Men’s jewellery is no longer ignored by the luxury world. There is no disputing that men’s fashion today, particularly in the jewellery segment, is seeing a significant transition in terms of demand and growth. What was once a clear distinction between men’s and women’s jewellery has faded, revealing a thriving playground of innovation and expression. 2024 promises to be no exception.
Each aspect of men’s jewellery, from signet rings to trendy chains, beaded bracelets to stunning pendants, vintage ear studs to gem-encrusted cufflinks, confirms a significant shift and a surreal milestone of growth.
For this special segment in our interview series, we speak with the prolific 24-year-old entrepreneur Harsh Maskara, co-founder and CEO of The Drip Project by Metaman, an affordable luxury jewellery brand, sparking discussion about industry trends, the growing demand for bespoke jewellery, and future business prospects for The Drip Project. Over to Harsh.
Harsh, you’re the brainchild behind the brand Drip Project? Tell us more.
Like every other ambitious teenager, I started my entrepreneurial journey quite early in 2017 as an intern analyst at New York International Capital. Wanting to make my way up the ladder and understanding the mechanisms of running a business, I continued doing so for the next 6 years with other startups and undertaking various roles.
Recognising the untapped potential in India’s niche streetwear jewellery market, I founded Drip Project, India’s Top Affordable Luxury Jewellery Brand, with my then-business partner Rohit Golia, a brand committed to offering affordable luxury jewellery. Keeping this vision in mind, I invested all my savings into this venture that would reshape my career, wanting to create something that is not just affordable but also fashion-forward.
With a mission of becoming the premier men’s fashion brand in the country, Metaman acquired DRIP Project in January 2023. Now, we have secured our Series-A funding with notable investors led by Blume Ventures. Having said this, DRIP Project by Metaman has made its way in the luxury jewellery industry by working with some of the esteemed personalities like Indian cricketer KL Rahul and Shubman Gill, who have a massive following worldwide, and celebrities like Kiara Advani, Athiya Shetty, Ananya Panday, Vicky Kaushal, Suniel Shetty, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, and Ayushmann Khurrana, among others.
What inspired you to call it Drip Project? On that note, what is the story behind Drip Project’s name?
‘The Drip Project’ was born from the pulsating heart of hip-hop culture, echoing the rhythm of the streets and the vibrant energy of urban life. As the founder, I envisioned more than just jewellery; I aimed to encapsulate the very spirit of hip-hop in each piece.
The name itself, “The Drip Project,” draws inspiration from the hip-hop term ‘drip,’ symbolising a lifestyle, a statement, and a celebration of individual style. In the late-night symphony of the city, ‘drip’ became more than a word—it became a movement. The brand is a homage to the relentless pursuit of excellence, the unapologetic celebration of identity, and the unique swagger that defines hip-hop.
Every piece in “The Drip Project” is a narrative, telling stories inspired by iconic album covers and crafted with materials that mirror the grit and glamour of urban life. So, when you wear a piece from “The Drip Project,” you’re not just adorned with jewellery; you’re draped in the very essence of hip-hop culture—a celebration of authenticity and the ongoing journey of self-expression.
Drip Project designs
What would you say about Drip Project’s concept, designs and range? Do you work with a creative team?
The Drip Project embodies innovation through its unique concept, combining cutting-edge designs with a diverse and dynamic range of products. Our commitment to creativity is reflected in every aspect of our offerings, ensuring a blend of style and functionality that resonates with our audience.
Collaborating with a talented and dedicated creative team has been instrumental in bringing our vision to life. The team’s collective expertise enables us to stay ahead of trends and deliver products that captivate and inspire. The synergy within our creative process fosters a vibrant environment where ideas flourish, resulting in a distinctive range that sets the Drip Project apart in the market.
In terms of TG, who is the ideal Drip Project wearing man?
The ideal Drip Project man falls within the dynamic age range of 13 to 35. Our target demographic encompasses individuals at various life stages who share a common thread of vibrancy, open-mindedness, and a keen sense of style. We understand that this age group values not only fashion but also the essence of self-expression.
The Drip Project caters to the diverse tastes and preferences within this demographic, offering a range that seamlessly transitions from youthful exuberance to more sophisticated styles. By engaging with this age group, we aim to build a community that celebrates individuality and embraces the ever-evolving nature of personal fashion.
Describe your collection. Is it limited to streetwear, or is there more?
The Drip Project exclusively specialises in hip-hop jewellery, offering a meticulously curated collection of chains, pendants, bracelets, and rings. Our focus is on delivering luxurious and expressive pieces that capture the essence of hip-hop culture. While we do not extend into clothing or other fashion categories, our dedication lies in providing top-quality, statement jewellery at an affordable price. Each item is thoughtfully designed to reflect the bold and distinctive style synonymous with the hip-hop community, ensuring our customers can showcase their individuality with pride.
I am obviously very excited. Where can readers of TheGlitz view and purchase the collection?
From Ranveer Singh to Kiara Advani and Karan Johar to Shubham Gill, Drip Project has a growing celebrity following. How has the response been?
Drip Project has garnered an enthusiastic celebrity following, with notable names such as Ranveer Singh, Kiara Advani, Karan Johar, and Shubham Gill embracing our hip-hop jewelry. The response from these influential figures has been overwhelmingly positive, with the Drip Project becoming a celeb favorite.
Their public appearances adorned in Drip Project pieces have served as powerful endorsements. Their choice to wear our jewelry underscores the brand’s appeal and recognition within the fashion and entertainment industry, contributing to a growing buzz and an expanding community of supporters. The Drip Project takes pride in being the go-to hip-hop jewelry brand for celebrities who appreciate its unique blend of luxury and affordability.
How do you envisage the growth of the men’s jewellery market?
The men’s jewelry market is experiencing robust growth fueled by shifting fashion norms and an increased willingness among men to embrace accessories for self-expression. Traditional pieces are being reimagined with contemporary designs, and the influence of hip-hop culture has contributed to the popularity of bold and statement jewelry. The rise of e-commerce and social media further facilitates exploration and purchasing. The Drip Project is positioned to be a driving force in this growth, offering a range of high-quality, stylish hip-hop jewelry that caters to the evolving tastes and preferences of the modern man.
How do you intend to achieve in-store prominence, shelf space, accessibility, and marketing given the slow pace of acceptance?
Achieving in-store prominence and securing shelf space in a market with a slow pace of acceptance involves a strategic and multi-faceted approach. The Drip Project plans to showcase the unique appeal of our hip-hop jewelry through visually compelling displays and experiential setups. By emphasizing the brand’s celebrity following and positive customer reviews, we aim to build credibility and demand.
To enhance accessibility, we’ll leverage e-commerce platforms, ensuring our products are readily available to a broader audience. Strategic partnerships, influencer collaborations, and targeted digital marketing campaigns will be employed to create brand awareness and generate interest. The Drip Project is committed to education, emphasizing the versatility and affordability of our jewelry through engaging content, both online and in-store, to overcome barriers and accelerate acceptance in the market.
Are standalone stores in the works?
We’re excited to share that we will soon be opening a physical store super soon! In the meantime, you can explore our diverse range of products on our website. Our Customer Relationship team will be available to assist you with any inquiries or support you may need.