Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 4/21/20-
You grew up in NY City, just blocks from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. How did this influence you?
When a person is exposed to works of art, historical treasures and fine craftsmanship it raises their awareness as to what true quality is. Though very young, the museum was my special go-to place to explore the world. I naturally developed an awareness for quality coupled with an understanding of the significance of historical detail. There are many elements that go into a design, especially true when I am working with the vintage intaglios and cameos. I research their history to gain a better understanding of their time and place, then I look for a new expression to bring this little piece of history into a new century.
Tell us about Robin Steele designs. How do you combine the old with the new?
Every design starts with the vintage elements. Many of the vintage intaglio and cameo pieces I use were originally created (though never circulated) for use in men’s items such as; cufflinks, rings & tie clips. The ancient warrior imagery depicted on many of the vintage stones, would not have been appropriate for use in women’s items in the past century. Modern society’s move towards a gender-neutral world, has given these wonderful old stones an opportunity for totally new expression. The settings I design to complement the vintage stones often give a nod to ancient architecture or ornamentation. Drawing on the details used by ancient craftsmen, I feel adds to the mystery of a design. When this is completed, I look to fashion. How might a modern woman want to wear this little treasure. That is when I look to beautiful freshwater pearls, vintage chain and glass beads to complete the design.
Why do celebrities love your jewelry so much?
There may be a few reasons. All the designs in my collection are very limited editions or one of a kind which makes them special/individual. Some of the designs are a little dramatic, striking in appearance while others are a little quirky/eccentric. Just as celebrities are unique, I think they can find that in my designs. Every piece is meant to become a lasting part of a woman’s wardrobe, drawn upon season after season. I want the individual style of the wearer to come through, that is the true fashion statement.
Your designs are feminine yet strong. Share a few of your favorite designs.
I will highlight two designs, the Knight in Armor Intaglio Necklace (style NG-392) and Diana the Huntress Pearl Necklace (style NG-1065). Both designs feature vintage intaglio cabochons from the last century which were originally intended for use in men’s accessories. These are perfect examples of feminine yet strong.
What is the importance of the mythical griffin for your logo? How does this symbolism translate into your handcrafted pieces?
I chose the griffin for my logo very carefully. To me, the mythical griffin has a symbolic meaning. It is a powerful and majestic creature; its history can be traced from the time of the Pharos right up to medieval heraldry. In ancient times, griffins were known as the guardians of the jewels. The griffin also represents the union of strength and intelligence; which describes the women of today who collect the treasures I design.
Share your vision for 2020.
My current vision is very different than that of January 2020. The corona virus has had an enormous impact on the jewelry industry. With consumers living in pajamas or work out gear for days on end and “Work From Home” (WFH) is the new # tag, the need to accessorize is in question.
In response to this my new designs are going in a more casual direction; short necklaces that will pair with a simple top or T-shirt as we Zoom with colleagues, friends and family. Colorful beaded bracelets to lift our mood, perfect for gift giving or as a treat for ourselves. The Robin Steele customer is 35 and above, she is a businesswoman, mother and grandmother who knows her own style, wants intelligent, versatile design, quality workmanship and value.
Since many of us cannot celebrate in person, it’s the perfect time to send something extra special to a loved one. My newly designed website www.robin-steele.com is easy to navigate, I streamlined the ordering process for both national and international orders and accept all major charge cards as well as PayPal.