What I Wear to Work: Rosh Mahtani

The London-based jewelry designer makes her pieces the focus of her outfits.

rosh mahtani, a jewelry designer
(Image credit: Rosh Mahtani)

For jewelry designer Rosh Mahtani, creating a jewelry brand was about bringing people together. "Jewelry is a universal language," says Mahtani. "I was fascinated that jewelry is a currency of love, friendship, and protection across all cultures," she says. Her journey into creating her brand Alighieri—named for Italian poet and scholar Dante Alighieri—began when she enrolled in a one-day wax carving course and instantly fell in love with the medium. "At the time, I couldn't find any jewelry at an affordable price point that wasn't trend-driven. I was essentially designing for myself and making things I wanted to wear that felt like a forever heirloom," she says. 

Nine years later, the Alighieri brand continues to create local, handmade jewelry the way Mahtani did from the get-go—by manipulating wax with a Roman candle to create pieces that the designer likens to a talisman. She uses recycled sterling silver, gold, and excess metals to cast new creations. 

With a loyal customer base and a brand that experienced a significant growth spurt in the past several years, Mahtani says she will never forget her days of knocking on doors and making cold calls to sell her jewelry concept. Now her quality, sustainable jewelry line is an entire universe, expanding into a collection of homewares and silk scarves.

We chatted with the designer about the importance of rituals, her minimalist work wardrobe, and the power of storytelling through jewelry.

jewelry designer of Alighieri

Mahtani wearing a minimalist white blouse styled with denim.

(Image credit: Rowben)

On Her Morning Routine:

I talk about rituals a lot, and I'm a creature of habit and routine. My most productive hours are my early morning hours, so I try to wake up around six-ish, and it's coffee, coffee. I'll sit in my kitchen and set up for the day, try and clear my inbox and get ahead before I go into the office. 

Following that, every day in the office is always different, and I like exercising different parts of the brain and going from production and logistics to creative and marketing. We're a team of 30, and we're lucky to be a size where we can still have visibility and interconnectedness between different departments.

jewelry designer of Alighieri

Mahtani wearing her go-to monochromatic black velvet suit.

(Image credit: Benjamin Werner)

On Her Workwear Uniform:

I wear the same things on repeat—they're my trusted friends. I'm pretty minimal. I like my outfits to be clean and straightforward, and I don't want to think about them too much when I get dressed in the morning. My style is monochromatic. My go-to outfit is a crushed velvet suit I've had for ten years. When I'm getting dressed, I think of clothes as the base layer—the canvas. Then, my jewelry is the main focus. Each piece of layered jewelry can tell its own story, and I like embellishing what you already have. Maybe it's pairing an older outfit with a new necklace or belt, embroidering something you already own, or adding new buttons. You can constantly reinvent a garment to grow with you. It's also why I love vintage shopping—I love a treasure hunt and the idea that these pieces have lived another life.

On Her Shopping Philosophy:

I love buying pieces from friends who are creators. Ever since I started Alighieri, I have been very conscientious about supporting friends who run small businesses. I know how hard it is and how much work goes into it, and it's exceptional when you know the person behind the product. Whenever I wear a piece from a friend's brand, I feel like I'm carrying a part of them.

On Empowering Pieces:

The ultimate black blazer is empowering for me. I have this old black Joseph blazer from when Louise Trotter Joseph was the brand's Creative Director. She was the first woman in the industry to give me a break when she asked Alighieri to collaborate with Joseph. Following that, larger retailers started reaching out to carry the line. So, if it's a day I need to be super on, I reach for that blazer.

I also have one dress that I keep revisiting. I call it my lucky dress. It's this really old, silk, chiffon, V-neck, long, quite Grecian dress that I bought to wear at a graduation party when I was 21. I had one of the best nights ever in that dress. Whenever I wear that dress, I'm like, today's going to be a good day, a lucky day. You can wear it to a wedding, but you can also style it with a pair of flats or sneakers. 

Shop Rosh's Favorite Pieces:

Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to. Over her six years with Marie Claire, Sara has reported on the ever-evolving world of fashion— covering both established and emerging designers within the industry. Sara has held fashion positions at Lucky and SELF Magazine and was a regular contributor to Equinox’s Furthermore website, where she wrote across their style, wellness, and travel verticals. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and currently resides in Manhattan. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork.