In a year filled with uncertainty, dread and grief, creativity flourished. From a mine placing her emeralds in the hands of a talented designer, to a collection of Forevermark engagement rings fueled by the aesthetics of a celebrity stylist, to two manufacturers teaming up to create a series of necklaces that perfectly combines their strengths, the collaborative design model made its known importance in a variety of formats and brought joy in so many forms.
It was difficult to select the best jewelry design collaborations of the year, but in total we landed 11 memorable matches that deserve to be recognized for their beauty, ingenuity and sheer novelty.
As for 2021? More please!
Comme des Garçons x Mikimoto
Unveiled during Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris, this small collection of seven necklaces was made in sterling silver and white South Sea pearls or Akoya Mikimoto. The designs were anything but small or particularly feminine. Extract from the statement of Rei Kawakubo, founder of Commes des Garçons: “I have noticed how beautiful men are when they wear pearls. [That was] the starting point of this collaboration. [For] a traditional company like Mikimoto, with a 150-year history, [a] bumping into and breaking the rules can lead to something new. Indeed, men wearing pearls were a trend that we followed throughout the year.
Maya Brenner x Alli Webb
Developed with Alli Webb, owner of Drybar, the blow-dry and hair-care salon franchise, this line of style and comfort jewelry from Maya Brenner centers around studs with specially designed backs that don’t itch you when you sleep. (an idea from Webb, who has five piercings in each ear). Nordstrom took over the line, a first for Brenner who exhibited his jewelry to an even wider audience.
Jennifer Fisher x CB2
Early March. News of the Jennifer Fisher x CB2 collaboration, with its subtle nods to the designer’s famous hoops, chunky elongated link chains, and tubular bracelets / rings, came just before the pandemic completely took over the world. waves and that nothing, not even jewelry, can be written without acknowledging its impact. I called the collaboration “an accessible reimagining of city life in its most glamorous (but relatively affordable) form,” and it was. But boy is that a phrase that precedes the concept of shelter in place.
MB&F x H. Moser & Cie
To the delight of watch collectors and enthusiasts around the world, the Swiss manufactures MB&F and H. Moser & Cie have combined their DNA to co-create two extremely rare limited-edition timepieces: the LM101 MB&F x H. Moser and the ‘Endeavor Cylindrical Tourbillon H. Moser x MB&F.
Catbird x Metropolitan Museum of Art
In honor of the museum’s 150th anniversary, the Met unveiled a series of design collaborations. New York-based jeweler Catbird was among the participating brands and created a four-piece capsule inspired by the works of female artists as well as a reinvention of the Met’s iconic (and now defunct) metal admission token.
Gemfields March for Giants
This 44-piece collection showcasing works by an international body of leading jewelry designers was more than a showcase for Zambian emeralds and Mozambican rubies from Gemfields. It was also a partnership with the international conservation charity Space for Giants to form a joint initiative called Walk for Giants, a fundraising and awareness campaign for the conservation of African wildlife, with a focus especially on the protection of the continent’s beloved elephants and their natural habitat. .
Shinola x I am a voter
As JCKEmili Vesilind reported in September that the Detroit-based watch and accessories brand partnered with the non-partisan organization I Am a Voter for an awareness (and product) campaign that registered people to vote in. Shinola stores, via QR codes and step-by-step text instructions. displayed for each payment. The centerpiece of the campaign was the new I Voted Detrola watch (pictured above), which was released on September 22, National Voter Registration Day.
Muzo Emerald Designer Capsule
For the fourth time since 2018, Muzo Emerald, the mining company based in the legendary district of Muzo in Colombia, has launched a capsule with top designers. The 2020 edition is a 34-piece collection comprising the work of Colette, Harwell Godfrey, Jenna Blake, Katherine Jetter, Loren Nicole, Nina Runsdorf, Michelle Fantaci, Robinson Pelham, Silvia Furmanovich and Sorellina. As JCK Editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky notes here that the pieces in the collection were “designed and created in the eye of the COVID storm”. It was also the first time that Muzo supplied designer partners with faceted materials.
De Beers ReSet Collective
A small collection of one-of-a-kind diamond pendants by American designers Jade Trau, Jennie Kwon, Julez Bryant, Sara Weinstock and Zoë Chicco was the first in a series of ongoing De Beers group partnerships that will attempt to ‘reset ”Perceptions of the natural diamond industry. The pendants were auctioned by Sotheby’s in an online sale, with the final auction prices shared equally between two charities: Stepping Stones International in Botswana and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in the United States. .
Aerosmith x Distefano
“It was a passionate idea to combine precious metal and precious music,” said New York designer Donna Distefano. JCK ‘s Emili Vesilind at the collection launch in November. Celebrating the group’s 50th anniversary, the lineup includes a plethora of Aerosmith images, lyrics and song and album names.
Above: Just in time to be on our list: December’s stunning Messika x Kate Moss collaboration, which takes inspiration from the idea of a free spirit and features bold jewelry, flowing lines, neo references -art deco, and swingy tassels cast in the finest diamonds, colored gemstones and gold. Here, Moss pays homage to the baguette-cut diamond: adorning a headdress, swinging on a choker, and swinging freely like charms on a ring. (Photo: Chris Colls, courtesy of Messika Paris)
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