Interview: Valérie Messika On Her Latest Desert-Inspired High Jewellery Collection And That Collaboration With Gigi Hadid

BY Sophie Stevens / May 20 2019 / 23:47 PM

The jewellery designer tells Bazaar why the Middle East remains one of her most important creative inspirations

Interview: Valérie Messika On Her Latest Desert-Inspired High Jewellery Collection And That Collaboration With Gigi Hadid
Courtesy Messika
Messika's 2019 High Jewellery collection "Born To Be Wild" is inspired by the desert

HBA: Why is the Middle East important to Messika?

VM: Messika and the Middle East have had a love affair since 2009. This relationship was cemented last year when we really settled here by opening our first standalone boutique in Dubai at The Dubai Mall.

HBA: Have you noticed any particular jewellery trends in the Middle East?

VM: I have spotted that our clients here have followed the trend of stacking bangles. But in particular they like large, unique pieces, so I create exclusive jewels for the Middle East market with statement stones.

Messika My Twin diamond necklace

My Twin 2 Rows necklace, Dhs 22,000, Messika Jewellery

HBA: Do these statement stones include coloured diamonds?

VM: Absolutely, I am always looking for exceptional coloured diamonds to use in Messika creations. These coloured gems are extremely rare and last for eternity – designing with them is like a playground for me.

HBA: As you design collections specifically for the Middle East, do you draw any creative inspiration from the region?

VM: Just last year there was a Middle Eastern-inspired chapter in my “Once Upon A Time” High Jewellery collection called “Arabian Nights”. There were six pieces influenced by oriental designs, primarily inspired by the cunning heroine Shahrazad, which were playful while being filled with sensual desire. 

Messika My Twin earrings

My Twin earrings, Messika Jewellery

HBA: Would you describe Messika’s collections as “heirloom pieces” that are passed down in families?

VM: Yes. Diamond is very special gem; it’s not called the ‘eternity stone’ for nothing – it lasts forever. So as Messika only creates with diamonds, I definitely consider some of my pieces to be “heirloom” jewels. I have my own personal example of this, as when I was young my grandmother – one of the most amazing women I ever knew – gave me one of her rings: it was set with a pear-shaped diamond weighing 9.30 carats.

Valerie Messika

Valérie Messika

HBA: Your second collection with Gigi Hadid continues to be extremely popular - why do you think this is and will the collaboration continue?

VM: Gigi Hadid is the perfect example of the Messika woman: she is spontaneous and bright, filled with energy and light. And, like me, family is very important to her. She also has a very modern approach to her love of fashion, which has helped Messika push the perception of the way fine jewellery can be worn every day.

Messika is opening a new chapter next September, but we loved the experience of working with Gigi and she will continue supporting the brand.

HBA: Can you tell us about your latest High Jewellery collection just launched at Baselworld 2019?

VM: For 2019 I chose to reinterpret the desert in the “Born To Be Wild” collection. I love to travel and with Born to Be Wild, I wanted to inject that getting away state of mind. The desert always surpasses itself, leaving you speechless and feeling like no one and someone at the same time.