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In Conversation with Ara Vartanian
Designer Profiles

In Conversation with Ara Vartanian

“Embracing The Challenge”

Ara Vartanian has been on a long journey in the stone and jewelry world. Having grown up with two parents in the industry, Ara knew early on that he was born with a talent to design. As a true visionary, Ara was one of the first designers to explore inverting stones in their settings. His play on proportion and dimension has garnered fans worldwide who embrace and wear his designs in ways all their own. We sat down with Ara to talk about his design philosophy, and how he got his first big break.

How did you get your start in jewelry?

“I started my company in 2001 when I was still working for my father. He was a stone dealer, and he used to manufacture high-end jewelry. My early pieces were mainly with quartz and large-sized stones.”

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Do you remember your first big break?

“I started selling in two shops: Kirna Zabête in Soho. I remember when I brought a selection of 25 pieces to them and they asked me if they could keep them until the next day. They then called to say that they were going to send them to Las Vegas because Celine Dion was going to have a concert there and she might buy some. That was my first sale - in the end, she purchased five pieces.”

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What is your design philosophy and process?

“We have really good energy inside my company. I was always very mystical and spiritual. I made sure that everybody was inclusive in the business. If the goldsmith doesn’t do his job well, the setter won’t either, and we have to help people in our team to excel in the best possible way. We spend more time with people in our atelier than we do with our own families.”

Describe your collection in 3 words.

“Authentic, intuitive, and sincere.”

What is your favorite part about working with black diamonds?

“I love their color and how they shine. For a client who still wants to wear jewelry without being too sparkly, it’s the perfect stone. When I started creating with black diamonds, I noticed how interesting they are turned with the tip-up. Its solid color, strength, and three-dimensional aspects are intense.”

What is your favorite way to see your jewels styled?

“Recently I’ve seen some of my pieces worn by a man that we hadn’t expected, but I was stunned at how cool it looked. Most recently, I sent some pieces to Swiss Beats for Alicia Keys. He was wearing the diamonds in a cool way; it was really impressive! It makes me very happy that my pieces are fully unisex and can be worn by men and women.”

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