6 Latinx Jewelry Designers to Know According to Fashion Editor Karla Martínez de Salas
The Head of Editorial Content for Vogue Mexico and Latin America shares which designers to keep on your radar.By Sam Broekema |
Karla Martínez de Salas, Head of Editorial Content, Vogue, Mexico & Latin America, has a long relationship with natural diamonds. She first began her love affair with the gem of gems at the New York Times when she began covering fine jewelry for the style magazine, T. For her personal life, she takes a similarly studious approach. “I really tend to gravitate towards the way things are set. I love diamonds but I typically like less common settings and different cuts!”
After relocating with her family to Mexico City, Ms. Martínez de Salas discovered a rich history and community of fine jewelry designers.
“Mexico has very traditional filigrana jewelry but in the past couple of years, jewelry design has evolved. My friend Mariana Alaman has beautiful pieces, her father had a jewelry store downtown. When I think of Mexican design I usually think of the classic downtown ateliers or a jewelry traditional store such as Berger Jewels. That is changing.” Though Ms. Martínez de Salas is always on the hunt for new brands, she does play favorites. “I never take off my engagement bands by Taffin and Mish. I also wear a bracelet by Venezuelan designer 440 Studio, based in Miami, that I love.” For her two young daughters, she invests in pieces from friends like Sara Beltrán and Ana Khouri for unique pieces that also have personal meaning. Ms. Martínez de Salas describes Sara Beltrán of Deszo as “My former roommate and friend of more than 20 years. Sara’s designs are unique. She features sea life in a whole new way.” The role of an editor is to continue searching for the new and what better way to explore than to wear? “I recently got a heart in crystal with a tiny diamond encased inside from Bóveda Jewels. I always have my eye on something! Right now, I have my eye on a bracelet from D’Angelo Jewelry. They have classic diamond pieces but def things you can pass down!” Ms. Martínez de Salas is the consummate editor, in this case, test driving the most exciting new diamond pieces for the next generation of Latinx jewelry designers.
1. Dezso by Sara Beltran
“This designer I hold near and dear to my heart. Sara is actually my friend of over 20 years, and my former roommate. What I love most about her designs is they are unique. She focuses on sea life in her creations, and portrays them in a whole new light. Sara knows how to turn a simple sea shell into a work of art, wrapped in gold edges and placing a natural diamond in the center.”
2. Daniela Villegas
Karla met Daniela almost 10 years ago in Paris while working for W Magazine. All her jewelry is handmade in Los Angeles, and she is best known for her designs that mimic the beauty of nature, insects, and animals, each telling a unique story.
3. Paola Pacheco Jewelry
Paola Pacheco is originally from Colombia, now based in Miami. From personalization to statement, she is best known for the perfect layering pieces such as these diamond tennis necklaces and delicate stackable rings.
4. María José Jewelry
Aside from her masterwork with emeralds, María José Jewelry works closely with precious gems such as rubies, sapphires, and of course, diamonds. María effortlessly creates sparkling pieces with a variety of cuts such as emerald cut, old mine cut, round, pear, and square.
Mosketa is designed by Norma Portilla, a Mexican-based jewelry designer with very personal pieces. Like Sara and Daniella, she encompasses the beauty of nature in her designs. With sustainability in mind, all Mosketa’s pieces are upcycled, meaning they are taken from existing jewelry and given a new life.
Varón is a Maialino and Colombian-based jewelry brand that focuses on creating cool gender-neutral pieces. Varón incorporates smaller diamonds into chains and earrings that add just the right amount of sparkle to the everyday piece.