MAEVE WOOD­HOUSE HERA SAABI

@herasaabi herasaabi.com

Fashion Quarterly - - Pro­file -

The daugh­ter of a nov­el­ist and a doc­u­men­tary film ed­i­tor, Hera Saabi de­signer Maeve Wood­house grew up im­mersed in the arts. An “ob­ses­sion with mak­ing things” was the nat­u­ral con­se­quence. Af­ter mov­ing from Auck­land to Mel­bourne aged 19 to study shoe­mak­ing, the now-27-year-old says she “ac­ci­den­tally stum­bled” across the prac­tice of gold­smithing, which led to her de­sign­ing two cap­sule col­lec­tions of jew­ellery for Kiwi fash­ion in­sti­tu­tion Zambesi. Work­ing part-time on the Zambesi shop floor upon her re­turn to Auck­land in 2015, Maeve and her fel­low sales as­sis­tant Margie Cooney (now her cre­ative di­rec­tor) were clos­ing shop one night when they de­cided to com­bine their com­ple­men­tary cre­ative and prac­ti­cal skills and launch Hera Saabi. The brand stands for fem­i­nine strength, con­sid­ered de­sign and sup­port­ing lo­cal cre­ative com­mu­ni­ties, with pieces in­spired by the con­trast of im­per­fect na­ture and ge­o­met­ri­cally con­structed en­vi­ron­ments. “The hu­man fig­ure is a mo­tif that runs through our col­lec­tions,” says Maeve. “The soft cur­va­ture of the body cast in hard metal is a jux­ta­po­si­tion we love to play with.” Based out of a stu­dio space at the closed-down Queen Vic­to­ria School in Par­nell, Auck­land, Maeve — for­mally trained in pre­cious-metal en­gi­neer­ing — hand makes ev­ery piece with a view to its be­com­ing some­one’s fam­ily heir­loom, to be passed on through gen­er­a­tions. Qual­ity of ma­te­ri­als is paramount, but equally im­por­tant is a sense of hu­mour. “The jew­ellery in­dus­try can be quite se­ri­ous due to the frag­ile, rare and lux­u­ri­ous ma­te­ri­als used. With this in mind, I try to bring a light­ness to ev­ery­thing I make,” says Maeve.

Jas­min Spar­row’s clas­sic pieces are de­signed to be passed on from one gen­er­a­tion to the next.

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