India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Verve People
July 01, 2015

Verve and Louis Vuitton Diaries #5 Sonal Ambani

Text by Simone Louis. Photographs by Tejal Pandey. Make-up and hair by Cher

Verve visits the city of Ahmedabad to catch up with six charming women, and discovers their love for fashion and Louis Vuitton…

The first thing we notice, before entering Sonal Ambani’s rambling home, is a massive stainless steel elephant. Her current pride and joy, the sculpture titled Elegance in Steel was very well appreciated at this year’s India Art Fair, where it was sold to an art enthusiast from Switzerland. Other favourites stand tall in her garden-cum-lawn — a towering red tree called Tree of Serenity and an orange mild steel horse called Peace in Orange. As is quite apparent by the titles of every one of her sculptures, the owner of Samara Art Gallery is passionate about peace and is even the founder of an action plan called World Peace 2040. About this, she says, “I feel very strongly about the project. It basically starts off by asking for one day of peace a month, on the first of every month for a year. What this means is that on that day, if you’re in a war you agree to cease fire and if you’re not at war you agree to spend less on defence and instead use that money for poverty alleviation. The next year it can be two days of peace, and so on until 2040. Peace has never had a deadline before; it’s something so simple that can make a big difference.”

Another cause close to her heart is cancer awareness, having lost her mother to the disease. She has created two books to raise money for the cause — the first one titled Mothers and Daughters followed by the sequel Fathers and Sons, both photographic journals featuring eminent personalities. As the founder of the Cancer Screening & Research Trust, she has even produced two innovative television commercials on cancer awareness among women. She passionately tells me, “Whether it is breast cancer or any other kind of cancer, there is actually a 97 per cent chance of survival when it is detected at an early stage. It’s so important for women to go for regular check-ups, do a pap smear, do the CA125 test and get sonograms done. It’s better to cover all bases so that you can catch any irregularity and have a fighting chance against whatever may come your way.”

After inspiring us with her passions and pursuits, Sonal goes on to flawlessly pose for our cameras with and without her masterpieces — the quintessential LV woman. “I believe in maintaining poise under pressure,” she opines. “As a woman in today’s world, it’s important to pace yourself in order to do justice to every role — be it that of a mother, a boss, a wife, a daughter and daughter-in-law, a friend, a role model or even a public figure. I really admire and respect women who run big corporations; I don’t know how they do it!” When asked about her style mantra, she says, “I like elegant, sophisticated, preppy ensembles and love vintage clothing too.” Her daughter quips, “Like Kate Middleton.”

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