In Conversation with Fine-Jewelry Designer Valérie Messika

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Photo: Courtesy of Messika

Nowadays, fine jewelry is no longer something you lock away in your safe. You wear your wedding ring to the supermarket and your favorite pair of diamond earrings to work. The shifting of fine jewelry from something that was considered to be strictly for special occasions to your everyday accessory is in large part due to luxury jewelry brands designing more practical and contemporary pieces. Think stackable bracelets, barely-there midi rings, ear cuffs made with diamonds, or stud earrings featuring precious stones. One such brand is Messika, which continues to grow in popularity around the world for its modern, wearable fine jewelry.

Savoir Flair sat down with the woman behind the brand, Valérie Messika, to discuss this phenomenon and her flawless designs.

Can you tell us about the inception of your brand and what led you to establishing your own jewelry company?
Since I was a little girl, my father would bring home some incredible pieces and let me play with them. He transmitted his passion and vast knowledge to me organically over the years. When I started working with my father, I loved sharing our common passion for diamonds, but I was missing the element of creativity. I needed to be able to express myself, and I couldn’t do it through diamonds alone. The more diamond knowledge I acquired, the more interested I was in creating my own jewelry pieces for myself. My girlfriends would always compliment my creations and insisted that I launch a full collection, so I began to design pieces for them as well. That is really how it all began.

How would you describe the aesthetic of Messika jewelry?
I create elegant diamond pieces that are designed to be worn on a daily basis. I like to combine timeless items with contemporary designs that are chic, pure, brilliant, and light. During the past two years, we have created a unique line of high jewelry that perfectly showcases our diamond expertise by using the most innovative settings.

My pieces are not created to stay in a safe. If I could give any piece of advice to women around the world, it would be to wear their jewels in everyday life and enjoy them.

Fine jewelry isn’t what it used to be, in the sense that it’s not just for your mother or grandmother to wear on special occasions. What do you think of fine-jewelry houses shifting their target clientele to a younger demographic?
This concept is the basis of Messika – every item of fine jewelry that we sell merges traditional diamond expertise with contemporary styles. However, I believe that all of our pieces are also elegant and timeless, and can be passed down from generation to generation. After all, diamonds never go out of fashion. Jewelers today are looking to create pieces that can be worn on a daily basis and with any type of ensemble… even a pair of jeans. It’s crucial for us to understand this younger client and offer her a modern, yet classic, jewelry collection. Fine jewelry is becoming an everyday accessory and this idea always drives our design.

How would you best describe Messika’s target market?
We do not have one typical customer. Because our range of products is really wide and we offer very different types of designs, our customers are like our jewelry – multifaceted. They consist of the young girl who receives her first diamond at the age of 18, the working girl who is very active and buys her own jewelry, and the 60-year-old woman who is looking for a special piece for an event.

How do you style your own pieces from day to day?
At Messika, we use the latest innovation to ensure that all of our jewelry is light and wearable. I think it is so important that women actually wear their fine jewelry. Each piece should be convenient and wearable with everything from an evening gown to a pair of jeans. Regarding my own personal style, I play with my pieces. I love wearing several of my ‘Move’ and ‘Skinny’ diamond bangles, stacking them on one wrist, regardless of what I’m wearing. I also play with color when stacking bracelets of different golds.

How do you want to see your pieces worn?
My pieces are not created to stay in a safe. If I could give any piece of advice to women around the world, it would be to wear their jewels in everyday life and enjoy them. Wear them to the office. And don’t be afraid to wear a beautiful diamond ring just because you want to.

Which “It” girls or celebrities would you love to see wearing your pieces?
Definitely the glamorous Kate Moss. I love her look. She is always very modern, but still very chic.

In your opinion, what are the top three trends in fine jewelry today?
One trend is ear cuffs, which are a must-have. There is a rebellious and chic edge to these eye-catching pieces. Another trend is bracelet stacking. I love this trend because you can mix and play with what you love, which is like a mood board. People can freely do what they want, and I think that’s really fun. A third trend is extra-large precious stones – they always influence my designs as I find great inspiration in them.

What is the one piece of jewelry that every woman should invest in?
I believe women should really invest in a diamond bangle; you can’t go wrong as it will never go out of style. My personal favorite is my ‘Move’ bangle because it is part of my iconic ‘Trilogy’ collection. It symbolizes love – yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I love to wear this bracelet to any occasion.

Messika Paris is available at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons in the UAE.

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