Emmanuel Tarpin

Every time I get the opportunity to talk to Emmanuel Tarpin, one of the most sought-after names today in the panorama of rising jewelry designers, he is always in wonderful locations!

For this interview, he was in the Maldives Islands, diving but above all contributing to replanting coral in the ocean as part of his strong commitment to the environment and to the many organisations he collaborates with. Born in Annecy, in the French Alps, Emmanuel is very attached to his region of origin, between its splendid lake and the surrounding mountains. Since his childhood, he has been traveling a lot with his family, discovering exotic places and living extraordinary adventures. All these memories and experiences have immensely contributed to his inspirational background and have given him this subtle sensitivity to observe the beauty of nature and everything that surrounds him so to transform it into marvellous high jewelry collections. Already at an early age, Emmanuel was passionate about art and gemstones, he practiced sculpture for 13 years and music (oboe) for 12 years. He started getting acquainted with jewelry thanks to his Bachelor studies at the High School of Art and Design in Geneva where he enrolled in the jewelry department. During these three years in Geneva, Emmanuel acquired the technical basics of his art. An internship in Paris in a studio working for Van Cleef & Arpels followed by 3-year collaboration with this same Maison allowed him to become familiar with the work on exceptional pieces while fine-tuning his mastering of high- jewelry techniques. In 2017, Emmanuel took a leap forward by starting his eponymous company and creating the first pieces of his own, using innovative techniques, like aluminum or bronze treatments, which he willingly combines with precious stones, playing on the balance between the volumes and the lightness of his pieces.

Very quickly, he raised curiosity and interest from connoisseurs. The auction house Christie’s included his very first creation in their famous Magnificent Jewels sale of December 2017 in New York. Shortly after, he participated to the first edition of GemGenève in 2018, and won two awards as the Designer of the year by American magazines and The Fashion Group International. Ever since his creations are all unique and never replicated. Each piece of jewelry takes several months to complete. He is now mainly known by word of mouth and his clients are approaching him for the love of exclusivity, bespoken service as well as rare and avant-garde usage of materials. In our conversation, Emmanuel mentions that he really enjoys the freedom of creation and this is why he likes to have a good balance and rhythm between his inspirational process, the relationship with the customer and his new jewels. In every piece, he likes to have a game of texture and color. «For example, something shiny next to something matte – to play with each other». Once a client was very intrigued by a brooch inspired by a specific season and when he commissioned the piece, Emmanuel designed the brooch hence inspired by a different season not to duplicate. He soon developed the remaining two seasons so he created a series but none of the brooches are the same. Today Emmanuel travels the world on one hand to inspire himself but also to meet up with his private clientele. He is based in Paris but travels to New York at least six times a year as he wishes to be close to his customers in the creation process. As the inspiration from nature is always so strong, Emmanuel always has a notebook with him, where he quickly fixes the idea and keeps the momentum and then when the right moment comes, he starts by thinking about the stones, materials and then makes it concrete with the small ateliers he collaborates with.

He enjoys having a privileged relationship with his clients, discuss with them, get to know them better in order to seize the taste, evolve the idea but also handle the creation process in a simple and spontaneous way. He says that he wants «to integrate in his creations the strength of heritage but at the same time a souvenir or an image coming from a journey, a moment, the spontaneous beauty of nature». His clientele is not only women, many men are approaching him to have a piece designed. Sometimes his creative exercise becomes a bit more influenced by geometry and this is where he finds the beautiful balance that only nature can bring between forms and poetry but above all, Emmanuel enjoys the freedom of creativity, magically inspired by the flow of observation, connexion and relationship to an objet or a person. Even though most of his pieces are devoted to flowers and vegetation, there are also a few creatures coming along in Emmanuel’s collections. He says he got very inspired by the intense labor of ants and he started designing them, one different from the other, enhancing the humor of these one of a kind creatures into jewelry. So, what is next for him? For sure the new collections that will generate from his next trip: Tahiti. He will spend a month on the island, completely devoted once again to the environmental cause but once again nature will be for him a strong source of inspiration. This Tahiti trip will for sure add a new flair towards nature inspired collections but this time it will certainly put the accent on the deep universe of oceans, its plants, fishes and amazing colors that you can only seize by diving.

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