They’ve all made a career from their girlhood passion. We meet three inspired jewellery designers.
Sophie Lévy (Les Bijoux de Sophie)
Sophisticated costume jewellery
“Fine costume jewellery”: that’s the term coined by Sophie Lévy when she was looking for “a more sophisticated description than just ‘costume jewellery’”. After 16 years in business, her craft-based company produces 200 pieces per collection. The next one is called Mystic Brazil: “One part is exotic (parrots, pineapples, etc.) and the other is all about religious references”. Sophie’s skills have grown to include bags since 1997, and dog accessories and items since 2001. This year, she launched her first dresses. All she needs to do now is find the right shop in which to welcome her loyal customers, who already include Marion Cotillard and Madonna. Until then, this self-taught artist (who trained as a sculptor) continues on her own way guided by her own taste.
Le Bon Marché (24, rue de Sèvres, Paris 7), Printemps Haussmann (64, bd Haussmann, 9), Manoush fashion boutiques. lesbijouxdesophie.com
Magali Pont (Aime Bijoux)
The metal braids and antique tiara are the symbols of Magali Pont’s retro-romantic elegance. On the hairpins, headbands and necklaces of her January collection, tiny flower holders take their cue from the headbands and headdresses worn by the painter Frida Kahlo: “It’s the first time I’ve taken my inspiration from a theme. I’ve always explored materials and new uses for them”. Magali doesn’t travel to do her research: “I walk through Paris or use the Internet”. At the age of 17, this lover of wood and horn was spotted and adopted by the Les Prairies de Paris fashion brand as its ambassador, before going on to create its jewellery range. In 2008, the 30 year-old from Marseille and her painter partner launched their own earrings, cuff bracelets and chain necklaces. Their wish now? To finally find the right place in which to present their products dramatically.
Galeries Lafayette (40, bd Haussmann, Paris 9), FrenchTrotters (30, rue de Charonne, 11), Le Bon Marché (24, rue de Sèvres, 7). aime-bijoux.fr
The reign of precious materials
With a divinely opportune family name (Melchior, the Wise Man who brought gold for the baby Jesus), Lara’s first creation was the result of her resourcefulness: “I saw a piece of jewellery I liked but couldn’t afford, so I made it for myself”. In 2007, while she was trying to earn a living as a photographer, she began to sell pendants to her friends. Two years later, her fine brown diamond rings, yellow gold tangled chains and ruby honeycombs are now to be found at Colette, the very temple of trendiness! “No one helped me. I began by melting down my grandmother’s jewellery”. Inspired by the gold leaf used by Klimt and the fauvists, the 26 year-old designer produces one piece per style (20 in each collection) and accepts private commissions. She has no maxim as such, but likes these words of Matisse: “There are flowers everywhere for those who care to look”. She finishes with wise words: “The real luxury isn’t the weight of gold, but the opportunity to do something you love”.
Colette (213, rue Saint-Honoré, Paris 1), Merci (111, bd Beaumarchais, 3). laramelchior.com
Le Louvre des Antiquaires (photo)
Fine gold and silver from Ancient Times to the 1960s: the heirs
of good taste come here to find inspiration or unearth the glories of the past.
2, place du Palais royal Paris 1er
At the cutting edge of fine jewellery, this boutique offers rare pieces from designers all over the world.
38, rue du Mont-Thabor, Paris 1er
The place to hunt for treasures whilst keeping up-to-date with the latest trends: this family business sets the benchmark for vintage and modern designer pieces.
362, rue Saint-Honoré, Paris 1er
Text : Magali Aubert - Photos : Olivier Roux