Designer Interview

Fie Isolde

Fie Isolde

Old Hollywood glamour combined with Scandinavian heritage

Fie is a Copenhagen-raised, LA-based jewellery designer, a favourite amongst the Hollywood set like Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry. She puts the LA in LAid back and looks effortless throwing on a baseball cap, oversized shirt, and dripping in about 3 kilos worth of her own jewellery, in all its 14 carat gold glory. When she moves her hands, or flicks her hair, the jewellery she wears catches a glow and really comes to life. What was a gaze, now becomes a stare, as if the diamonds and gold have performed some kind of hypnosis on me! It proves that Fie is her own marketing board.

In case you are wondering, she didn’t make these gigantic strides forward and get this much media coverage by swanning about West Hollywood. No, no. Speaking to Fie is getting a strategic master class in starting an uber luxury jewellery brand with sky rocketing success all on your own.

All of her jewellery is show-stopping and heavy, literally it’s worth its weight in gold. From her multidimensional Boa diamond earrings to the heavy link Cogency bracelet and necklace, to her Alfa hoop earrings and her signature Odette chain necklace (a best seller and often spotted on Kim K) my summation is, it is Oscars jewellery - but for everyday. I guess that’s the balance of mediating two opposing worlds of glamour and minimalism.

In any case, this artist-of-a-designer is only getting more in-demand and we are just so excited to have her on board!

We sat down with Fie to talk about her life in LA, how that’s influenced her designs and all manner of things jewellery. Enjoy the interview.

How did you get started?

I moved to LA 6.5 years ago to set up at that point my agency as I was repping all sorts of jewellery brands and most of our retail partners were based in LA so I thought it would be easiest to set up our headquarters there.  We moved to LA with a 3 month old and set up my company. I did about 2 years of repping. At some point I thought that I knew the market pretty well and also always wanted to open my own jewellery line, so I dived into it and hoped for the best.

Any challenges when opening?

To enter the US market you need a lot of budget. I had a small business and it was a big investment. You need to hire staff, people need to get paid. There’s a lot of expenses, it’s all business in the US. Another challenge was not long after launching my own jewellery website in the beginning of 2019, covid hit. But I figured I had to just keep working through it and got out on the other side and I’m still here! Almost 4 years later! 

Would you say, just by being in LA it gave you a lot of opportunity?

YES! It's also true what they say in the US, the sky's the limit if you want to work hard and if you’re not afraid to make mistakes and learn from them. There are so many more opportunities over there. Especially in LA, many people are self-made.

Also, Copenhagen also already has so many talented craftsmen and jewellers, I don’t know why. So maybe I thought I had a point of difference and could show off my Scandinavian design and sensibility which would be more valued in LA rather than back home in Copenhagen.

Is the American Dream a real thing?

I cannot describe how much that’s true and I just live it! We’re used to fast results in Denmark and we work for it, but in LA there’s a ton of people who might take 10 years to build a business. There’s no shame in that. When you say what you do, they are like, “Wow good for you!” and they mean it.

Everybody there is hustling, so everyone has this attitude that you will make it. No one wants to sit down and cry because that’s not what gives people the results and everyone wants the results. SO it’s very much a culture of picking yourself up and getting back up again. And you do get better. In general there’s a really good vibe in LA and people are there to cheer for each other. The American Dream is all about a positive attitude!

"Younger people are thinking about... buying one thing instead of ten things"

Would you say that the medium to expensive jewellery category is growing? Before it was either a multinational household name or a ma and pa store. Now there’s a crop of ultra cool jewellery designers in the same price range as you. Can you speak to that?

Yes it is definitely growing because of sustainability and good original design.

The timeless classic pieces seem to be the more ‘dated’ way of jewellery design and then there are artisanal designers like me turning it all around. The most important thing is that the jewellery material is real, because it’s the most sustainable and easy to re-use and hand down from generation to generation.

Also, when I was in my 20’s I used to buy fast fashion jewellery that was cheaply plated. Not too long after buying it, it wore off and I realised it wasn’t good for me or the environment. Younger people are thinking about these things so are spending money on jewellery and buying one thing instead of 10 things. They are happy to spend time saving for an original handmade piece as opposed to buying cheaply and quickly. They are also a generation that are good at reselling and aren’t afraid of remodelling or melting something down. They would rather wait until they can afford these investment pieces, and that’s going to continue to be a game changer for the industry.

Interesting. I do suppose we’re seeing the green shoots of that now but it’s more of an attitude change than anything.

We will feel its full effect in the next 5-10 years. It’s absolutely my experience so far and what all the statistics are showing.

Does your husband wear your jewellery?

Yes he has to! He didn’t in the beginning because he said he didn’t wear jewellery, but if you know me, you know it’s not an option. The jewellery industry for men was and still kind of is so limited and stereotyped, ‘you want something in silver or oxidised, do you want a bit of leather?’ Yellow gold was always seen as more of a feminine thing and only allowed as a wedding ring. We have to not let jewellery only be a feminine thing, It’s meant to express your personal style. This is only because we haven’t made room for men’s jewellery style. But more and more brands are getting on it now and making things like medallion pendants and signet rings with spiritual emblems. It’s going so fast in the other direction, it’s funny how men not wearing jewellery is now also becoming out-dated!

"We have to not let jewellery only be a feminine thing"

Where would you like to see your brand in 5 years from now?

I would love to be more global. Right now I have a lot of clients who are calling and asking where they can try on my pieces and it’s super difficult to give them that good service because I’m only in LA and with Finematter in Europe.

I want to be physically represented in bigger cities but it will take some time finding the right partners and production facilities that will fit that. 

How important is social media to you and your company?

It’s super important because if you don’t have it, it will limit you. Personally, I find it super challenging to be as active as I want to be because it's time consuming and difficult. I want to involve my customers in my full journey of making a piece, but if you have to sit on the phone all day and film, you won’t get anything done.

If you weren’t a jewellery designer you would be…

I have always loved art and design so maybe I would work at a gallery.

Which celebrities would you want to see wearing your jewellery?

I don’t think I have a specific celeb but I would like to see my pieces on more men. Maybe the originals like Denzel Washington or Clint Eastwood!

How can we help you with your jewellery?