I guess that sentimental value is what jewellery is also about?
Exactly, and it is still there even if you reset the piece and totally reimagine it—you still feel so connected to that sentimental value.
Definitely. I had written down what the role is of jewellery today, but I guess I was more thinking about how we buy jewellery for ourselves, because I have this feeling that women are buying more for themselves now?
Before I started, not even that long ago, there wasn’t even this category of modern fine jewellery. There was costume jewellery and fine jewellery, very traditional, and oftentimes very conservative. So, this new category of fine jewellery that feels really dynamic, meaningful and relevant, is just so incredible. And I am so grateful that I landed in this time, because it still feels kind of like the beginning of that. And I think that lends itself to women being able to identify with and buy for themselves versus someone else picking pieces out for them, and basing what they are choosing on just specs, like the specs of stones. I feel like there wasn’t a ton of imagination and connection to it before. I think it is super empowering that women are buying for themselves and I think this new category really lends itself to that, which is so exciting to create jewellery for women to connect with.
Do you have a favourite piece of jewellery yourself that you own?
It’s so hard. But my engagement ring is the shield diamond ring, and it was the first unusual cut that we did. I had no intention of going into custom, but that kind of launched our custom business. That is so special to me and has become such a signature to us, we create so many of them now. I went through a 1.5-year long process to find the diamond and it was such an adventure of learning and really understanding the ins and outs of diamonds and working with different collectors to find this one-of-a-kind, unusual shape. I feel like that’s probably my most treasured possession.
Now that you mention custom pieces, maybe we can talk about your collections too? Because on Finematter we are going to have pieces from your collections. How do you build a collection and how do the ideas for the collections come up?
In the beginning, our collections were heavily based around a totally new theme or concept every season. Now, it is a more comfortable place because every season feels like an evolution to something that started years ago that I am still passionate about. I get to build on and reimagine concepts and creating them in whole new ways. Our coins have worked so well, and then thinking about how to do something new in that vein, hitting a different look or using a new technique. Our amulets came out of that. They pull from the same ancient references and have similar symbolism, but they look totally different. I also love materials and finding unusual materials that aren’t used very often, but that are still in the colour palette of our collections. I recently found the Venetian glass coins from a man in Italy, who casts them, and then we do all of the setting here. It works perfectly with everything else we are doing, but it is such an unusual technique and material to work with. Last season we introduced the staircase collection. It visually feels like a symbolic representation of the brand: ancient ascending multi-layered architecture combined with Art Deco diamonds in the centre. It felt totally right. We really dove into that this season and expanded on it. I like to dip my toes in things and see how the market reacts, and then if it’s good, go all-in the following season to really build it out. It is kind of scary to try new things, but I have so much fun then diving in and really making it a thing.
I like the idea of trying it out a little bit to see if it works. I guess it also means now that we talked so much about sustainability, it should also be something that people want.
That’s my feeling too. We never end up with stock that didn’t work, because I am very conservative in that way in designing. It is one piece with a singular concept, and then we see if there’s traction around that before we just go all in. I think that has lent itself very well to ideas on sustainability.