About La Patiala
La Patiala: What’s in a Name?
Not so much what, rather, but who—specifically, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, the inspiration for La Patiala’s moniker.
The Maharaja, ruler of the state of Patiala in British India for the first 38 years of the twentieth century, was an avid procurer of luxury goods and amassed one of the finest collections of jewelry the world has ever seen. His most famous piece was surely the Patiala Necklace, which he commissioned from Cartier in Paris in 1928.
La Patiala’s founder, luxury specialist and journalist Kristen Shirley, has long been fascinated by the Maharaja’s story, and more broadly by the intersection of the finest Indian gemstones and exquisite French craftsmanship. La Patiala is, in fact, short for “La Collection Patiala,” a reflection of the Maharaja’s personification of the global pursuit of luxury — and an appropriate name for Shirley’s unique online compendium.
About La Patiala
Founded in 2021, La Patiala is a digital destination designed to ease the apprehension and intimidation many people naturally exhibit toward luxury goods of all kinds. Our mission is to empower readers to travel, shop, and collect with the utmost confidence.
We provide the essential information regarding who and what you should know about luxury: brief overviews of the subject, explanations of terminology, insights into objects’ and experiences’ quality and value, and brands and places we recommend — an easy-to-browse, encyclopedic A-to-Z guide and trusted insider source to global luxury in all its forms.
Why We’re Different
La Patiala offers behind-the-scenes access to the most exclusive brands, products, and destinations. What truly set us apart are our long-format deep dives into all aspects of luxury: historical overviews, as well as contemporary reviews and intimate explorations of the world’s most prestigious brands. You’ll gain penetrating insight into what makes certain jewelry and fine watch maisons, accessory ateliers, and fashion houses — as well as grande-dame hotels and the finest resorts — so exceptional.
About Our Founder
Kristen Shirley is an expert on luxury goods and travel. Her comprehensive writings have appeared in many of the world’s top print and digital publications, including Forbes.com, Bloomberg Businessweek, Travel + Leisure, Departures, Robb Report, Nobleman, Iconic Life, The World of Fine Wine, BusinessInsider.com, Watchonista.com, and Editorialist.com.
Shirley began her career in the fashion department at ELLE, where she developed a passion for haute couture, jewelry, and beauty. She later became Luxury Editorial Director at Elite Traveler. During her time there, she traversed the globe, penning pieces on Michelin-starred restaurants and hotels, vintage wine, top-shelf and limited-release spirits, and fine timepieces. Her interest in enology led her to pursue the Level 3 Award in Wine from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, which she earned with distinction. Shirley also holds the Applied Jewelry Certificate from the Gemological Institute of America.