Five Fine Jewellery Designers To Know Now
With spring finally here and winter layers on their way to the back of the wardrobe, there is no better time to find the perfect piece of jewellery to decorate newly liberated collars and gloveless wrists. The five jewellery designers profiled here are at the forefront of a new wave of jewellery design for men that’s expressive, comfortable and stylish. Working distinctive aesthetics and personal philosophies of adornment, these are contemporary jewellery makers animated by more than just trends. Whether statement jewels, versatile day-to-night pieces or modern talismans, the items they make manage the tricky feat of being simultaneously of the moment and timeless. Read on to find out more.
Healers Fine Jewelry
Paris-based Healers Fine Jewelry was born out of a single pendant necklace, made when friends and creatives Mr Thibaud Etcheberry and Ms Anaïs Rheiner were playing with stones one day. “What we love is that the stones decide which piece they’ll become, [whether] a stud or a bracelet or a pendant,” says Etcheberry.
As the brand name suggests, healing is baked into the designs and each stone has an associated power – a pink tourmaline for self-love or a green tourmaline for strength and fire. Every jewel is handmade in Rheiner’s Saint-Germain atelier, using a wax technique to mould 18ct gold settings and delicate chain links.
Featuring elemental symbols and open-backed settings on pendants and studs to allow stones to graze the skin, this is nuanced fine jewellery for people who want to look and feel good, an investment in the self. As Etcheberry muses, “Buying a piece of fine jewellery carries a different emotion from buying regular accessories.”
Emanating a different kind of Parisian chic, Ms Lauren Rubinski’s pieces are finely crafted baubles made to be noticed. Enamel beaded necklaces and bracelets feature hand-painted evil eyes or smiley faces, referencing 1990s rave as much as talismanic motifs. The French designer’s much loved doughnut necklaces are colourful and chunky, yet lightweight and wearable – statement pieces designed for thoroughly modern men and women.
“I like the delicate side of jewellery on a man,” says Rubinski, who cites Messrs Bob Marley and Aristotle Onassis as style icons. “I love a man in a necklace, for example. I think it shows a sensitive side and a true sense of fashion.” Asked to nominate a piece that best expresses her attitude to design, Rubinski namechecks her hand-painted enamel jewels. “They fit so well in any outfit,” she says. “They find their place anywhere.”
Drenched in LA sunshine and 1970s vibes, Ms Jacquie Aiche’s designs provide a chic and timely update of the funk ’n’ flash aesthetic. Finely crafted beads, charms and pendants come in a rainbow of colours, from turquoise to apple green, lapis blue and baby pink opal. Not unlike Healers, Aiche hand-selects minerals and crystals that inspire healing and positive energy.
“The pieces I design are meant to be more than just fine jewellery,” says Aiche, who thinks of her clientele her “tribe”. “They are incredibly personal and sacred amulets.”
The designer’s thunderbird charms, rings, necklaces and cuffs, reminiscent of sacred motifs, are emblematic of her design ethos. “The thunderbird is an ancient symbol that is all about personal power and inner strength, inspiring a deep desire to live fearlessly and love without limits,” she says. “This symbol can be worn by both men and women, and I loved the idea of adorning my tribe in its uplifting energy.”
New York-based, Jamaica-born Mr Matthew Harris makes minimal jewellery that’s often spotted in Hollywood and fashion circles, with luminaries from Megan Thee Stallion to Ms Meghan Markle seen wearing his elegant pieces. But though Mateo has adorned some of the most famous women in world, the brand’s roots are in men’s jewellery and a working man’s toolbox at that. Among pieces such as pearl and diamond necklaces and beautiful escapularios featuring malachite or onyx is a flathead screw pendant in 14ct gold.
“The Mateo guy has grown up and is now well-travelled, collecting trinkets from his favourite destinations,” says Harris. The signature screw necklace remains a firm favourite. “It was the first piece I made and truly represents the Mateo man: masculine yet refined,” he says.
Talismanic symbols abound in Foundrae’s jewels. “More than a jewellery brand, Foundrae is rooted in humanity’s connection to universal symbols and the innate desire for self-expression,” says brand co-founder and creative director Ms Beth Bugdaycay.
Zodiac charms, figure eights, cardinal points and masonic-style flourishes are all delicately worked into the brand’s discreet, contemporary jewels. Bugdaycay names the Mind, Body, Soul pieces as especially expressive of her attitude to design, featuring a snake (a talisman of rejuvenation) and three phases of the moon to represent different stages of life.
“Our jewellery and the design behind every individual piece is made to tell your story, where you have been and what is yet to come,” Bugdaycay says.