March is Women's History month & we at Amalia Jewelry want to celebrate it by highlighting the influence women have had in the history of jewelry. We all know Jewelry is designed for women but no one really ever talks about the women who take part in this male dominated jewelry industry.
Chosen successfully by the International Diamond Corporation to create an exclusive collection of diamond jewelry to renew interest in diamonds during the Depression. Her nomination caused adversity from the male-driven jewelry industry, as everyone doubted that a dressmaker knew anything about diamonds. She empowered woman with her designs in both Jewelry and Clothing always stating that “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants."
in 1900 in France, she won first prize with her pendant-watch in the annual “Decorative Art” competition of 1918. She started working as a modelist-designer at French jewelry house Boivin in 1919. A confident and determined woman who broke the rules of 1920s design to create bold & daring work that incorporated unconventional materials. She eventually left the the house of Boivin to design for gemstone dealer Bernard Herz where she was given more artistic freedom. When trouble came during World War II and the Nazi’s Gestapo unit arrested the Jewish Herz and deported him to a concentration camp, Belperron saved the company by registering it with her name as Herz-Belperron. Story says that in trying to protect Bernard Herz from the Gestapo, she swallowed all the pages of Herz’s address book, one by one.
She continued to work at Herz for the next 30 years and her designs are as contemporary today as they were all those years ago.
Paloma Picasso’s jewelry career began in 1968 with a commission from her friend and designer, Yves Saint Laurent. She then went on to work with Zolotas, a Greek jewelry company, and in 1980 began designing jewelry for Tiffany & Co. She was a forerunner of the bold, colorful gemstone stone trend in the 1980s. Many of the stones she first used were previously ignored by the Jewelry Industry.
Paloma Picasso has always believed in the empowerment a piece of jewelry can bring to women, like she said "Jewelry is linked to our emotions. When you buy a piece, there is always this idea that you will pass it on to the next generation."
Some of her designes are currently being displayed in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago among others.
Coreen Simpson's career began as a photojournalist covering political dignitaries, cultural icons, musicians, athletes, and special events all over the world, she covered mostly Fashion Collections in Paris and New York.
Simpson liked antique cameos that depicted portraits of black women, so in 1982, she began designing and creating black cameos. She wore her original pieces while photographing collections in Paris where fashion editors began requesting the pieces and her clientele began growing. In 1990 Simpson's signature piece, THE BLACK CAMEO® was launched. Simpson’s photography artwork is presented in the permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, The Bronx Museum, Le Musee De La Photographie (Belgium) and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, among others.
master of filigree jewelry, Bai Jingyi, has been designing pieces by hand for over 50 years. She mainly uses gold because of its flexibility and because, as she states "its sun-like radiance is unmatched by any other metal."
In order to make her imperial filigree inlays, the gold is pulled into thing threads and made into small sections, then assembled into the design according to the various sections. In her desingns Jingyi is not attempting to revive the old ways of creating imperial filigree. Instead, she is trying to bring innovative ways to use these ancient technique.
Farah Khan Ali
Khan Ali is a Mumbai-based jewelry designer. She has conceptualized many one-of-a-kind pieces like Princess Diya Kumari (the daughter of the last Maharaja of Jaipur) emerald earrings or the Swarovski crystal-studded crown worn by Beyoncé on the cover of her album "4".
She has over two decades of experience in Jewelry design and has won a multitude of awards including Best Jewelry Designer at the 2011 and 2013 Retail Jeweler India Awards.
Sheryl Jones is a true pioneer and the only black woman in history to be on the NYC Diamond Exchange on 47th street, today. Jones began her career in fine jewelry in 1999 working as an apprentice with one of Belgium's finest diamond manufacturers. Several years later, she expanded her expertise supervising diamond production for an American manufacturer.
In 2002 Jones began selling her jewelry designs and now has her own jewelry line.
Lorraine Schwartz began her career as a third-generation diamond dealer and that is how she got the opportunity to start designing one-of-a-kind pieces for red carpet moments & personal collections for high end personalities like Angelina Jolie to Jennifer Lopez and many other Academy Award winners.
Lorraine’s innovative use of color in her designs is accentuated through her jewelry’s outstanding craftsmanship, exceptionally high-quality diamonds, and bold, eye-catching shapes.
Carolina Bucci is a 4th generation Italian jeweler. She studyed at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and return back to Florence where she worked alongside local Italian goldsmiths and encouraged them to push the boundaries of their traditional practices as she created her first collections.
In 2003, Vogue UK featured a cover photo of Salma Hayek wearing a Carolina Bucci necklace, leading Bucci to develop her first non-US retailer: London’s multi-brand store, Browns. In 2007, she opened her London flagship store and has since partnered with retailers such as Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman, and Lane Crawford.