Inside Our Exclusive Conversation with Gabriel & Co.’s Chief Designer
The New York jeweler creates harmony through sleek designs and stunning diamonds.By Smitha Sadanandan |
“A piece of jewelry can have many qualities,” says Dominick Gabriel, Senior Vice President and Chief Designer of Gabriel & Co. For over 30 years, Dominick and Jack Gabriel have been following in their father’s footsteps, developing a strong aesthetic vision and creative strategy from the start. Back in the day, Elias Gabriel ran an antiquities and jewelry store in Lebanon. A master jeweler himself, it also served to reinforce his love of the craft.
Established in 1989, the New York-based jewelry brand offers precious pieces that are not only beautiful but also easy to wear; they have a knack for exploring the sparkle of natural diamonds like no other.
The brand’s muses are women—free spirited, urban sophisticated, casual cool and modern romantic alike. “Each person is unique and has an individual style; our mission is to design jewelry that has a wider appeal,” says Dominick. “Designing, for me, is a blend of art and science. Our style is a fusion of art and science.”
Always on the lookout for pleasing shapes and inspiring artistic elements that can be translated into unfussy jewelry, Dominick’s ideas come from myriad sources: antiques, art, furniture, architecture, objets d’art. “The pattern of the floor tiles, the chair or lamp in a room; everything was designed by someone,” he says.
The Natural Diamond Council recently had the privilege of discussing Gabriel & Co. with Dominick himself. Read on for an exclusive inside look at the brand.
The Moments campaign features Gabriel & Co.’s gold bangle, marquise round diamond station ring and hoops. How can these pieces be styled for a casual chic look?
DG: I don’t believe in buying jewelry and putting it in the safe deposit box. Jewelry is meant to be worn. What’s nice about stackable pieces is that they can be mixed and matched to reflect the wearer’s style.
“I don’t believe in buying jewelry and putting it in the safe deposit box. Jewelry is meant to be worn.”
Our stackable station rings were originally designed 20 years ago. The interesting thing when we started doing the collection was that nobody was making diamond rings as stackable, fun and fashionable. We took the minimalist band style and added new designs; the aim was to create harmony through sleek designs and stunning diamonds. The line initially had just 20 pieces; we now have a few hundred styles that we added over the years to the core design. You can stack these up with personal pieces or others from our collection.
Diamond hoops are classic; they never go out of style. What’s nice about our diamond hoops is that they have patented screw backs to fasten them securely.
How important are natural diamonds to your brand?
DG: I believe natural diamonds are a piece of art, for there are no two diamonds that are alike. I see uniqueness in diamonds–there is such inherent beauty in natural diamonds and that’s why we use ethically Earth-mined diamonds and gemstones in our jewelry.
How do you recommend women style jewelry designed by Gabriel&Co?
DG: Each time you buy a jewelry, you need to find a piece that speaks to you. Jewelry is an emotional acquisition. My recommendation is to find a versatile piece that reflects you–your personality or style–and gradually build up a collection around that particular jewelry. Choose a diverse design and combine it with multiple other pieces to create your individual style.
Our Bujukan line has several such designs that can evolve into a bigger collection.
What are some of your bestsellers?
DG: Our Bujukan and Demure collections have been doing very well. The Demure line is quite contemporary, while the Bujukan echoes a geometric silhouette punctuated with spheres. Every year we add new designs to the collections.
Do you have a favorite diamond jewelry memory?
DG: My dad, Elias Gabriel, truly was an artist. He always talked about jewelry and antiques with such passion that it rubbed off on me. One day, he handed me a ring–a ballerina ring with a diamond–and asked me to put it back into the showcase; I was spellbound by the sparkle and beauty. And I still remember that moment. I think, in a way, that piece of jewelry lit a spark in me–it inspired me to take up designing years later.
What is your jewelry style, what are the pieces you often wear?
DG: My style is very versatile; I don’t like being locked up into just one look. I often wear a pair of cufflinks that belong to my dad–when he passed away, each of us took a piece of jewelry that belonged to him. That’s another reason why I love jewelry; nothing else becomes part of your heritage—a part of you—just as easily. I do wear my wedding band. I have around three or four bracelets; sometimes I wear them stacked up or just one. And I love watches. I used to be a Cartier guy for a while (I have a Cartier Tank watch), my last watch was a Rolex though; a few years ago, they came out with cooler styles, so I started wearing Rolex. I like pocket watches and have one that is over 200 year old.