Tatler Singapore

Small Talk

The New York-born designer is known for her wearable jewellery that looks dangerous and dramatic


Tell us about the first jewellery piece you designed.

It was a medallion, which was inspired by the only piece of jewellery my grandparen­ts brought from Cuba. During the revolution, everything of value—especially gold— was confiscate­d by the government. My grandfathe­r had a little medallion, which he would hang from his belt, and it went unnoticed. I worked it into a pendant.

What do you love about remodellin­g jewellery?

We only live one life. If a piece is dated or doesn’t suit you right now, it’s better to rework it into something you will wear. There’s no point having it sit in a safe.

Which piece have you most enjoyed remodellin­g?

The Honey necklace, which I made for myself. I reset my grandmothe­r’s ring, which sat in my safe for 15 years, and now I never take it off.

If you could dress anyone, who would it be?

Jackie O. I know she is famous for her American elegance, but I’d love to see her a little sexier. I’d also just love to chat with her.

What’s your favourite time period?

I love everything about the 1920s and ’30s—art deco never goes out of style.

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