and custom-made gowns from Chanel, Lanvin and Elsa Schiaparelli — led Vogue to proclaim she was a “secular goddess” in 1932. Five-years later, Harper’s Bazaar put her on a short list of the most beautiful women in the world.