LEAVING A LEGACY
Simone Ng, founder and designer of Simone Jewels, has her finger on the pulse of the industry and designs for today’s contemporary, confident woman
Homegrown labels make us proud, but how often do we see these Singaporean brands feted and represented internationally? There are few that have made it to the global stage, and several factors have contributed to their success: they have remained original and stuck to their brand philosophy without deviating from their core identity, persevering through the good times and the bad, and never scrimping on quality or integrity.
These are the qualities that have stood Simone Ng of Simone Jewels in good stead, and she has, in the past few years, taken her brand to new heights: her jewellery is now available in Bangkok, Macau and Kuala Lumpur, and she also counts bloodline royalty as her fans.
Her talent has been recognised by purveyors of luxury, including Luxury Lifestyle Asia who nominated her as one of the top three brands in Asia. Moreover, in 2013, Sotheby’s auctioned her Reverso Lace necklace at 2.5 times its reserve price.
With her extensive experience and natural eye for all things beautiful, Ng has become a forerunner in the jewellery industry in Singapore and Asia, blurring the line between being a jeweller, a stylist, an authoritative figure, and a confidante for her closest clients. Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time speaks to this talented powerhouse.
You are more than just a jeweller to your customers, but also their stylist. Tell us about these different roles you play. I believe that the whole idea of designing jewellery is to make its wearers look fabulous. Hence, we play with shapes that complement facial features, and colours that enhance their glow.
Personally, I have loved styling since young. I have neither formula nor training. It's just a process of letting the eye and mind put all the elements together. You can say I have a very visual imagination.
Each jeweller has his or her unique style, and I am happy that many of my customers trust my choices and recommendations. It really isn’t about selling, it is about what makes my customers look outstanding and when they get approving looks and compliments from their family and friends, that is all that really matters.
How can women rock their high jewellery in this era of individualism? High jewellery needs to have all of the following in one recipe: it has to make a statement, yet be understated; it should have an investment value; and it should make the wearer look ageless.
While the likes of Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor are famously known for their classical high jewellery pieces, such styles can be very maturing and hard to pair with our contemporary fashion and trends.
Women are now more self-assured, and demand nd more than just great gemstones. The jewel needs to have a story; it should be an artwork and oneof-a-kind. The style should not be one that’s easily y copied and it needs to be a conversation piece.
In fact, we have introduced the concept of transformable jewellery so that our ladies are never stuck with one look when they invest in a statement piece from us. A necklace can be transformed into a brooch; a bracelet into a choker; and earrings from chandeliers to studs.
Which gemstones should people be investing in now? There is a market shift for jewellery as an alternative asset class. I would advise taking the recommendations of a jeweller they trust as they would truly have your best interest at heart. The gem may not be an emerald, ruby or sapphire, but it can be an extremely rare member of its family.
For example, Paraiba is the most prized variety in the tourmaline family and its per carat price can be extremely high. An unheated tanzanite with an extraordinary colour and clarity is considered 1,000 times rarer than diamonds; and fine gemquality spinels are even far lesser in quantity than rubies and sapphires individually.
It is very important to ask questions about the specifications of a gem, for example, is it treated; what are the origins of the gem; how extraordinary is the cut, colour and clarity; and does it typically come in such sizes? The truth is some gemstones are very rare and in the future you might be one of the few to own such a piece that could be auctioned off for a much greater value.
Let’s go back 10 years: what are the differences you see in the jewellery industry now? There have been so many changes that it has become hard to keep track, and sometimes we don’t even realise just how much it has evolved in the past 10 years. Take craftsmanship for instance, we have challenged new boundaries and found unexplored ways of creating our jewellery. In terms of prices, gold and minerals have doubled since 2006 and technological advances have resulted in new pockets of diamonds and coloured stones being found, but one must remember that coloured minerals we consider gem quality only make up a tiny one per cent of the earth’s surface, far lesser than diamonds. Some coloured gemstones are so limited in supply that if you miss the opportunity you might never see one like it again.
By appointment only. Tel: 8568 3992. www.simonejewels.com Facebook: /Simonejewels Instagram: @Simonejewels