Maria Black Masters Minimal-------
Denmark-born, East London-based jewelry designer Maria Black is a self-proclaimed minimalist. “It’s very hard to grow up in Scandinavia and not be a minimalist,” said the 36-year-old talent, laughing. Indeed, Black, who opened her first boutique in Copenhagen this year, is drawn to clean, geometric shapes and crisp lines. But don’t mistake minimal for simple. Having served as the apprentice to master jewelers for four years before winning a prestigious design grant (which came with a personal congratulations from the Queen of Denmark) and launching her line in 2010, Black’s precision borders on obsessive. She crafts the prototypes for each of her gold or gunmetal pieces—like tribal-inspired full-fingered rings, textural ear cuffs, and, her favorite, the delicate Monocle necklace (above)—herself before sending them off to be handmade in Thailand. “Every piece has to be touched by a human hand,” she offered.
Having garnered a following that includes Rihanna, Helena Christensen, Scarlett Johansson, and Coco Sumner, Black has steadily grown her label over the past three years. The designer launched with her unfussy Roll On range and has since expanded to offer three additional divisions—Cascade, Electric Avenue, and her latest, Diamond Cut, which, as its name would suggest, is sprinkled with lots of the sparkly stuff. Each collection offers its own unique aesthetic, but maintains the sharp geometry and versatility that Black has made her own. With her designs available on Net-a-Porter as of this month (Black says the site has already had a significant impact on her sales), the jeweler is poised to become a cult favorite. Keep an eye out for a men’s line and a selection of elaborate runway pieces, which will hit the catwalk during a yet-to-be-revealed Scandinavian label’s Spring ’14 show.
Maria Black’s jewelry is available on Net-a-Porter.com, on the designer’s Web site, and at other select retailers. Prices range from $100 to about $1,566.