COUP was launched in 2016 by Nikoo Ghiasvand, a graduate from Central Saint Martins College, London, and Padina Yaghmai, a GIA graduate from LA, with a background in Architecture.
With one mission of a coup as a revolution in design, attention to the harmony of nature, supported by a defined and edgy framework, COUP represents the duos’ decision to venture towards an experimental platform of expression that extends beyond mainstream consumerism.
Nikoo and Padina grew up surrounded with discussions around gems, metals, design and clients as their mothers have been partners in a fine jewelry business for more than 15 years. Having worked in their family business, they developed a deep understanding of the craft, and hence are able to push the boundaries further. Nikoo manages the design and creative strategy end and Padina upholds the business development and financial structure of the company.
HBM: Please share your story – what were you involved in prior to launching COUP?
Nikoo: “Padina and I have both been involved in jewelry all of our lives. We grew up together and our mothers were partners in their own fine jewelry business. Our love for jewelry initially started when we helped in their boutique and over the years, we became more and more involved. We wanted to create a new line however, that had an edgier direction, so we went out on our own to gain some more experience. We both graduated college, Central Saint Martins (me) and the Gemological Institute of America (Padina) and ventured off to start our own company.”
Nikoo: “We identified what we wanted from our business and decided to just go for it. Our goal was simply to put together a good portfolio of designs that we would be proud of and that would hopefully speak to a wide range of people. Thankfully our clients responded very well and it’s been exciting to bring new types of designs to the market.”
HBM: What inspired you to create the collection?
Nikoo: “Animals, nature and Fairy Tales are our main sources of inspiration. Attention to the harmony of nature, supported by a defined and edgy framework, COUP represents the duos’ decision to venture towards an experimental platform of expression that extends beyond mainstream consumerism. Our latest series, the Nocturnal Shield for example, came about through looking at Pangolins which are the world’s most trafficked anima,l but also one of the least known. The pieces draw inspiration from their natural armor, something which we have mimicked and also the beauty of their forms a presents them in a new light. They both celebrate the animals’ beauty and raise awareness.”
HBM: What are some hurdles you overcame?
Nikoo: “It feels a bit cliché to say and we’re really lucky, but so far, it’s been pretty smooth. Part of it is that we don’t set incredibly high goals. We do what we love to do and our goal every season is to make the next collection better than the last. When you’re passionate about your business and what you’re making, your enthusiasm is infectious and you automatically get a good response. People feel the love you have put into your work and that’s all that matters.”
Nikoo: “Whatever you decide to do, do something that you love and believe in. When you build your own business, it is a lifetime commitment. It’s very different to working for someone else and there’s are no changing jobs. I believe it’s very important to do something that at the core not only it satisfies you financially, but also morally and intellectually.”
HBM: Where do you see your company/the line in three years?
Nikoo: “I don’t think anyone can even predict where their business will be next week so three years it’s a bit of a stretch! But something we’re working towards is setting up collaborations with different creatives and architects, not to only be making “pretty things” but to push the boundaries of the industry. We’d love to expand the awareness efforts and to work with a few charities as well to help make more of a difference to the causes we’re involved in.”