Forget about the heart on your sleeve, your precieux pubis belongs around your neck
To say that Anissa Kermiche is turning heads with her line of jewelry is an understatement. For this French designer, body language is more than a judgment call, it’s a universal means of communication that gives everyone a voice. Seen on the likes of Kim K., Pink and Jourdan Dunn, the London based label champions timeless beauty with the use of pearls, humor and an open mind. A former engineer, Cools chatted with Anissa about her larger than life career change, the beauty of womanhood and how difficult it was to find manufacturers and wax carvers for designs called Rubies Boobies and Pit Power.
COOLS: How did you get into the jewelry world? Is that something you wanted to do since you were a child?
Anissa Kermiche: I got into the jewellery world quite late. After 5 years working as an engineer for a big consulting firm, about to be promoted, I couldn’t see myself becoming one of my managers, the lack of creativity made me terribly sad.
A creative career was never an option when I was young, in spite of my very crafty childhood. I used to paint and sketch a lot as a child, also a lot of jewellery beading in my spare time but I never thought that would become my job as my parents pushed for a corporate future. I moved to London 5 years ago for summer classes to try my luck and see what could come out of it with the plan to go back to Paris in September, and finally stayed 5 years!
COOLS: What do your pieces have in common, what defines them? In other words, which collection represented Kermiche’s DNA?
Anissa: Even if they feature different spirits, from delicate pave pieces with diamond pave, to female body parts, I think they all make sense together. I wanted my brand to be infinitely feminine. After a whole life of hard science, and a quite manly career, the jewellery street had to be a feminine statement, it had to be glamourous, noticeable, loud but still timeless, vulnerable and fragile. It’s quite obvious that Body Language is a tribute to that. I also use pearls and round shapes because the circle is the symbol of womanhood, hence why everything is so circular.
COOLS: Your Body Language Collection is a statement collection. Were you afraid it wouldn’t be properly understood?
Anissa: I must say the reception was really mixed. My mom obviously didn’t like it as she is the most conservative person you’ll ever meet. I was wearing the Precious Pubis on holiday and she had a hard time facing it that week. She asked me to take it off.
The reason why I left Paris for London was for the freedom of creation I thought that city offered. It really allowed me to express my most daring thoughts.
I must say I had a hard time finding manufacturers and wax carvers who accepted to produce those pieces and who would take me seriously but it worked eventually. It ended up attracting the exact target I wanted, open minded women with a good sense of humour!
COOLS: Did you expect the Panier Dores earrings’ success? Where did the idea come from?
Anissa: Not at all! They were elected the most instagrammed earrings of the year last year, I can’t get over it when I think back.
The idea came from a table covered with broken fortune cookies at the end of a dinner at Chinese new year. I stared at the ocean of shapes and all I wanted to do was to cover them all in gold and turn them into jewellery.
Here we are 2 years later, these babies have literally been a fortune piece for me.
COOLS: Would you say there is a pearl comeback in the jewellery world today?
I don’t think pearls ever disappeared from the horizon… Just walk along Burlington Arcade in Mayfair to see all the wonders that have been made with pearls before we existed. All the Edwardian chokers and Victorian earrings, designers seemed even more imaginative than now to me.
COOLS: What will be next?
Anissa: I like to see jewellery as wearable art. I like building bridges between my interest and my creations, this is why I bring sculpture, architecture, and art in general to my designs.
I worked on a collaboration with Rejina Pyo to design earrings inspired from Alexander Calder’s mobiles and Bertoia, one of my favourite architects. Working on a bigger scale with statement earrings allowed me to experiment new ways of sketching, it was so much fun. I am now working on an object line, I just finished my first vase called love handles
COOLS: Who would you like to be wearing your jewels?
Anissa: Anyone really! Any woman, any man. Some men wear my Precieux Pubis pendant and rock it! If I had to have one single criteria though, it would be someone with a great sense of humour and an open mind.
I spotted Pink wearing my precieux pubis pendant on TV and I must say I was honoured to see that a singer I used to listen to when I was young bought a piece and loves the brand.