Fernando Jorge and Ara Vartanian celebrate anniversary with celebratory collections | Fashion

Fernando Jorge and Ara Vartanian celebrate anniversary with celebratory collections | Fashion
Fernando Jorge and Ara Vartanian celebrate anniversary with celebratory collections | Fashion

In High, Fernando Jorge’s new collection, we review the hits that made this 43-year-old jeweler famous over the last decade, since he opened his company. From the streamlined rings and earrings of the Stream series to the unforgettable Disco earring, the set almost resembles a retrospective of his work, if not for one detail: all the pieces have reappeared in white gold and diamonds, further enhancing the unmistakable, very Brazilian design. without clichés, which made him collect the main industry awards in recent years. In addition to celebrating the date, High flirts with high jewelery by betting on occasion models and stones with more carats. “My gut tells me this is going to be a new direction for the brand going forward. Now, the customers are ready for pieces of this type”, says Fernando over the phone, while participating in a trunk show in Dallas, in the United States. “In the beginning, I wanted to be disruptive. Experimentalism is still very important in my process, but now I want to be a little more classic without affectation and artificiality.”

2 of 5 Gold necklace and 54,213 carats of diamonds from the High collection by Fernando Jorge. — Photo: Disclosure

Gold necklace with 54,213 carats of diamonds from the High collection by Fernando Jorge. — Photo: Disclosure

In 2010, the year of his debut at the exhibition for the conclusion of his master’s degree at Central Saint Martins, there weren’t so many young and contemporary brands on the market. The reception to his work was immediate. So much so that one of the tutors on the course became the first customer, when she bought a long necklace of milky quartz carved as fluid drops, a model still on sale today. “It made all the difference that I already had work experience”, recalls the designer, who had already worked at a Brazilian jewelry factory and Carla Amorim’s atelier before arriving in London. Therefore, he knew that it would be worth spending all his savings to make the production as he wanted. If he used silver, then he would have to redo everything in gold to sell, and the labor cost is the same. With no business background, she relied on her Lebanese roots of doing things and learning hard.

Perhaps the greatest metaphor for the brand’s current status is the change of address of its showroom from Shoreditch, a neighborhood in East London known for young designers, to Grafton Street, in the heart of Mayfair, a mecca for more traditional luxury houses. Fernando has also given increasing importance to the traceability of raw materials and the socio-environmental impacts of his work. This year, the brand managed to guarantee 90% transparency of its gold. “I started my career on the ethical side of producing something that represents my culture and that promotes Brazilian craftsmanship and cutting. As an independent designer, you first need to survive and then make a difference in the industry.”

3 out of 5 Jewels from The Dinner Party collection by Ara Vartanian — Photo: Disclosure

Jewels from The Dinner Party collection by Ara Vartanian — Photo: Disclosure

“I’m much stronger, clearer and more confident”, says Ara Vartanian about how it feels to see her brand celebrating 20 years. Son of Nerces Vartanian, one of the biggest suppliers of precious stones in Brazil, this self-taught creator never imagined becoming one of the main representatives of contemporary national jewelry. “You know the movie Wall Street – Power and Greed? Like many of my generation, I wanted to go to New York to work on the stock market and earn a lot of money”, recalls the 47-year-old Lebanese, who, in the early 1990s, became trader on Nasdaq à la Bud Fox, Charlie Sheen’s character. He just didn’t expect to feel such a huge void with that universe.

4 out of 5 Jewels from The Dinner Party collection by Ara Vartanian — Photo: Disclosure

Jewels from The Dinner Party collection by Ara Vartanian — Photo: Disclosure

In 2000, after 11 years abroad, he returned to Brazil to work as a father buying and pricing gems, an experience that deepened his knowledge and passion for precious stones. “In addition to wanting to repay everything he had invested in me, I felt I had to do something about aesthetics.” So much so that it didn’t take long for him to feel attracted to his mother Lena’s job at the wholesale company: designing pieces for the biggest jewelers in Brazil, who just needed to add their brands to their creations. Restless to express his own style, he began to develop a much more daring authorial work in parallel.

The father didn’t understand why his son wanted to be a designer in a market full of them and scarce in wholesalers. “When I had the idea of ​​inverting diamonds in my jewelry, he called me crazy and we fell out. That’s when I decided to sell everything I had to set up my business and create freely for myself.”

5 out of 5 Jewels from The Dinner Party collection by Ara Vartanian — Photo: Disclosure

Jewels from The Dinner Party collection by Ara Vartanian — Photo: Disclosure

Averse to trends, he keeps creating for himself. More recent pieces revisit icons from his universe, such as the Pulsar rings and the River Chain necklaces, which are particularly inventive. This is the case with a cord that is half a gold chain, half a diamond riviera, ending in a spectacular diamond-shaped tanzanite.

With addresses in São Paulo, London and, soon, Miami (a 93m² space in the Bal Harbor mall), and almost 90 employees and collaborators, Vartanian sees no need to grow the business at any cost. “Today, what moves me is knowing what impact the brand will leave on the planet. I have three children and they will come up with all the tough questions”, he explains, defining the process of making sustainability a pillar of his company as an ant job. In 2018, with the help of Sistema B, he started the changes first from within the company, applying simple gestures such as eliminating the use of plastic cups.

The following year, it visited and partnered with three Brazilian mines engaged in social and environmental responsibility work, unfortunately a rarity in the country. It didn’t stop there. He created a program called The Future Is Brilliant, in which he shares with the competition not only the positive impact practices adopted in his company but also the names of new suppliers, something unthinkable two decades ago. The Conscious Mining initiative aims to become a collaborative network of national and international jewelers, who seek solutions with a positive impact throughout the production chain, sharing stickers through manuals that bring together practices, such as actions with NGOs. Thus, the industry as a whole benefits. “We cannot look at each other as competitors. The beauty of a brand is when it has clarity and transparency.”

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Fernando Jorge Ara Vartanian celebrate anniversary celebratory collections Fashion

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