21 October 2019
Vanessa de Jaegher is what you might call a true Parisian. Perpetually wearing boots, with a Saint Laurent jacket stitched to the men’s department, she knows the city of Lights like the back of her hand, grew up there, raises her two daughters, and knows everyone there in the very narrow jewel industry. Creator of the brand Stone in 2003 before transferring it to her partner, she is now at the head of her eponymous brand. Creative director and ambassador of her jewelry line only based on diamonds with rock, sometimes bohemian, but always very chic vibes, Vanessa de Jaegher gives an exclusive interview to La Grande Boutique, about her strong family history and her passionate and exciting life.
Vanessa de Jaegher. I was surrounded by jewels since I was a child…My father went to Brazil to buy emeralds, in Asia for sapphires and rubies, in India for diamonds, in Thailand, in Hong Kong, there was no internet so the “real” buyers of stones were traveling all over the world for the jewelers of Place Vendôme in Paris. My mother was drawing jewels for other houses, since only a few names controlled the market. On Sunday afternoons, my father was sorting stones and we were doing it with him. Since I was a child, I am able to distinguish an emerald from a sapphire. There were precious stones hanging around the house, it was our daily lives… At Christmas, we were always given jewels. While at 15, I only dreamed of one thing, it was a Chevignon jacket!
Vanessa de Jaegher. Not at all ! I was exposed to this all my childhood but as curious as it may seem, the initial impetus came from the outside. At the time when I mounted Stone (her previous jewelry brand) with a friend, she told me “we can make jewelry”. I knew how to make a jewel, I had bases on the size of the diamonds and I especially had the address book of my father, everywhere in the world! It was a very closed environment at the time. When we went to see a manufacturer with my friend in 2004, we showed up with our drawings and our prototypes, he refused to work with us until I said who I was.
Vanessa de Jaegher. It can change a lot … I always work with my family, with my sister, today with my niece Clara. And concretely, I need my two brains at every moment! I have to be able to make a detailed order based on the size of the stone, the specifics that are varied, the billing that kind of stuff … and then there is the whole creative aspect where I tend to put myself in a bubble and get out of everything I can do everyday. I am lucky because it’s very easy for me to be on my back office for 5 hours, then get myself completely out of it to put me in a bubble of creativity. I put music on and go! So there isn’t a real typical day ..
Vanessa de Jaegher. I would say they are very rock and at the same time they can be very gipsy bohemian. Depending on the finish, the same gem will not look the same. A jewel rhodium black will have a “darker” style, more rock while in white, it will be much more romantic.
Vanessa de Jaegher. I watch the fashion shows a lot, but I do not think about a particular style when I design. I look at what designers do in terms of clothing, it can inspire me, I see in which direction they go. It amuses me to imagine which jewel can go with what but I also think about my personal desires. I am influenced by many other things, such as people’s tattoos, artists’ photos for example. I really like those of Jimmy Hendrix or Picasso. I love a picture of him with an Indian headdress. Each inspiration will take me to a different world. I love Tarantino’s cinema too … In fact, I have an excellent memory of images, and all that creates a great source of permanent inspiration.
Vanessa de Jaegher. It comes in phases … there are times when I will draw only earrings, at other times it will be necklaces, then rings … In fact, when I start to draw a ring, I draw fifteen! I’m not going to produce the fifteen, but as one idea brings another, I let myself go. Generally, I choose one or two, then around that, I develop a collection.
Vanessa de Jaegher. I think there is a real trend in the jewelry industry. When we look at what others do, we find common features. For example, I made signet rings at the very beginning of my brand, and I was told that it was risky considering the evocative aspect of this jewel and look today, there are everywhere!
Vanessa de Jaegher. It’s super difficult! I hesitate between my earrings and my rings … I opt for the earrings, I keep them all the time!