Designer Discovery: Georgia Ruiz Torres

Georgia Ruiz Torres expresses wonder as she admits something many of her jewelry industry peers probably can relate to: “I never intended to be a jewelry designer. It just happened.”

Torres, the designer behind the new name OG Torres, was introduced to the industry by her husband, jewelry designer Omar Torres. With his help, Torres moved from a career as an advertising executive to that of a creative and realistic designer.

“The ‘O’ in ‘OG Torres’ honors my inspiration and my husband, Omar Torres,” she says. “He feeds my imagination and [oversees] the design process as honorary executive design director.”

Omar Torres is a 30-year jewelry design veteran whose bio includes stints as a designer at Van Cleef & Arpels and design director at Bvlgari. A former jewelry design professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), he is now design director for the Movado Group.

While she revived a few of her husband’s most successful pieces from previous collections, the designs in the new OG Torres line are primarily her own creations under his guidance, she says.

“You’ll see something different in my pieces,” she says. “Those who appreciate his designs will find parallel sensibilities in construction, femininity, and quality.”

Perhaps the first ideas that occur to a woman viewing Torres’s new collection are ease and comfort. The pieces are crafted to be wearable, thanks to the designer’s ability to understand the needs of women who fill the roles of busy executive, harried mom, or both.

Her designs range from simple gold bands and traditional rings to vibrant colored stones in sleek geometrical designs and organic styles with contrasting diamonds. The collection reveals influences from the great design traditions of both Italian and German artisans. Rings featuring cabochon gems with diamond pavéare reminiscent of Italian design, yet toned down to a more classic look that American women can easily wear. She creates pieces for what she calls “the momentous occasion-everyday!”

Torres is slowly expanding her business, targeting finer retail stores with the 18k gold collection that generally retails for $600 to $3,000. Her first major exhibition of the 100-piece collection was especially touching for the designer because it incorporated another important aspect of her life-philanthropy. When Torres launched her line in San Francisco in September, it was in coordination with a special reception to benefit the Junior League of San Francisco.