Crusoe, inspired by the distinctive hardware and unique shapes of the maritime world, is a fashion jewelry brand designed by Maya Ahluwalia. It was a fateful trip aboard her sailboat, Crusoe that inspired Maya to combine her love of jewelry, design and craftsmanship to create the marine-inspired collection. During one of the long, leisurely sails in the Long Island Sound, Maya started to see the hardware that adorned her 1971 Mariner as possible jewelry designs. But it is not only the hardware that provides inspiration in the Crusoe collection, but also the shapes and lines that can be found throughout the marine world. Taking inspiration from the maritime world and giving it a fashion interpretation, the resulting effect is a distinctive collection of hand-crafted stylish jewelry.
Conceived and designed by Maya Ahluwalia, Crusoe is created by hand entirely in Maya’s Brooklyn-based studio. Produced in matte silver and matte bronze, the collection is meant to be worn everyday and layered with the customer’s existing jewelry to create a distinctive look of her own. By using matte metals, each piece will develop its own patina over time and doesn’t need to be polished.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Prior to launching her own collection, Crusoe designer Maya Ahluwalia had a long love affair with jewelry throughout her career. She began her career at John Hardy, where she was first exposed to hand-crafted designs with a strong design aesthetic. A long stint at Gurhan followed, where the love affair with jewelry deepened, but Maya was also exposed to all aspects of a burgeoning fine jewelry brand. Working directly with the designer and president, the husband and wife team behind Gurhan, allowed Maya to see what it takes to develop and expand a jewelry brand through roles in sales, product development and marketing. Following Gurhan, Maya was Marketing Director for LALIQUE, where again the importance of craftsmanship and design prevailed, along with a deeper understanding of all aspects of running a successful brand. Maya was also instrumental in the launch of LALIQUE’s Fine Jewelry collection.
The combination of creativity and a strong business sense has played a major role in her career, but that unique duality stems from childhood. Saturday afternoons were often spent with her artist/actor father sketching portraits of Maya. This love of art and design was balanced with her multiple Master degree holding mother’s love of education and thirst for knowledge.
When the inspiration to launch her own jewelry line hit, her furniture designing-partner threw in his support wholeheartedly. Without his knowledge of design and production, along with a studio space within his wood shop in Brooklyn, Crusoe would never have happened.
A strong believer in everything that happens to you gets you to where you are today, Maya cites all of her influences, both professional and personal, that led to the launch of Crusoe.