This New York Jewelry Designer Loves Multiple Piercings and Keeping It Simple: A Trendsetter Reveals All
While chatting with fine jewelry designer Eva Zuckerman during her recent personal appearance at Forty Five Ten on Main, she tells me she’s wearing a very special necklace.
“This is the first diamond we bought when I started my company, a portrait-cut so it’s thin, like a sheet of glass,” she says. “I haven’t been taking it off.”
Just like this necklace, Zuckerman’s jewelry from her Eva Fehren collection she launched in 2011 is delicate, but with a bold, modern edge.
The native New Yorker, who formally trained as a painter at The Cooper Union in Manhattan, possesses a distinctly minimalist point of view, using 18K rose, black, yellow, and white gold with white, gray, and pale champagne diamonds for pieces that can be rearranged to create different silhouettes.
Unlike big statement jewelry, Zuckerman’s designs are classic enough to be added to her collection and stay there. “I love the idea of super-sharp, refined, minimal shapes without a ton of embellishment and then one strong, geometric diamond,” she says. “Understated but incredibly luxurious.”
Intrigued by her cool juxtaposition of fierce and feminine, I pose a few more questions, ranging from the genesis of her label to her thoughts on multiple ear piercings (hint: she’s all for it).
Describe the inspiration behind the geometric aesthetic of your brand.
The aesthetics of New York have steeped into my psyche effortlessly. I was always interested in that contrast between the grit of New York City and grandiose beauty of it. Growing up in an urban environment, that’s what became beautiful to me. I would look at cracks in the sidewalk, the color of cement, architectural details, scaffolding, the way bridges are constructed — those became the motifs of my life. When it came time to start my own line, I wanted to create something that had that tension of being super refined and really elegant but also tough. That’s a very New York sentiment.
Your X ring was the catalyst for your collection.
I’m a symmetry nut, so I had this challenge in my mind to create something perfectly symmetrical but impossibly delicate, that also makes a statement and is really graphic. The X ring was the jumping-off point for the entire collection. Because of my background as an artist, I wanted something sculptural. When you put it on, it looks like a painting or a tattoo. It’s very minimal, but when you take it off, it has a life of its own as an object. It’s like armor — you feel tougher when you put it on, but not at the expense of feeling elegant.
I love all the piercings on your left ear.
I feel like my friends and customers see the way I wear my jewelry and the next time I see them, they have two more piercings. Growing up, I was not allowed to get multiple piercings. When I became an adult, I told my mother, “I think I can do it in a way that feels elegant and cool.” She said, “No you can’t, that’s impossible.” Now, she believes me and is on board. She says, “Oh, you can wear so many diamonds!”
What pieces do you wear every day?
I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing any jewelry. I work a lot with my hands; I run around like a crazy person. All of the pieces are meant to be wearable and lightweight, very comfortable. I wear the X ring almost every day, because it’s my baby, and I wear a lot of earrings all the time.
We are in Forty Five Ten… I must know what ready-to-wear designers you love.
I feel weird when everything is too perfect. Something has to have a rip or a hole in it, whether on purpose or by mistake. My favorite designer is Rick Owens — I live in those clothes. I wear a lot of my dad’s old T-shirts, with something like a Givenchy skirt. I wear a lot of black. I love The Row. Simple and classic, but on the darker, edgier side. If I get dressed up, I wear Brandon Maxwell.
What are you working on now?
I have a few tricks up my sleeve. We launched a line of wedding and engagement rings called Eva Fehren White. I also just finished a new collection called the Static collection, which is all black and white, frenetically set patterned pieces, for Pre-Fall.
Eva Fehren, available at Forty Five Ten on Main, 1615 Main St., 214.559.4510.
Photos courtesy Forty Five Ten on Main