A conversation with Valérie Messika, the queen of disruptive diamonds

“Diamonds are my roots and my background, when I decided to launch my own jewelry brand I thought to diamonds with an everyday wearability and not only for the most important moments of a couple. I wanted something fresh, audacious and easy to wear”.

Since the launch of her eponymous jewelry brand, Valérie Messika – founder and artistic director – has stayed true to this initial statement and her motto “breaking the codes of traditional design in order to freely create”, based on her contemporary and avant-garde style, is carried out thanks to the ability to design and manufacture diamond jewelry. Her promise is: “keep up with diamond as a unique stone“, a wager she nurtures in every new launch she brings to market.

Valérie Messika, daughter of the diamond dealer André Messika, started her brand in 2005 and since the beginning, her wish was to give codes of freedom to diamond jewelry, breaking the conventionality of traditional designs such as rivière or solitaire, hence innovating with brio, technical skills and modernity without compromising the manufacturing quality and excellence. Her first collection “Move” is characterized by three moving round diamonds set on gold, available in three different colors, yellow, rose or white. Since its launch, this collection has become a best seller for its modernity as well as sophisticated and exceptional technique. In 2016 Valérie launches also Move titanium for men, available in natural titanium, burnished or black.

The Move lines have become nowadays so iconic that one piece is sold every twenty minutes. Our first question to Valérie relates to the Move collection and further understanding of the overall inspiration. “I founded Messika in 2005 with this desire to desacralize the diamond and make it easier to wear on a daily basis. In my first iconic Move collection, the diamond is in perpetual motion as it sways with the movements in its gold cage. This collection was inspired by a childhood memory of mine: my father used to bring home incredible diamonds, he used to let the diamonds slip through his fingers. The motif of the three moving diamonds is deeply rooted in me and is very close to my heart. I like the fact that my designs are like ‘second skin’ jewelry, like tattoos. It is important to me to wear jewelry that is comfortable, that is paired with the body and adapts to your movements. I create elegant and innovative diamond pieces for everyday wear like ear cuffs, double rings… The jewels I design appeal because they have a fine, high-end, precious and delicate side, associated with this casual aspect which desacralizes the diamond. There is a real contrast. This is what makes the difference at Messika: having brought modernity and breaking the codes in a traditional and ancestral profession – that explains the singularity of my brand.”

The Move collection is paired with the more audacious and rock and roll Glam’Azone with a very wide range of styles, from double rings in black diamonds and cuffs in pavé. Nowadays the total number of collections has reached 15, a strong assortment which endorses Valérie’s creative visions. Many international celebrities are today among her clients such as Beyoncé, Sienna Miller, Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne, Kristen Stewart, Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron, Alicia Vikander and Kendall Jenner, just to name a few.

In 2022, Valérie Messika went a step further in combining the deep black of onyx with rose gold, proving an unprecedented proposal. The designer underlines her desire to illustrate the subtle duality that cohabits within.

She states: “While onyx is an intense stone, a symbol of strength and self-confidence, rose gold is soft, seductive, and romantic.

I designed these new jewels, thinking of today’s women, who are no longer afraid to assert themselves on a daily basis, while at the same time maintaining their femininity”.

During our interview, we had the chance to further get to know her universe and the way she started and plans ahead on her next steps and challenges. “I place my passion at the center of all my creations. Instinctively, each diamond inspires me to wear it or to draw it, the emotion comes from the setting that I imagine when I see the stone. The shapes, patterns and techniques prevail, they are chosen only to highlight the uniqueness of the diamond, its quality, its cut, its purity and its nuances. I like all diamond cuts, I wouldn’t say I prefer one over another. I follow my instincts and I am always inspired by the shape of the stone.

Everything starts from the rough diamond in which I will imagine the piece, never the other way around”.

In 2012, Messika decided to move a further step ahead and launched for the first time her High Jewelry collection, produced in her Parisian atelier. This additional creation led her to the opening of a 180 square meter rooftop where she nowadays manages the full manufacturing expertise for high jewelry collections. Under Valérie’s precise and accurate supervision the whole team works in unison to create every year 40 to 50 one of a kind pieces of High Jewelry. Very recently, she opened a new store in Dubai to also celebrate her ten years in the region and for the opening event the famous tower Burj Khalifa was illuminated by the brand name as well as some iconic jewelry images.

In less than 10 years, Messika – with a team of 115 people and a production of more than 6000 jewelry pieces a year – has become one of the most innovative and modern brands of diamond jewelry in the world. Furthermore, she is the only woman in France to run an independent jewelry Maison, a real pioneer in this industry who dared to create a disruptive way to conceive diamond jewelry.

Her fashion shows are also disruptive, the latest one, which took place in the heart of Paris, in an industrial location, was extremely innovative, with a mystical reference to ancient Egypt, with jewelry for the mouth, ethereal pieces which move with the body gestures as well as eye catching colors and transformable pieces. In the front row most of Messika’s dear friends – Naomi Campbell, Gigi Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Nina Dobrev, Carla Bruni, Elsa Hosk, Anna Dello Russo, Taylor Hill, Jasmine Tookes, Enjy Kiwan, Maya Diabe and many of them also got on the catwalk.

A fashion show which combined in a very unexpected way Adidas street wear with high jewelry pieces once again as a testimony that our queen of disruptive diamonds wishes to break the codes while continuing to surprise us with her creations and performances.

“The idea of having my models wearing Adidas clothes was obviously not to encourage women to wear high jewelry at the gym, but to show that jewelry can be ‘cool’, to be worn as a fashion accessory to enhance an outfit, to be in connection with the spirit of the time. This second show was for me a new way to break the codes and change the idea that people have of High Jewelry. I’m always looking to make things different by breaking the codes. I have always loved to approach the jewelry universe in unexpected ways and I think I succeeded in this challenge and surprised everyone by combining my high jewelry collection with Adidas clothes”.

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