Kate Moss and Ara Vartanian first met five years ago, when the super visited the brilliant jewellery designer at his studio in São Paulo after falling in love with a tanzanite and diamond ring of his she had seen in a store. They didn’t have it in her size, so she commissioned a custom ring direct, and has championed his cool and contemporary bijoux ever since. Close friends, the pair holiday together and Moss is even godmother to Vartanian’s daughter. Given their shared love of jewels, the decision to collaborate on a collection seems almost predestined. It all began when Moss noticed a mandala – a circular figure believed to represent the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism – Vartanian was wearing. “I explained to Kate that it brings good energy, which she loved, so I gave her mine and had to create another for myself,” he recalls. “When we spoke about working together, we discussed wanting to make pieces that you can wear every day and that have meaning.”
Their collection of limited-edition pieces was inspired by certain treasured items in Moss’ closet – an engraved Russian cigarette case from the 20s, a pair of gold cuffs – and interpreted through Vartanian’s signature style. Hanging dagger earrings, eye pendants, and globe-shaped moonstones on 18k gold rings are some of the highlights of the collection, all highly symbolic and shot through with references to English legends. “The collection immortalises medieval symbols and is mounted with swords of St. George, as well as amulets that bring protection and good energy, and sickle moon symbols,” the jeweller explains. Mandalas are hung from leather cords and worn across the forehead as well as around the neck, for a summery, Pagan feel. Vartanian, who comes from a family of jewellers and is known for his skilful use of rare stones, included several varieties in the pieces, such as Brazilian colourful quartz, amethyst and citrine. “We added citrines at the end as Kate really wanted them. We also used Kate’s birthstone, garnet.”
Designing a collection with his friend proved a pleasure and Vartanian is full of praise for Moss’ innate aesthetic sensibility. “Kate has a very creative mind. In our friendship we often discuss objects, not just antique jewellery but antiques in general,” he says. It would surely be difficult to select a favourite, but Vartanian’s is the amulet – “which I wear myself as it brings good energy and protection”. Infused with the spirit of their own friendship, as much as positive energy, theirs is a collaboration to covet.
Kate Moss x Ara Vartanian is available now from Ara Vartanian stores.