Monday, May 14, 2012

Couture Communique Interview

Couture sends out a monthly newsletter and they feature one designer, one store and then write about what is new leading up to Couture. Very flattered to be chosen to be written about the month before Couture 2012! 


pamela-froman-earringBorn and raised in Manhattan, fine jewelry designer Pamela Froman began her career working for couturier brands before breaking out on her own. Now six years into her endeavor, Froman has built a brand that offers bright, feminine pieces through a unique technique that renders a distinctive look. Here, the designer shares her approach to gemstones, the wearability factor of her jewelry and how architecture influences her work.
National Jeweler: Can you tell us about the Pamela Froman brand? Where and when were you established?
Pamela Froman: The beginning of my career was spent designing various collections for couturier brands like Courreg├Ęs, Valentino and Guy Larouche. As much as I enjoyed the challenge of creating for renowned designers, I needed to forge my own artistic path.
I began creating pieces on the side for myself, and Pamela Froman Fine Jewelry was officially launched in 2006. Everything is designed and created in Los Angeles, and I feel very strongly about that; making my collection in the United States, not outsourcing overseas.

NJ: What metals and stones do you primarily work in, and why?
PF: I work primarily in 18-karat gold, and I feel that’s what I’m most known for, my use of multiple colors of 18-karat gold in one piece and the special colors I’ve developed. By “special colors,” I mean my 18-karat yellow gold, which is warmer than most yellows it distinguish it from the 18-karat green gold I use, and my 18-karat pink gold, which is peachier to look good on most skin tones.
Also, I love irregular surfaces, so most of my collection is textured with a special technique I call “crushed”--I use too many tools to simply call it hammered. Combined with a satin finish, this crushed texture gives a much softer, more natural feel to the metal.
When it comes to gemstones, I believe “semi-precious” is a misnomer; all natural gemstones are precious to me. I especially love stones with irregularities that make them unique works of art, like rutilated quartz, labradorite, rainbow moonstone, opal and tourmaline. I also love working with “rough” or “rustic” diamonds for the same reason; they’re so unique! However, the colorless diamonds I use are held to a higher standard--they’re all brilliant-cut, F-G color, VS quality or better, so even the smallest diamonds have fabulous sparkle.
NJ: What is new at Pamela Froman in terms of design?
PF: I design a lot of one-of-a-kinds. So there’s always something new! For instance, I discovered gorgeous matrix Paraiba tourmaline in Tucson that I am currently designing a collection around for Couture. I’m making more fabulous one-of-a-kind cocktail rings for my self-purchasing customer, and I’m adding more unique pieces to my platinum rutile collection as well.
I’m also expanding my popular “Ombre Crush” Collection, a combination of 18-karat pink and yellow gold, with new designs which are repeatable pieces, but still unique because they’re handmade.

NJ: What serves as your inspiration?
PF: I know everyone says this, but architecture has inspired a lot of my designs. More specifically, old-world European architecture, especially scroll-y wrought iron gates, and the beautiful domes of St. Petersburg.
One of my favorite design elements is the scroll, as you can see in my collections. It’s a very organic, feminine shape, and I love the way it flows. I also find inspiration in fabrics and textures, and often the gemstones I choose influence the design.

NJ: What is unique about your design? What sets Pamela Froman jewelry apart from other fine brands?
PF: I think that my special gold colors, and the way I mix them together in one piece, are what really distinguish my brand. Also, I design with wearability in mind. My “crushed” texture and satin finish paired with high-quality diamonds lends an understated glamour to the pieces that make them incredibly wearable. They can just as easily accessorize a pair of jeans as they can an evening gown.
NJ: What do you like best about being part of the fine jewelry industry?
PF: I love the camaraderie of the industry. The people in it are really wonderful and passionate about the art of jewelry, and that is very inspiring.
NJ: Who are you designing for? Who is the Pamela Froman customer?
PF: My customer is a confident woman with a strong sense of her own personal style, regardless of her age. She wants to be seen as a unique individual, and her choice of jewelry reflects that desire.
In short: if everyone’s wearing it, she’s not interested.

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