Do you design/sketch first then look for pieces or vice versa?
While working on the “Colors” collection, first I find the stones, and they inspire the piece which I then render and then its produced by our highly skilled metal-smiths.
What is your design process?
I like to look at what is happening in Couture Fashion and then find ways to compliment the looks with jewelry. I also look at antique and estate books to review the past and find inspirations for new ideas. Lately, as I mentioned when we spoke, my desire to learn the Persian written language has been the source of inspiration for little diamond Persian necklaces and charms. (Killing two birds with one stone-learn to read and write Persian which making jewelry)…So once the concept is decided, we meet and discuss the how it can be executed and for who–then we render and produce proto-types and start showing the items to our boutique partners for feedback. I handle the renderings, stone selections, metal use, and styling personally.
How do you prepare your one of a kind pieces?
Usually these are pieces that I work closely with each client to make. Everyone has that certain “dream” piece or “signature” piece that they always wanted and never could find. I try to capture these needs, and it can be a lengthy process that requires patience to find the right stones and make sure the piece is executed perfectly from start to finish. For instance, I am now working on a request from a client for a pad paradsha sapphire ring which is extremely rare to find in the quality that the client wants. So it can take several months to make that special piece.
Your favorite stone?
Of course… Diamonds.
Yellow Gold! To me, there is no metal more precious and that offers the same warm tone.
What’s the best thing you learned at Roberto Coin?
I learned so many things from my experience there. Watching the brand grow and being part of the excitement for more than a decade…I would have to say that the best thing I learned is how important it is to remain flexible and adaptive, really listening to what the client needs are, and then maintaining the highest standards possible in every detail.
Can you describe your time there a bit?
Amazing. I worked with a group of talented international professionals and during my tenure there, I was able to touch every part of an organization … sales, marketing, product development, boutique development, and financials. There was a team-oriented culture that requires collaboration and competition at the same time. I always liked that about the culture although it often presented challenges during growth periods. Interacting with so many people from different parts of the world, I would say that my time there prepared me for business, and life… Seeing the differing tastes of women from different cultures and backgrounds is part of what fueled my passion and challenged me to create of my own collection.I consider the time I spent working with this Italian firm, and the time I spent in Italy to be a significant part of my life.
Who is your girl/woman?
My jewelry is worn by women of diverse ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds.
Who are you designing for?
I am always surprised by the clients that are buying my pieces. The other day, a doctor purchased my
”Fuschia Agate” pendant from one of my boutiques. She was conservative and reserved and I never thought she would have wanted a piece like that. Many of my friends told me when it first came out that it was a color for teenagers. She wanted it because the bright color made her feel happy. I’m convinced colors can affect our moods and that jewelry can create an emotional reaction through use of color.
Do you wear any of your own work?
Always. I love chunky, bold rings and usually wear them on my right hand, ring finger as a signature of my own style.
How do your pieces fit into a yearly dressing schedule? Season-wise…
The shelf life of jewelry is so different compared to other categories of fashion, we are producing collections and pieces that can be worn year around. The seasonality becomes relevant with the “Colors” Collection. The Ocean ring for instance is a piece that is most popular for the spring/summer months and then in the Fall the grey/metallic color found in Labradorite and deep red or green colors found in garnets and tourmalines are more sought after.
What’s the best feedback you’ve received recently?
Recently, a woman purchased my Ocean ring from one of the boutiques. After she purchased it, I received an email through my website saying that she “loves the ring” and that she already has a wish-list for the matching pendant and other pieces. When someone has abundant choices available, and connects with one of my pieces, and this turns into “I have to have this”…well…that is the kind of feedback that drives me. The customer loyalty has been high so far and most of the business in coming in through referrals by happy customers. My goal and challenge is to maintain this level of client satisfaction.
Have you been to Iran? How was it?
I visited Iran about 3 years ago to attend a wedding and stayed for approximately 2 weeks. It was a wonderful experience as my first visit there since childhood. I spent the first 2 years of my life there and so this was like my first trip back. There were so many familiar things about being there, I understood after this trip where all those influences came from that were tattoo’ed into my personality early on. For instance, the taste of the ice cream, which is one of my earliest childhood memories….Because there was a huge snowstorm, my visit was only to Tehran and I was looking forward to visiting the local ski resorts! I am a snowboarder so this is definitely something I still intend to experience! As for the cultural aspect of the visit, the one thing I noticed about the people is how friendly and highly educated everyone there is. I mean, whether you are in a taxi, or a flower shop, and travel agency, the people I interacted with were so bright, and highly educated! I also noticed that almost everyone I saw on the streets was very well dressed. The standards for style are higher than I ever imagined in the streets of Tehran! lisanik.com.