THE ART OF COLLABORATION | Solitaire Magazine

THE ART OF COLLABORATION

Collaborations that bring creative flair to the world of jewellery

Luxury jewellers have, in the past, embraced collaborations with original talents and artisans. Oftentimes, they remained an invisible tribe that merely lent their imagination and skill. However, we have seen a shift in the way jewellers collaborate; merging ideas to create unusual and surprising pieces. Co-creating is surely a brilliant way to tell an interesting story – one that allows independent designers to parlay exposure from collaborations, while bolstering their own visibility. Here’s a selection of our favourite pairings and new dream teams that have cut through the noise in this interconnected world of jewellery.

Tiffany & Co. x Elsa Peretti
That the arrival of Elsa Peretti at Tiffany & Co. in 1974 “signaled a revolution in jewellery design,” is putting it mildly. Peretti’s Bone cuff, first created in the 1970s, was unconventional in many ways: Her choice of material was silver, the design was simple, and it had no gems or diamonds. Understandably, this cuff shook things up in the jewellery world.

Her designs, Peretti has said, are dictated by common sense. “For me, good line and good form are timeless.” The groundbreaking Bone cuff design showcases the “ergonomic sensuality” that informs the designer’s jewellery. The organic form was inspired by her visits to a Capuchin crypt in Rome and time spent in Barcelona through Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Milà. Celebrating 50 years of the Bone cuff, Peretti has reimagined special editions in vibrant red, blue, and green hues that espouse her love of colour. “It is an honour and a pleasure for all of us at Tiffany to work so closely with Elsa Peretti for so many years. She is truly a visionary designer and we continue to be astounded by the beauty she creates,” says Alessandro Bogliolo, CEO, Tiffany & Co.

Gemfields x Various Designers
Gemfields is a leading supplier of responsibly sourced gemstones to jewellery brands, some of which they have partnered with for many years. The first collaboration in 2020, Emeralds for Elephants, featured eight jewellery designers with a focus on emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. “Our collaborations with like-minded partners allow us to bring Zambian emeralds and Mozambican rubies to life and to further the fascination for responsibly sourced coloured gems, providing greater benefit to their places of origin in Africa,” says Emily Dungey, Marketing and Communications Director, Gemfields.

This year, the collaborations have seen new pieces from Margery Hirschey, AYA by Chelsy Davy, Bina Goenka, GFG Jewellery by Nilufer, and a new partner, VAK. “Recently, we have done a unique pair of floral earrings featuring Gemfields rubies and emeralds,” says Goenka, who has been partnering with Gemfields since 2013. Amplifying Gemfields’ existing relationships with jewellers is mutually beneficial. “It provides greater exposure via events, PR and marketing for our partners, provides consumers greater awareness of the impact of buying responsibly, and it allows us to bring coloured gems and our values directly to the consumer through the beauty of design and craftsmanship,” explains Dungey.

Sotheby’s Diamonds x Joseph Ramsay
Sotheby’s Diamonds pursues collaborations with exceptional designers. Last fall, Joseph Ramsay lent his creativity to an assortment of haute joaillerie. ‘The Fabric of Jewellery,’ comprising eight jewels, was rendered using gems and diamonds informed by Ramsay’s fascination with Haute Couture and frequent visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He found inspiration in the luxurious Renaissance garments and the flowing drapery of ancient sculpture. “These pieces gave me an opportunity to work with some exceptional stones, as well as giving me a platform to showcase my design aesthetic,” says Ramsay, who has enriched his jewellery with fancy vivid blue, purplish-pink and yellow diamonds, DEF white diamonds, whitby jet, and violet-grey chalcedony.

His collection is gorgeous, but the most captivating of them all are the Nymph earrings and the Padlock bracelet. The bracelet is designed to masquerade as an accretion disk: Bands of stone, gas, and plasma captured by the gravity of supermassive spatial bodies. “When clasped, it turns the wrist into a luminous star,” he adds. The Nymph earrings “designed as a puff of smoke-turned meteor-turned fish fin” serves as a vehicle for colour; “scintillating, rippling pink down the side of the face, exploding into a blistering yellow.”

Muzo Emerald Colombia x Various Designers
In 2015, Muzo Emerald Colombia launched its first collaboration with a group of designers as an awareness campaign. In 2018, they shifted their focus to organic materials in an effort to showcase all of what the mine produces – not just top-grade material. “This was the beginning of what would become an ongoing series for us – working with high-level designers to celebrate Muzo Colombian emeralds,” explains Gabriella Harvey, Director of Business Development. “We have been very selective in our choice of designers; one of our main benchmarks is to work with designers who have a similar brand ethos as ours – sustainability.”

By working with these designers, Muzo Emerald Colombia has created awareness not only for their product, but have a larger conversation about what is important in the industry. Initially, 25 designers were chosen to partner with the company. The tribe has now grown to 40, including Latin American designers like Tres Almas, Mercedes Salazar, and Ana Carolina Valencia. This year, Alice Ciccolini, Venyx, Dana Bronfman, Katherine Jetter, and Noor Fares have brought out new pieces. Jetter, who designed pieces using Muzo’s gems since 2018, says she had always wanted to design with emeralds and when she learned about the little tumbled Muzo gems, she thought they would be perfect for her signature cage earrings and pendants.

Spinelli Kilcollin x Hoorsenbuhs
This collaboration on a unisex collection between Spinelli Kilcollin and Hoorsenbuhs has added more shimmer to our universe. “We just launched a new one with Hoorsenbuhs called HB x SK 333, where we married popular styles from each other brands,” says Yves Spinelli. “It’s been very well-received. Before that we worked with Emily Ratajkowski to design a capsule collection, and we designed sunglasses with Barton Pereira.”

“In the case with Hoorsenbuhs, we’ve worked with many of the same retailers for years, so we share a lot of clients. They also have a lot of dedicated collectors who are now looking more at our work, and vice versa. It’s mutually beneficial,” explains Spinelli. “A new point of view from someone who’s not entrenched in our brand daily can be very refreshing. It also gives us creative license to start from scratch and try something new. And we usually work with our friends!” It becomes a fun excuse, says Spinelli, to get together and see each other.

Chopard x 007 Happy Hearts
Chopard’s Co-President and Artistic Director Caroline Scheufele is passionate about cinema, and this year it has transformed into a jewellery collection (in collaboration with EON Productions). The new line, called Happy Hearts-Golden Hearts, is inspired by the iconic Chopard Happy Hearts Collection. Here, Scheufele shares her vision of the James Bond Woman, who is determined and courageous, and reimagines it by filling the hearts with ethical rose gold as gold is a leitmotif embedded in the James Bond universe.

This collection features a bracelet, earrings, pendant, and sautoir necklace, playfully alternating between a large golden heart, with a smaller heart encasing the famous ‘dancing’ diamond. A second iteration of the design has a large heart set with diamonds.

Mathon Paris x Émeline Piot
When Aude Mathon met artist Émeline Piot in 2017, it was “artistic love at first sight.” “We immediately wanted to make something together,” says Mathon. For the past three years, Mathon and her husband, Jean-Baptiste, have been helming the family business that was founded in 1931. Mathon has put a new spin on Mathon Paris, while preserving the brand’s heritage, with her new collection, La Collection Unique, in collaboration with Piot. Featuring ten one-of-a-kind handmade haute joaillerie encrusted with rare gems, the collection melds mythology and nature.

“I love Émeline’s artistic universe. We share some founding themes, such as respect for the living, for the earth, the omnipresence of colour. Émeline’s style, which she calls “free lace,” is perfectly suited to be transcribed into jewellery. It evokes the delicacy of the repercé technique, the fluidity of the chains, and the abundance of coloured gemstones,” says Mathon. From the 25 designs that Piot drew, Mathon and her team chose 10 that were the most inspiring, while being technically adaptable. The goal, says Piot, was to link the technical constraint and the codes of jewellery with artistic freedom.