jewelry

Chopard Unveils New York Boutique With Pete Davidson, Uma Thurman and More

Chopard Unveils New York Boutique With Pete Davidson, Uma Thurman and More

In honor of their New York relocation to the famed Crown Building on Fifth Avenue, Chopard threw a black-tie affair Monday night in its new space, complete with a ribbon-cutting at the store and a dinner upstairs at the new Aman hotel.
Guests included Pete Davidson, who opted for a brown Noah sweatsuit beneath a blazer for his black tie look (Chopard watch included, of course); Uma Thurman; Liev Schreiber; Katie Holmes; Maye Musk, and Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl. Davidson aside, everyone put on their holiday finest and was more than happy to indulge in some Chopard loaners for the evening.

“Between my agent and my stylist they choose what they would like to have, and then they see what’s available,” Musk said, before motioning to the diamond watch in 18k white gold on her wrist. “I mean, look at that. I just feel like a princess. I am a princess tonight.”

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Her usual jewelry look is much more understated, naturally. “Usually for day-to-day I’m walking my dog and it’s very simple. It’s when I go out that I love to dress up,” she said. Her dress-up go-to? “Well now, it’s Chopard.”

Schreiber was more subtle in his look, pairing a Thom Browne tuxedo with an L.U.C 1937 watch in stainless steel and cufflinks in 18k white gold featuring baguette-cut diamonds. It was his first time working with the brand in several years, since an event at Cannes. The Thom Browne look was also something new for him.

“I look typically for something very classic and clean, because I believe the man is supposed to be the frame,” he said. “But I was dressed this evening and so I have the great good fortune of wearing a Thom Browne tuxedo. It’s very cool. And a sort of distressed shirt — it’s unlike me because it’s more fashion-forward.”

After a few hours of sipping from coupes of Champagne and negronis and plenty of diamond-ogling, the crowd headed around the corner to the Aman hotel, where dinner was served. Mid-course, models decked in Oscar de la Renta eveningwear and Chopard creations staged a fashion show throughout the restaurant, which had the room in applause, before guests made their way down to the Jazz Club for an after party.

Prada’s New Fine Jewelry Collection Puts Sustainability at the Forefront of Fashion

Prada’s New Fine Jewelry Collection Puts Sustainability at the Forefront of Fashion

Photo: Luka Booth
Prada’s latest fine jewelry collection is a special one. Named Eternal Gold, the new line pushed the boundaries of fine jewelry, and can be called the first truly sustainable fine jewelry collection by a global luxury brand using 100% certified recycled gold.
Keeping the urgent needs of the environment in mind, Eternal Gold highlights the brand’s dedication to sustainable practices while also spotlighting impeccable craftsmanship. The idea is to offer the world a series of unique jewelry pieces that last not just one, but several lifetimes. 100 per cent of the gold used in the new fine jewelry line is Certified Recycled Gold which meets the Chain of Custody’ standards set by the Responsible Jewelry Council. Look deeper, and you’ll also find that every step of Prada’s gold (and diamond) production chain can be traced and verified, a commendable feat that no other luxury house across the globe offers.
Photo: Luka Booth

So where does the gold for the much-talked about Eternal Gold collection come from? Prada’s finds originate from eligible recycled material sources, in compliance with due diligence, and include industrial gold and post-consumer precious objects. Prada made a conscious effort to work exclusively with suppliers of precious metal and stones who meet the highest industry standards concerning human rights, labor safety, environmental impact, and business ethics. As the level of gold mining goes down, Prada is enabling a large step towards environmental and human rights. Bonus: While normally, only diamonds above 0.5 carat can be traced to their origins, the fashion house is now ensuring that every single diamond it uses—size no bar–is officially traceable, from mining and cutting to setting and polishing. All of this precious information is available to clientele via the Aura Consortium Blockchain platform, a big win for luxury shoppers who believe in transparency and prioritizing the planet we live in.

Along with its eco-conscious side, Eternal Gold, it comes as no surprise, also stands out for its interesting look. All the pieces of the collection reflect Prada’s stunning Italian craftsmanship. The iconic Prada triangle makes several appearances throughout the collection, along with snake bracelets, heart motifs and ribbon chokers, all of which come in unexpected proportions for added drama. Take a closer look below.

Photo: Luka Booth
Photo: Luka Booth
Photo: Luka Booth
Photo: Luka Booth
Style: Eline HoyoisMakeup: Ruby MazuelHair: Gabriel de FriesProducer: Danica ZivkovicModel: Myriem Boukadida at WonderwallPhotography assistant: Ross MackenzieSecond photography assistant: Marie MeyerStyle assistant: Aimée Lawson

Assouline to Publish Ultimate Jewelry Compendium

Assouline to Publish Ultimate Jewelry Compendium

STARTER TOME: The jewelry enthusiast looking to deepen their knowledge will need to look no further than the “Jewelry Guide: The Ultimate Compendium” volume published at Assouline in December.
Written by veteran French editor Fabienne Reybaud, formerly head of the jewelry and watches department of French newspaper Le Figaro for a quarter of a century, this 324-page book covers a wide range of topics for those wanting to get a head start on the world of gemstones and the designs that magnify them.

Reybaud, who wrote a similar guide for watch enthusiasts 15 years ago, said the effervescence of the jewelry market today called for “a global overview on the market,” at a time where books are either “mono-brand and ordered by the houses, or generic coffee tables about the most beautiful pieces.”

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Opening with a brief history of jewelry as “small precious items [that] have mirrored the human journey” since the dawn of recorded history, the book starts with memorable examples in history and now-shuttered houses whose influence cast a long shadow in contemporary jewelry design such as Boivin, Fouquet and Jean Després.   

The cover of Jewelry Guide: The Ultimate Compendium.

Then it’s all about stones, before diving into an A-to-Z of 46 brands, industry heavyweights and independents alike, making their mark today in a global market worth 20 billion euros. Among these are the likes of Boucheron, Cartier and Chanel but also JAR, Messika, Lorenz Bäumer or Maison Auclert, who creates contemporary items set with antique Roman stones or Greek coins. Reybaud also name checks a handful of emerging signatures like Charlotte Chesnais or Emmanuel Tarpin.

Those who made the cut were selected based on “work well executed,” she said, as “people forget is that it is a truly technical field, where France has historically had deep know-how in high jewelry.”

“Jewelry is too often likened to an accessory. What we mustn’t forget is that unlike shoes or bags, it’s a product that is eternal by design, due to its materials, metal and stones. That’s the original characteristic [of jewels], regardless of affective or symbolic value,” she continued.

Further chapters look at important museum collections, offer insider advice on appraisals and how to start a collection at auctions as well as a glossary.

A surprising element is the prices, peppered throughout. This was particularly important to Reybaud, who felt that giving a reference point would allow clients to understand what they’re looking at. Brands likewise “should not be ashamed of putting their prices in the open,” she added.

The book includes some 250 visuals, from the modish portrait of ’60s top model Penelope Tree holding the 90.38 carats “Briolette of India“ diamond in front of her eye on the cover, to hundreds of pieces and famous faces like Elizabeth Taylor, Zendaya or Julia Roberts.

It is dedicated to Reybaud’s father, a third-generation jeweler in the South of France who once turned down a suggestion from Pablo Picasso to help him launch jewelry.

Published in English and French by Assouline, “Jewelry Guide: The Ultimate Compendium” will be available starting December for $95, 95 Euros or 70 British pounds.

TenThousandThings Celebrates 30 Years of Design

TenThousandThings Celebrates 30 Years of Design

For David Rees and Ron Anderson, co-owners and designers of the TenThousandThings fine jewelry collection, celebrating 30 years in business, standing the test of time comes down to some basic principles.
“We focus on the product,” said Rees. “TenThousandThings is an intensive studio experience. We design and make every single thing ourselves. We have no design staff. It’s a real studio experience, an atelier.

“We sit at our benches and work together every day. Working together is the easiest and most fun part of the business,” he added.

TenThousandThings is having a moment. The jewelry brand has been nominated for designer of the year by the Gem Awards to be held March 17. On Tuesday, a “Thirty Years of TenThousandThings” retrospective opens at the Pratt Institute Library in Brooklyn, in conjunction with New York City Jewelry Week.

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Hand-cut lapis totem earrings from TenThousandThings.

“David and Ron are both the designers and the craftsmen behind the collection, which is quite rare and extraordinary,” said Marion Fasel, an editor and jewelry historian who is curating the Pratt exhibit and has known Rees and Anderson for nearly 30 years.

“They are self-taught but really analyze jewelry history, art and shape, whether it’s Georgia O’Keeffe flowers, blackened silver necklaces from the Victorian era, or beaded necklaces that reach back to ancient Rome. They bring all that to their work. It’s layered,” Fasel said. “They are involved so deeply in the process. While people might not know every detail in the process, they sense it.

“When David and Ron launched their collection in the ’90s, they really captured the zeitgeist of the era,” Fasel recalled. “The scale of their jewelry was in perfect sync with the look of the clothes then, the very minimalist clothes, and their jewelry took off like wildfire, with multiple magazine covers and with celebrities who just fell in love with the collection. They have always been very much in tune with what was happening in fashion.”

TenThousandThings’ signature beaded pink sapphire beads on a gold chain.

Fasel, who will moderate a discussion with the designers on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Pratt Institute Library, said the retrospective showcases several jewelry categories — stone cut earrings, foxtail chains, beaded necklaces, sculptural designs in metal, gems in unique settings — as well as media moments, celebrities who became clients, magazine credits and collaborations with Sotheby’s and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The first credit ever received was on Kate Moss in a CK Calvin Klein ad, which was her first appearance in American media,” Fasel said.

“One of the benefits of being self-taught is that they have no baggage of what they should be doing,” said Fasel. “They do what they want to do and invent techniques to achieve different looks.”

The origins of the company date back to when Rees was working as the manager and buyer at the former Linda Dresner store in Manhattan, and Anderson appeared with his jewelry to show Dresner. Rees and Anderson dated for a few years, while the business partnership blossomed and endured.

“This company is based on Ron’s vision,” Rees said. “I came in and helped merchandise Ron’s ideas and turned it into a collection.…We both design, but in different ways. In jewelry design, it’s the process that informs the product. I work in wax, Ron works in metal, mostly, to create the idea, the model that becomes the jewelry.”

At their New York City atelier they handcraft modern heirlooms — sculptural forms in natural stones, silver and gold, inspired by abstract shapes found in nature, often utilizing turquoise, black opals and pearls. There is also a 500-square-foot showroom/boutique, designed by Rees and Anderson, at 237 West 13th Street in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. The atelier is hidden from view just in the back. Among the brand’s bestsellers are the signature pearl beaded chains, handcut Labradorite “chicklet” necklaces, and different jade pieces.

Since 2017, collections centering around fine carved stones are a result of working with craftsmen in Jaipur, India, who take the duo’s models, created in either metal, wax or foam, and use traditional, decades-old techniques to transform rough stones into luminous hand-carved shapes destined to become custom composition earrings and necklaces. “Each piece takes eight people, for cutting, shaping and polishing,” said Rees.

The name TenThousandThings is taken from I Ching, the Chinese philosophy, and is interpreted as meaning from one thing begets 10,000 things. “It subtly implies evolution,” said Rees. “It’s a perfect description of our business. We keep evolving and keep pushing forward.”

A hand-cut Labradorite chiclet.

Bella Thorne Mixes Metals With Her New Edgy Namesake Jewelry Line

Bella Thorne Mixes Metals With Her New Edgy Namesake Jewelry Line

Bella Thorne is expanding her presence in the fashion world with a new brand.

The actress is gearing up to debut her jewelry brand, called Thorne, on Saturday, which coincides with her 25th birthday. The brand is launching with its first collection, called Volume 1, which offers pieces that are meant to reflect a love story. 

“Jewelry is one of the most common family heirlooms and when a piece is handed down it always comes with a story,” Thorne said in a statement. “So my line is made up of small capsule collections, each with their own story.” 

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Styles from Bella Thorne’s jewelry line.

Thorne’s first collection offers 32 pieces across rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. The collection offers mixed metals with materials like 14-karat gold-plated brass, natural pearls and crystals. The collection reflects Thorne’s own edgy style, offering pieces accented with daggers, barbed wire and evil eyes. 

This is Thorne’s latest entrepreneurial endeavor. Last year, the actress launched her own cannabis company, called Forbidden Flowers, and in 2018 made a play in the beauty industry with a makeup collection launch called Filthy Fangs. Earlier this year, she cofounded a content management company for influencers, called Content X.  

She’s previously served as the face of many fashion and beauty brands, working with hemp-based brand Drihp in 2020 as a brand ambassador. She’s also served as the face of Buxom Cosmetics, fronting an influencer campaign in 2017. 

Thorne’s jewelry line ranges in price from $30 to $380. Pieces are available on Thornedynasty.com.

Opal: 30 Dazzling Jewelry Pieces for Those Who Love the October Birthstone

Opal: 30 Dazzling Jewelry Pieces for Those Who Love the October Birthstone

Opal is arguably the most unique and diverse birthstone of all. It takes on many shapes, each with their own firework display of colors, with streaks of red, blue, yellow, green and purple flashing through the stone, making them a constant source of wonder.
Historically opal was found primarily in central Europe and was a rare material prized by the wealthy. The discovery of extensive opal fields in Australia in the late 19th century changed this, making opal more commercially available and increasing the variety of colors and patterns. Australia is still the biggest producer of opal, but over the last couple of decades, Ethiopia has become a significant source and is known for its beautiful crystal opal which is transparent to translucent with little to no body color and shimmering patches of play-of-color.
The Romans treasured opal as the most precious of all gemstones, believing the ability of this one stone to display the colors of all the other precious gems marked it out as unique and special. Its name ‘opalus’ means precious stone and it was said to combine the virtues associated with the other precious stones and be the luckiest of them all. However, in the early 19th century, the notion took hold that the opal brought bad luck, perhaps partly down to a novel by Sir Walter Scott, which depicted them as a symbol of misfortune; the novel’s heroine is seemingly possessed by her opal jewel, which eventually spirits her away.
Princess Alexandra of Denmark continued to fuel the superstition when, on becoming Queen in 1863, she removed ‘the unlucky opals’ from Queen Victoria’s crown and refashioned her mother-in-law’s piece with rubies.
Luckily, when Australian opals appeared at the end of the 19th century, it didn’t take long for the public to fall for their mesmerizing allure.
Ring, Lily Gabriella
Ring, Picciotti
Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels
Ring, Mindi Mond
Earrings, Wendy Yue
Earrings, Anne Sisteron
Earrings, TAYMA
Necklace, Hirsh London
Earrings, Fernando Jorge
Ring, Pragnell
Earrings, Jemma Wynne
Necklace, Akaila Reid
Earrings, Emily P. Wheeler
Earrings, Nak Armstrong
Earrings, Fred Leighton
Ring, Adler
Earrings, David Morris
Ring, Susannah Lovis
Cuff, Theo Fennell
Necklace, Marlo Laz
Ring, Nina Runsdorf
Necklace, Retrouvai
Necklace, Brooke Gregson
Necklace, Sig Ward
Ring, Pippa Small
Ring, Noor Fares
Necklace, Venyx
Ring, Ray Griffiths
Earrings, Annoushka
Earrings, Kimberly McDonald

Inside the Renovation of Cartier’s Fifth Avenue Mansion

Inside the Renovation of Cartier’s Fifth Avenue Mansion

Luxury brands are rethinking the role of the modern boutique, and legacy timepiece and jewelry maker Cartier is no exception.
The brand has renovated its legendary Fifth Avenue boutique — the 28,772-square-foot, Neo-Renaissance landmarked building that has been Cartier’s home in Manhattan for more than a century — to serve both a modern client and reaffirm the location as a place in New York City’s history.

“The project was certainly about modernizing it from a visual and technological perspective, but it was also about challenging traditional notions of the retail space and creating an environment that’s both welcoming and luxurious, both practical and inspiring,” explains Mercedes Abramo, president and chief executive officer of Cartier North America.

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It, of course, serves as a sales floor, but the CEO pointed out the motivation was to “firmly position the mansion as a cultural destination — more than just a transactional space — in the greater New York City landscape” and the balance of heritage and innovation is seen throughout the boutique.

Inside the Renovated Cartier Fifth Avenue mansion.

Lexie Moreland/WWD

The client’s journey begins on the ground floor, where windows were opened up to “bring more of the city’s energy into the space,” Abramo says, a first step in deepening the dialogue between the mansion and Manhattan. Previously, the entry floor housed core collections — Love, Ecru, Juste un Clou and others. Now it holds a wider breadth of the French brand’s assortments, including small leather goods, handbags, fragrance, eyewear and jewelry and watches.

Interior designer Laura Gonzalez linked the space to the organic parts of the city — its parks — by introducing lush green hues into the space, seen in the furnishings throughout and the carpeting that ascends the grand staircase. “I simply think that green represents vegetation, nature,” she explains. “Fifth Avenue is very close to Central Park, and I needed to include all these elements in the project to create an oasis, a peaceful beacon in between classicism and the building’s history.”

The second floor, known as the Grace Kelly Salon, houses the hidden world of high jewelry. Kelly is still a presence — the seal of Monaco can be seen on the walls, and pictures of her can be found in viewing salons — but the space has been updated through Gonzalez’s lens. “We wanted to pay tribute to Grace Kelly’s beauty and femininity but also to take it elsewhere, express the French Riviera, the sea, this art de vivre we can find in the South of France,” she explains of the subtle sea life details.

Emblematic of the brand, the Panther is seen in various salons throughout the mansion — on the second floor, it’s found in a striking piece in stone marquetry by artist Hervé Obligi.

Inside the Renovated Cartier Fifth Avenue mansion.

Lexie Moreland/WWD

The third floor is dedicated to love, “in its many permutations,” Abramo says, with the addition of the Engagement Salon and Wedding Bar. The third-floor landing provides several avenues for personalization and customization by way of innovation. The Set For You landing houses an interactive counter with educational content on Cartier’s diamond standards, plus a means for clients to experience the diamond selection process.

”I see it as a way of using technology for good,” Abramo says. “It establishes a very intimate way for clients to select their perfect stone and setting in a very high-tech format.”

Bold artworks throughout the space underscore the boutique’s continued conversation with the city and its history. For example, guests entering on 52nd Street are greeted with a striking large-scale ceramic wall sculpture in a white matte finish with golden touches by New York artist Peter Lane, inspired by the now legendary story of how Cartier came to own the landmark.

Inside the Renovated Cartier Fifth Avenue mansion.

Lexie Moreland/WWD

In 1912, Pierre Cartier — the grandson of Cartier’s founder — started searching for a flagship location in New York City. He searched for five years for a location that was on par with the brand’s Paris flagship on rue de la Paix. Legend has it that when the mansion became available, Pierre Cartier knew he had found the ideal place. In 1917, he proposed a trade with its owner, businessman Morton F. Plant. In exchange for the mansion, Pierre traded $100 and a Cartier necklace.

Today, the mansion’s fourth floor is dedicated to hospitality and service, with a space that includes a coffee area and bar, salons for care consultations, and hidden-away spaces for in-store events.

While the masion preferred to quietly debut, forgoing any large events, there are exclusive creations that mark the remodeling: a Tank Asymétrique; a Juste un Clou — the signature design by New York City-based Aldo Cipullo — and four stationery designs.

“Our treatment of the mansion is very similar to our overall approach as a maison — it’s a balance of remaining true to our heritage while embracing innovation,” Abramo says.

Tunisian-French Jeweler Shourouk Rhaiem Celebrates 13 Years of Her Brand with a Paris Gallery Show

Tunisian-French Jeweler Shourouk Rhaiem Celebrates 13 Years of Her Brand with a Paris Gallery Show

Shourouk Rhaiem among the pieces from her exhibition at the Galerie Pixi – Marie Victoire Poliakoff in Paris
“It all started with Ricoré coffee,” smiles Shourouk Rhaiem. “Growing up, we would watch their commercials, hypnotized by the scenes of this perfect family. I wanted that family more than anything. My parents were always fighting.” Seven years ago, the Tunisian-French jeweler and artist began applying crystals to a Ricoré coffee container, covering it entirely until it shone as brightly as the image of familial unity she held to the highest esteem — a family that belonged, and had its place in society. She would do the same with dish soap, detergents, and boxes representing the perfume her mother wore — Eau de Rochas and Poison by Dior. Today, all these household items are placed on shelves, their Swarovski crystals catching the light at the Galerie Pixi – Marie Victoire Poliakoff in Paris’s Saint-Germain neighborhood. It’s Rhaiem’s first ever art show, and at the evening’s dinner, loyal friends like Aline Asmar d’Amman, Ara Starck, Gabrielle de Taillac, and Lamia Ziade are chatting animatedly. Most of her pieces have sold.
Bringing style to the aisles with the Aligre crystal bag
It has now been 13 years since Rhaiem’s namesake brand began creating impeccably made costume jewelry and art pieces. “When we started Shourouk, we were showing at a prêt-à-porter fair in Paris. First Lady of France Bernadette Chirac visited my booth. It brought us luck and just afterward, we were selling all over the world. A few years later, American First Lady Michelle Obama asked me to create a special piece for her — a jeweled belt for her voyage to Europe.” There have been numerous highlights in Rhaiem’s sparkling career: collaborations with Jean Paul Gaultier, Philippe Starck, the Paris Lido, and Sephora. Her work has appeared on shows like Scream Queens, Sex and the City, and Gossip Girl. Swarovski asked her to create an art installation at its Vienna flagship. “I was stunned by all the supportive people looking at it with a spark in their eyes. Finally, my idea to crystalize the world had found an audience,” she says.
Over the years, Rhaiem has searched for inspiration in farflung locations. India has always held a special place in her heart. “My love affair with India began when I was a young girl, watching a Bollywood movie named Disco Dancer. I later had the chance to visit India and I was enraptured with Rajasthan — the beauty, the colors, the people. My collections have been inspired by the Maharaja lifestyle and I have even collaborated with Indian artisans.” Recalling her early days, working for John Galliano, she adds, “He sent me to India to supervise the embroideries for the dresses for his show; India has always been a part of me.”
Yildiz Pink earrings from Rhaiem’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection
Rhaiem’s newest jewelry collection references cinema via an allegory of Elizabeth Taylor on an impromptu food shopping spree — with all the fruits and vegetables turning to jewelry. Today, she seeks to balance the paths between her jewelry and art. “To me, it’s two sides of the same coin. Of course, the goal of jewelry is to create a successful brand, but in terms of art becoming credible, as you can imagine, it’s very challenging. She offers that a future aspiration is an art exhibition in Dubai. “I have a strong feeling that my sparkling universe could fit there,” she says. Rhaiem’s voice always has a ring of optimism to it — today, even more so. Atop the table lit with candles is a unique art piece — a bag that reads ‘Just Married.’ It belongs to Rhaiem, whose very new husband Carl is sitting across from her speaking with Starck. “I became the woman I wanted to be,” she affirms. Indeed, any young girl walking down the Rue de Seine that day and catching a glimpse of Rhaiem — fresh-faced, flashing emerald crystal earrings, laughing among her guests — would think, “What a perfect life.”
Originally published in the July/August 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia
Read Next: Kim Kardashian Eyes Moroccan Brand Dihyan Jewelry at Paris Couture Fashion Week

10 Standout Accessories From Couture Fashion Week

10 Standout Accessories From Couture Fashion Week

Photo: Gorunway.com
There were plenty of accessories to note from the haute couture autumn/winter 2022 shows. Demna went high-tech at Balenciaga and debuted air-filtering face shields, made in collaboration with Mercedes-AMG F1, and speaker bags by Bang & Olufsen.
Mega jewelry was trending this season, too. Daniel Roseberry paired his sculptural couture looks with gargantuan earrings that skimmed models’ navels at Schiaparelli, Fendi debuted asymmetric brooches clipped onto gloves, while Olivier Rousteing made a case for the nose ring during his takeover at Jean Paul Gaultier.
Scroll on for a closer look at the best accessories from Couture Fashion Week.
Balenciaga’s face shields and speaker bags
Photo: Gorunway.com
Schiaparelli’s mega earrings
Photo: Gorunway.com
Viktor & Rolf’s preppy ties
Photo: Gorunway.com
Iris Van Herpen’s futuristic headbands
Photo: Gorunway.com
Alexandre Vauthier’s bejeweled corsages
Photo: Gorunway.com
Fendi’s micro gloves
Photo: Gorunway.com
Jean Paul Gaultier’s punky nose rings
Photo: Gorunway.com
Chanel’s whimsical hair bows
Photo: Gorunway.com
Valentino’s opera gloves
Photo: Gorunway.com
Giambattista Valli’s sci-fi shades
Photo: Gorunway.com
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk
Read next: 15 Brightly-Colored Accessories That Will Give All Your Summer Outfits a Boost

Exclusive: Maria Tash Shares the 3 Tips Every Woman Should Follow When Shopping for Fine Jewelry

Exclusive: Maria Tash Shares the 3 Tips Every Woman Should Follow When Shopping for Fine Jewelry

Fine jewelry designer Maria Tash Photo: Courtesy Maria Tash
This summer, fine jewelry designer Maria Tash celebrated a milestone moment: the opening of her newest store, located in Prestige at The Avenues, Kuwait. Spread across a whopping 2,100 square feet, the new space is officially the third Maria Tash destination in the Middle East, with the first two opening in Dubai Mall in 2018, and Mall of Emirates in 2021. It’s clear that the entrepreneur has come a long way, having opened her first store in Manhattan’s East Village in 1993.
For Tash, it was important for the jewelry house’s Kuwait edition to tell her story through its interiors. Best known for pushing the envelope with minimalistic sparklers that tempt every shopper to load up on piercings, the designer’s new space is all about clean lines, sleek shapes, and modern detailing, bringing together a palette of soft grays, custom glass and leather and metallic accents. Perched right next to Fauchon, Tiffany, and Van Cleef & Arpels, the boutique also boasts a private ‘women’s only’ lounge, ensuring that every visitor has a comfortable shopping experience.
Maria Tash boutique in Kuwait. Photo: Courtesy Maria Tash
“It has been a long journey,” Tash says triumphantly about the Kuwait store during a chat with Vogue Arabia. “I did two very successful pop-ups in 2016 in Kuwait and I have been waiting to open in the country since. I signed the store lease in the Prestige section of The Avenues a couple of years ago, but we could not get into the country to establish all of the corporate setups and fly specialized employees in due to Covid.” After years of waiting, the new flagship doesn’t just stand out for its envy-worthy interiors and invest-worthy customizable creations, but also for its futuristic touches. “It is the first location to have special tools I invented to visualize and preview jewelry for the patented Tash Helix and Hiddlen Tash Rook piercing locations,” she elaborates, proving that the only way for this fine jewelry designer is up.
A closer look inside the Kuwait store. Photo: Courtesy Maria Tash
She may still be basking in the glow of the success of her Kuwait store, but there isn’t much time to stop and smell the roses in Maria Tash’s world. As she gears up for her next big openings—Maria Tash will soon be making homes in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Paris—the designer of the moment sits down with Vogue Arabia for a quick chat, where she reveals her biggest jewelry insights, from her favorite memories, to the key pieces every woman should own, and much more. Dive in!
What is your first memory with jewelry?
My first memory is rummaging through my mother’s jewelry box and draping almost all of the pieces inside on myself.  She had a great laugh when she saw me with all of her necklaces on my tiny body. Little did she know how it would manifest later in life!
You’ve been in the jewelry industry for close to two decades now. Can you tell us how your love for jewelry came about?
My love of jewelry expressed itself [in my childhood] when I was drawing flowers and imagining them in jewelry. When I was 9, I was hammering metal sheets and wrapping wire into basic shapes. In my early teens, I started doing more daring designs, like attaching necklaces to studs between my ears, creating a suspended ear-to-ear effect, and wrapping wire between two fingers to create a “two finger ring”.
As a teen, I also became more involved with music—specifically goth and punk—and developed a love for multiple ear and nostril piercings. By the mid 1980s, I was gluing a gem in my navel (navel piercing were not available back then), because I thought it was beautiful, and was enamored by books showing images of Indian weddings and their elaborate multiple lobes, cartilage, nostril, and septum jewelry.
In the late 1980s, I moved to London and got my nostril double pierced and added multiple ear piercings. After completing college, I took a leap and opened my first store in the East Village, designing and fabricating jewelry and performing piercing daily on all areas of the body. My love for jewelry has been with me since I was a child, and continues today as I am still enthralled with gorgeous stones, unusual diamond cuts, clever mechanisms, and unique piercing locations.
The lapis luis collection. Photo: Courtesy Maria Tash
From New York and London to Dubai and Kuwait, your customizable fine jewelry seems to have global appeal. Do you notice a difference in the tastes of the Maria Tash consumer in different regions? What makes the Middle Eastern customer unique?
Social media has been a great way to equalize demand for certain ear curations. My Middle East clients love bold diamond pieces for all areas of the body, and are not afraid to get multiple piercings. My lotus marquise clusters are popular in the region, as well as my threaded diamond charms and studs in pear and marquise shapes. They also like the large silhouette-cut diamonds (a shape I have cut for the brand), as well as our floating diamond tassel earrings. I feel like my minimalistic, invisible diamond settings, patented mechanisms, and attention to detail are appreciated in the region. Much of what is popular in the Middle East is what I wear personally, and I’m very happy about that fact.
From your own collection, what are the key pieces that you think every woman should own, and why?
I really love my Floating Diamond Tassel Earrings, and my Floating Diamond Charm Studs. The Tassel Earrings I wear in both my earlobes and helix and are a favorite because they are just so lightweight, full of movement, and very sparkly. The diamond charm studs are a hybrid between the desirable movement features of a charm and the versatility of a stud, because they can be worn almost anywhere on the ear.
Invisible set diamond star stud earring in 18k white gold. Photo: Courtesy Maria Tash
I love movement and I love extremely minimalist stone settings. I gave a lot of thought with these studs as to how the beautiful diamond shapes could be gently suspended in the air, held minimally, emerge from hidden parts of the ear if desired, and sit perfectly flush with the ear. Also, I think a Maria Tash essential are my diamond eternity rings, like the five row pave rings, marquise invisible set rings, and invisible set round diamond rings. I like them in a snug fit with or without a charm hanging off for movement. These rings look great regardless of your piercing angle, sit so close to the skin, and feature my signature invisible setting and minimal pave setting.
Could you please share your top three tips on buying jewelry? 
First, find a piece you really love, and ideally can wear continuously. I strive to make pieces that are very “low profile” so that they sit extremely low to the skin, which makes them very comfortable for long-term wear. I believe everyone should wear pieces that are low profile, especially studs sticking off the ear and finger rings with stones that sit on top of the finger.  A very deliberate low profile setting prevents catching the stone settings on apparel, or the piece turning (on the finger) or pointing down or out (for ear studs) due to the weight and height of the jewelry above then skin.
Pearl and diamond eternity triple linked hoop earring and cuff in 18k rose gold. Photo: Courtesy Maria Tash
Secondly, I think investing in pieces that are at least 14k-18k or platinum is a wise investment because elemental gold, as a commodity, is at an all-time high. Diamonds also tend to hold their value. I have made the decision not to work with any diamond that is less than VS2/G in clarity/color so they continue to hold their value.  I would also choose a piece that is alloyed without nickel. In the US, almost all white gold is mixed with nickel, which makes it white.  The EU has a stricter standard, and it has always been part of the Maria Tash brand to keep nickel out of all of our gold, so no one will have an allergic reaction.
Lastly, really loving a piece of fine jewelry [is important] because of its beauty or its symbolism, and having it add confidence and pride in how you see yourself is its true value.

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