Fork in the road

She fol­lowed in her fa­ther’s foot­steps but forged a path of her own. Jew­ellery de­signer Valérie Mes­sika dis­cusses her pro­fes­sional jour­ney with Char­lene Co

Hong Kong Tatler - - Style -

While de­signer Valérie Mes­sika has fol­lowed in her fa­ther’s foot­steps, she’s forged a path of her own

eing the daugh­ter of a promi­nent di­a­mond dealer, Valérie Mes­sika was ac­cus­tomed from a very young age to be­ing sur­rounded by ex­quis­ite gems and jet­ting off with her fa­ther to ex­otic climes to find more. When it came to tak­ing over the busi­ness, how­ever, she de­cided to move away from di­a­mond trad­ing and into the world of fine jew­ellery. She es­tab­lished her con­tem­po­rary chic di­a­mond jew­ellery brand in 2005, nam­ing it sim­ply Mes­sika, and is CEO and head of de­sign. To­day, as well as the Paris flag­ship store on Rue Saint-hon­oré, Mes­sika has more than 250 points of sale around the world, in­clud­ing in Hong Kong. Dur­ing a re­cent visit to the city, she spoke to us about step­ping out of her fa­ther’s shadow and cre­at­ing di­a­mond jew­ellery that’s ex­quis­ite but doesn’t take it­self too se­ri­ously.

What was it like tak­ing over the busi­ness? My fa­ther has been in the di­a­mond busi­ness for 45 years. He’s made a name for him­self in these cir­cles, so when I joined him 15 years ago, vir­tu­ally every­body—at least within the di­a­mond trade—knew the Mes­sika name, but hardly any­one out­side the trade knew it. I didn’t ease into the busi­ness eas­ily, to be hon­est. I imagine that hurt him quite a bit be­cause he loves the busi­ness and he’s al­ways dreamed that one of his chil­dren would take over one day.

I sup­pose things worked out, be­cause here you are Yes. We met half­way. I told him, “You know what, I’m never go­ing to be as good as you in di­a­mond trad­ing. I need to cre­ate some­thing of my own.” So I did. I went into fine jew­ellery.

And Mes­sika is in Hong Kong. Is this your first foray into Asia? Yes, we launched the brand at Lane Craw­ford in 2015 and it’s do­ing very well. We’re strong and well known in Europe, the Mid­dle East and the US, but we had zero pres­ence in Asia be­fore Hong Kong. We’re thrilled to be here.

What sets you apart from other jew­ellery brands? Mes­sika’s di­a­mond jew­ellery pieces are al­ways some­where be­tween time­less and in vogue. I also make them edgy, cooler and less se­ri­ous than the ones I was ex­posed to grow­ing up—but at the same time clas­sic, be­cause I hope that 10 years from now my pieces will still be wear­able, cur­rent. I go by Coco Chanel’s fa­mous mantra: “Fash­ion fades, only style re­mains the same.”

And you use only di­a­monds? Yes, only di­a­monds. That was my com­mit­ment to my fa­ther. When I launched my busi­ness, he told me, “Okay, I will sup­port you but I have two rules. First, don’t copy, don’t be in­flu­enced by oth­ers, carve your own iden­tity. Se­cond, use only di­a­monds.” And I’ve kept those prom­ises.

Clock­wise from top: Mes­sika Move Ti­ta­nium Graphite bangle and Move Ti­ta­nium To­tal Black ring, both set with the brand’s sig­na­ture mov­ing di­a­monds; My Twin Trio 2-in-1 ear­rings come with studs

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.