KO Designer Feature Myriam Elie
September’s artist feature is Canadian jewelry designer Myriam Elie.
Inspired by her travels, by the art and culture, and by the history of the many countries she has visited, Myriam creates jewels as souvenirs of explorations past, from the shapes and patterns that have caught her eye over time. In fact, every journey is a way for her to discover what distinguishes us as human beings.
It was during such a voyage that MYEL was born, in Paris. Necessity being the mother of invention, after the theft of her own jewelry, Myriam Elie began designing and making the beautiful ornaments that know such success today. Self-taught, she created new jewels from the inspiration of the ones that were lost. She learned to master the design techniques that became the many vehicles for expressing her passion for art, her fascination for the past, and the reminders of elements seen during her voyages, with style.
MYEL launched her first collection in 2013. Myriam’s every jewel tells a story, simultaneously evoking a woman of the past and the present, and speaks elegantly of the journey of a citizen of the world, of the insatiable curiosity that inhabits her, and of an avowed passion for adventure.
KO: Three words that best describe your brand?
ME: Timeless, Effortless and Sophisticated
KO: Who is the jewelry designer who inspires you the most (past or present)?
ME: Its hard to choose from the friends jeweler trio: Eugenie Niarchos (Venyx world), Noor Fares and Fernando Jorge.
KO: At what age did you decide you were going to design jewelry?
ME: 24 years old
KO: What is your earliest “jewelry” memory that evoked the feelings inside you?
ME: My Godmother gave me a small golden ring with a ruby, my birthstone, for my birthday when I was 7 or 8 years old.
KO: How did you start making jewelry?
ME: I first started making jewelry as a hobby because I got my personal jewelry stolen at an airport during a trip. When I realized everything had disappeared, it gave me the idea to replace the items with my own creations. This hobby quickly became a passion and an obsession.
KO: What is your favorite film?
ME: It’s very hard to pick just one but I would say one I really like is Leon the Professional
KO: What are the staples of your own wardrobe?
ME: There’s my black turtleneck, my long loose blazer, a pair of adidas or nikes and a good pair of jeans. I also have a lot of stripes and plaid shirts.
KO: What piece of jewelry wear the most?
ME: I usually have my latest piece that I will wear over and over before it comes out online and in store. Then I want a new one….
KO: What kind of music do you like to listen to while you are working?
ME: I’m usually listening to indie and alternative pop when I’m working.
KO: Who is your favorite artist?
ME: One of my favorite artist is Ai Wei Wei. I think art should raise questions and engage discussions.
KO: What decade of fashion has influenced you the most in your own designs?
ME:I’m getting a lot of my inspiration in antiques but I’m always trying to adapt the design to give them a modern edge.
KO: What did your parents do that help encourage/discourage you in starting your line of jewelry?
ME: My parents encouraged me from the really beginning. They were and are always there to give me advices and help whenever I need them. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
KO: What advice would you give future designers?
ME: When you have the need and passion to create, don’t stop yourself because of negative people around you. I was always told that it was almost impossible to become a designer and that the fashion world was too hard to get in. I started my own brand to prove that I could do it.
KO: Are you superstitious?
ME: Not at all
KO: What does your creative process look like?
ME: It’s very random. Sometimes I start sketching because I just saw a detail somewhere that give me an idea. Sometimes I can wake up in the night because I have a dream of a ring. If I’m doing a custom order, then I will put some music and draw until I have something interesting.
KO: Where do you create ideas for your designs?
ME: Anywhere; from home or in my office or during my travels. I always have a sketch book with me.
KO: How has your style evolved?
ME: I think it’s getting more and more modern and I’m trying more pieces with precious stones. I’m currently studying Gemmology and this have a big influence in the choice of stones that I use.