"The popularity of pearls is on the rise. In fact, they haven't been this popular since your i nana donned her two-strand beauties. Creative director of Shahana pearls, Auckland- based Shahana Kimiangatau,
appreciates the femininity and luxury of pearls. Her pearls are sourced from one of the most remote places on earth, Manihiki in the Cook Islands. Only 198 people live there and the cost of a flight is about the same as a world trip. A 10-seater plane only flies in once every two weeks.
What do you look for in high-end pearls? With an A-grade pearl you look for shape, minimum blemishes, lustre, colour and size. The younger the pearl the more lustrous
it is. The first harvest takes five years. As the oyster keeps growing, the pearls gets bigger - but become slightly duller.
Why did you decide to launch into pearls? When you think of pearls, you think old lady strands - you know boring designs - and I really wanted to revamp that. My mother used to wear a lot of jewellery and people would say, "Someone's going to rob you." She would always say, "Jewellery is meant to be worn I'm not going to wait for a special occasion to wear it." So
I really got that from her — you don't have to wait for a special occasion to wear something beautiful. The Annie pearl strand, left, is $4200 and the Shahana ring, above right, costs $5200. For more information visit shahanapearls.com." - Fashion Quarterly, November 2014