Like so many aspects of history, the acknowledgement and scope of female jewelers and designers is small compared to men. In celebration of Women's History Month, I wanted to highlight female jewelry designers of the past that I admire.
SUZANNE BELPERRON | haute joaillerie designer
Belperron began her illustrious career designing during the height of the Art Deco period in France. Her soft style and unique use of stones to create sumptuous forms set her apart from her contemporaries. Her conviction was so strong that her style was so unique, Belperron famously never included a maker's mark on her work.
A woman of strength and conviction, she joined the French Resistance during WWII.
She was a major taste-maker in her time, designing jewelry for royalty and celebrities and counted Elsa Schiaparelli, Diana Vreeland, Christian Dior and Jeanne Lanvin as friends.
MARGARET DE PATTA | modernist jeweler & artist
De Patta embodied the spirit of a true American designer: when she could not find a modernist engagement ring, she set off to design her own. She began her art career as a painter and became a self-taught jeweler. De Patta came from the Bauhaus tradition of design, focusing on pieces that could be worn multiple ways. She explored concepts of light, fragmentation with her unique stone choices and cuts. Her democratic ideals led her to develop pieces for the middle class, in addition to her prolific production of one-of-a-kind pieces.
ELISABETH TRESKOW | master metalsmith & professor
Treskow was a metalsmith first and foremost, working both in silver and gold. She had a long career as a jewelry instructor in Germany. She was widely sought after and was meticulous when she was designing for her customer - taking careful measurements and considering the wearer's complexion so that each piece would suit them perfectly. In addition to her life's work as a jeweler and teacher, she had a successful foray into product design. Always, she had a deep respect for the craft of jewelry making and never lost sight of the humility and respect of the work.
If you'd like delve a little deeper and see more work from famous female jewelry designers, I invite you to browse my Pinterest board.