We spend a lot of time here at JCK thinking about all the changes the industry has experienced over the past year—either as a result of the pandemic or because the crisis accelerated shifts that were already in progress when it hit. We are especially interested in how the industry’s creatives have responded to their work in the wake of 2020. What kinds of jewelry designs will we see in 2021, and how will they comment on our all-too-interesting times?
Recently, we put these questions to Olga Pekarevskaia (pictured), the Russian-born, London-based founder of Maya Gemstones. At the end of last year, she introduced a collection called ZigZag, which was designed to represent “the twists and turns of 2020.” Each piece is engraved with the words This Too Shall Pass.
Below, Pekarevskaia shares her perspective on jewelry design in the era of COVID.
How has the pandemic affected your design process?
There is a great parable for this question: A group of scientists in Mexico hired porters to get to the Inca city at the top of the mountain and suddenly the porters stopped and refused to go any further.
The scientists got worried and did not know how to convince them to go further. They simply did not understand why the porters stood in one place for so long and a few hours later they continued to move. Finally, the senior porter decided to explain everything. He said that they were going so fast that they overtook their souls.
Before the lockdown, we were always rushing around in this endless race for success and we lost our souls. We may have had our events canceled at Paris and London fashion weeks, but this period gave us more time for creativity. The creative process didn’t stop.
Since November 2020, we have released two new collections: ZigZag and Triangle Power. Both have seen consistent sales since launch. So it actually affected us in a positive way, despite the obstacles and setbacks.
What are you hearing from clients about what they are most interested in now?
After a year in lockdown people are gearing up for a summer of freedom, and they’re looking for bright neons and statement pieces that will wow when they’re back socializing again. Pearls have been trending for a while, so we have seen continued sales of the Cosmic pieces, which feature the Tahitian black pearl. Otherwise, the focus has been very much on the neon pieces, particularly the Sonya rings.
What are you working on for 2021?
We’re consistently playing with new ideas, but we’re primarily working on extending the Out of Office collection, as it’s our best seller. We’re looking to launch the Paperclip pieces and Ruler bracelets without diamonds to make them more affordable for mass market.
The other idea is to play with the central triangle of the Paperclips. The Masonic sign is one source of inspiration.Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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