Valérie Messika grew up playing with precious stones. Her father, Andre, was renowned in the diamond industry for decades, but at the age of 25, Valérie discovered a niche in the market: everyday, wearable diamonds. She founded her eponymous brand around this ethos and Messika has since become a favourite amongst celebrities with stores across the globe. Here, we speak to the designer about fashion, Parisian style and designing for men
1. What’s your most cherish piece of jewellery?
When I was young, my grandmother, who is one of the most amazing women I have ever met, gave me one of her rings. It is a pear shaped 9.30 carat diamond, it is my favourite piece of jewellery.
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2. How much attention do you pay to trends?
I am a real fashion lover! I get my inspiration from a lot of things, at all times– but fashion and haute couture are one of my biggest sources of inspiration. I find inspiration by walking the streets in Paris and looking at people’s attitude and style. I admire the Parisiennes; they look so chic but always in a very minimal and trendy way.
3. What makes a piece of jewellery timeless?
To be timeless, a piece of jewellery must be a mix between classic and contemporary, but always with a twist of modernity.
4. Do you approach designing for men and women differently?
I get my inspiration from people that surround me such as my two daughters, my husband and my father. I also take into consideration feedback from my clients, this is important to me.
Creating for men was about how I see men. Forging a bond between men and women’s jewellery was a real challenge. I have created a masculine interpretation of my iconic collection Move, that combines both power and lightness. The motif of the three moving diamonds is deeply imprinted in me and lies very close to my heart, it stands for the ‘love of yesterday, today and tomorrow’.
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5. When you get dressed in the morning, which do you choose first: clothes or jewellery?
I am very lucky as I can change my jewellery every day. I always associate my jewels with my clothes. What I like is stacking bangles by mixing my signature collections, Move and Skinny. I adore wearing jewellery as fashion accessories.
Messika pieces are created to be worn on an everyday basis. Diamonds can be worn every day with a pair of jeans, your favourite sneakers or your favourite jumper!
6. What’s your favourite jewel other than a diamond?
This is a tricky question as diamonds are in my DNA. This passion is my heritage. But I always have my Audemars Piguet watch that I consider to be like a piece of jewellery.
Discover Messika’s collections: messika.com