Q & A with Catherine Sarr of Almasika Jewelry

You said earlier that you have four kids. Have you found that motherhood has had an effect on your creativity?
I dont understand if its the creativity, but in the procedure, to start with, I get a lot of unsolicited opinions [chuckles] Often its positive, sometimes unfavorable, but what I like with children is that, up till age 9, its truly unfiltered. You get a truthful opinion. And they have this pure tourist attraction or rejection that Im searching for. Im concentrating on the kind, and I wish to find that type of universal type that people will be attracted to. When I reveal a piece of precious jewelry to my children, if they say its nice, I know that Im getting someplace.
Is there anything in either of your current collections that they actually enjoy?
Oh, the Berceau bracelets, which is a bracelet that follows your wrist and its very basic band of gold. They enjoy that. If they could have some made, even my boys asked.

The cowrie shell plays a fundamental function in the collections of Catherine Sarr, the French designer behind Almasika Fine Jewelry– and theres little marvel why. The cowrie, a mollusk which comes from the Indian Ocean, was utilized as money in various parts of the world for at least 1,000 years, and was presented to the west coast of Africa, including Benin, by the 16thcentury. West African nations resisted using European currency well into the early 19th century, in defense of their pre-colonial sovereignty, preferring to preserve and safeguard the cowrie as a symbol of their cumulative past. Today, the cowrie is no longer used as currency, but often appears on objects, both decorative and magnificent, throughout the continent of Africa and its diaspora. Sarr, who was born in Paris to Beninese parents, has actually taken a trip the world extensively, and uses the cowrie shell as her fashion jewelry lines point of entry in its objective to go beyond cultural limits.
We caught up with Sarr to discuss her unique vision for her fashion jewelry, the impact her travels have actually had on her imaginative process, and the funny method motherhood helps to form her designs.

What made you choose to go from dealing with the organization side of the jewelry industry to actually taking the leap into developing fashion jewelry yourself?
It was really a burning desire to inform stories through fashion jewelry and having the ability to create jewelry that I would want to use. I wished to be that vector of discussion, too, by exploring those commonness throughout cultures.
You were born in Paris. Your moms and dads are from Benin. You resided in London and Abu Dhabi. Now youre in Chicago. How do you feel that living in all these locations has shaped your real creative process, the method you tackle developing the art that becomes your fashion jewelry?
Theyre all such different places with different cultures and different methods of looking at art and development. In both Paris and Benin, there is the love and pride of artisanship– a mission, almost, for excellence, for producing a beautifully-made piece. Then, the shape of my fashion jewelry is downplayed, and there is definitely a Parisian component to that. In Benin, everything is vibrant and elaborate. More is more.
In London, I was on business side of the industry. Satisfying all those designers, for example Solange Azagury-Partridge, and many, lots of others showed me to look forward. There is still the beautiful craftmanship in London, however designers there were pushing the limits of design, of creativity, of what even counts as fine precious jewelry. In London, I found out to be bold in my choices, but likewise to be daring with regard to artistic ambition and who a jeweler is.
Chicago is actually about the architecture, the dynamic art neighborhood, but the most essential aspect in Chicago is the civic engagement. The civic engagement here gave me the inspiration to redefine what effect, as an organization, I wished to have.
All of these locations have added to what is Almasika today.

Have you seen any changes in the manner in which you do company considering that this all started?
Yes. With my background, I had relationships with stylists and editors, and they have always been brought in by the precious jewelry itself, so this was a favorable aspect for us. But people are being more proactive concerning us. We wish to see that in the long term.
What is your personal favorite talisman?
The cowrie shell in my collection is a historical talisman, but I have revisited it with diamonds and gold. I like to call it my grownup talisman, since I used to wear a natural one when I was a teenager. The second one is a ring that my mother provided me. Its a gold ring. I always have those two with me.
Do you have any news on your upcoming collections that you care to share?
Yes. The new collection will be out soon. We need to select a date, however its nearly completed. I cant wait to share it with the world. There are a few of the signature aspects of my designs, in terms of sculpture, curves, shapes, and circles, but I go even deeper into my expedition of commonness across cultures.
You can follow contributing author Keisha –> – > @goldisneverplain.
You can follow Almasika Jewelry –> – > @almasikafinejewellery.
The post Q & & A with Catherine Sarr of Almasika Jewelry appeared initially on Gem Gossip – Jewelry Blog.

How would you describe your brand names design visual?
Im drawn in to the sculptural aspect of type, and curves that are soft. I like fashion jewelry that echoes the line of your body; you practically forget you have it on because it feels very comfortable. I like a silhouette and a way of using fashion jewelry that is downplayed, not over-complicated, and that truly talks to my Parisian upbringing.

Can you inform us a little bit about the origin story of Almasika Fine Jewelry?
I moved to London, where I lived for 10 years working in the great precious jewelry market. Ive constantly been amazed by the cultural aspect of precious jewelry, so I decided to check out forms, signs, and stories that are common to numerous cultures. I utilized the cowrie shell since it has this significance in my culture, but also in so many other cultures, of prosperity, fertility, and spirituality.
While you operated in the great precious jewelry industry, you experienced jewelry experts around the world whose work was really a reflection and a meditation by themselves cultures. What types of stories do you wish to inform with your own jewelry collection?
It was fascinating, to see all those jewelers informing their stories. For my first collection, I desired to go back to my own culture, and I initially checked out the cowrie shell. Im truly interested in overlapping circles throughout cultures. Visually, Im interested in universal kind– – universal, indicating that any human, despite their culture, will feel it as something personal. So, thats what I desired to say.

The cowrie shell plays a fundamental role in the collections of Catherine Sarr, the French designer behind Almasika Fine Jewelry– and theres little marvel why. Sarr, who was born in Paris to Beninese moms and dads, has taken a trip the world extensively, and utilizes the cowrie shell as her jewelry lines point of entry in its mission to go beyond cultural limits.
Ive always been fascinated by the cultural element of jewelry, so I decided to check out forms, signs, and stories that are common to numerous cultures. There is still the gorgeous craftmanship in London, however designers there were pushing the limits of style, of imagination, of what even counts as great fashion jewelry. Customers are currently discerning and thoughtful about who makes their fashion jewelry, and what narrative and history that jewelry holds.

I found it very fascinating that you and your partner are severe art collectors, and I was wondering if you see any of your taste in the art that youve picked for your house showed in the precious jewelry that you style.
In contemporary art, you have an item, however the artist wanted to say so much more than what you really see. That inspires me because thats what Im doing in my medium, in precious jewelry. The primary difficulty though, is that with fashion jewelry, you have the type, you have the function, however you likewise have the charm.
When you are designing your collections, do you have a specific wearer in mind? Do you think of what your perfect user resembles and what makes your jewelry the perfect fit for them?
I dont actually see someone aesthetically, since our customers is from all over the world, various ethnic cultures and ages. It has actually been fantastic to witness, being able to design jewelry that is appealing to teens and older women. What Ive seen in all those women is that they are all inherently curious. They are extremely, passionate and extremely curious about the world around them. The kind of woman I develop for, naturally has a terrific sense of style, but its actually about how they see the world, and their interest about the other.

How has your life and work altered considering that the pandemic started in the U.S. earlier this year?
Initially, life, I spend more time with my partner and children, given that Im working from home. On business side, we constantly relied rather a bit on online sellers. Now, we are establishing and supporting relationships with independent boutiques also. Before COVID, we held a gorgeous series of trunk shows with a genuine link to the art world– with collectors, art organizations, and galleries. Since the trunk programs are not possible, physically, weve put them aside. Thats where online and independent boutiques will step up. I think the independent shops who understand their clients extremely well will have the ability to take that exact same curated, personal method we had with the trunk reveals.
What modifications would you like to see in the precious jewelry industry, specifically as it relates to the existing assistance that Black fashion jewelry designers are getting now, that may not have existed prior to June of this year when the Black Lives Matter motion ended up being more prominent?
I believe its a positive thing that stylists and editors are now ending up being more curious about designers that didnt have the spotlight. What I intend to see is more of the purchasing neighborhood being similarly included, due to the fact that eventually that is likewise crucial. Customers are already critical and thoughtful about who makes their fashion jewelry, and what story and history that jewelry holds. I believe its maybe sequential, so editors and stylists first, and now we need to see whats going to occur on the purchasing side. Theres some great initiatives currently put in location such as the 15 Percent Pledge, so I hope there will be an impact on the purchasing neighborhood.

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