A look behind the process of finding inspiration and the perfect pieces for celebrities on the red carpet -with celebrity Jeweler Martin Katz. Martin also brings his love of vintage jewelry into a modern style which makes his jewelry so timeless and spectacular, while still representing a classic vibe. We recently caught up with him and here what he had to say:
AB: First of all Martin, it is a pleasure meeting you. Please give us an intro about how you first got into the amazing art of Jewelry:
MK: I launched my own business in 1988. I first established a reputation as a vintage jewelry dealer, because I had a particular artistic eye for exceptional Art Deco finds -especially those signed by the legendary jewelry houses.
In time, I found it increasingly difficult to find complementary pieces to build ensemble sets for my clients. That challenge motivated me to design the styles and color combinations I sought in vintage jewelry. I had too much respect for original vintage jewelry to create a reproduction, so I was careful to design and build pieces that were clearly new but inspired by the old world with a sense of history. That is when I began creating “contemporary jewelry with an old soul.”
AB: You have dressed over 500 celebrities with your incredible pieces and most recently at the Emmy awards. What is the process of a celebrity’s stylist or manager when reaching out to you for an event like this?
MK: In my early days on the red carpet, I worked primarily with publicists and the celebrities directly. Over the years, as the industry grew, more stylists came into the picture, and we worked with them and often with the celebrity, too. Today, the stylists come to our boutique with the dresses (or photos of the dresses) they have chosen, and we custom select the perfect jewelry to add just the right amount of sparkle for the red carpet.
AB: What has been one of your favorite pieces of work so far?
MK: I love my anniversary diamond bow pin. It features 1137 diamonds and weighs over 13 carats. You never know when inspiration will strike! I got the idea while shredding paper. I started playing around with the narrow shreds and came up with the idea of transforming all the strands into a bow.
AB: Who were some of your style inspirations growing up?
MK: I have had a lifelong love of architecture and contemporary art. I have always drawn inspiration from them.
AB: Who has been one of your favorite people to ever work with?
MK: Ashley Judd. She has great taste, and we have a lot of fun choosing her jewelry for red carpet events. She is a collector of Martin Katz jewelry, too!
AB: What do you look for when designing and preparing your pieces?
MK: I look for exceptional stones of rare beauty which inspire me to create unique designs that have personality. Beyond the artistry, impeccable fabrication is paramount.
AB: What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
MK: It’s hard to choose a single biggest accomplishment. Being recognized by world class auction houses as a collectible brand was rewarding. Being invited to open a location in Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue NY feel like milestone accomplishments for my brand.
AB: What is your best piece of advice for up and coming jewelers/designers who are wanting to get into this business?
MK: If you are a designer it’s important to “find you own voice.” Don’t be afraid to think out of the box and design pieces that speak to you. You will find your following.
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