Parisian Panache: Messika Jewels

06 Jul 2021
5 min read
Driven by a desire to create diamond fashion jewellery of unwavering beauty, Valérie Messika created her own jewellery house in 2005. In her work, she reinvents the richly symbolic and meaningful diamond into a desirable and disruptive object that lends self-confidence to anyone who wears it. FOUR sits down with Valérie to find out more about her jewellery brand, Messika Paris…
Can you tell us a bit about the background and history of Messika – when, how and why was it founded?

My father’s passion for diamonds is the starting point of this beautiful story. My whole childhood is filled with memories of him and his passion for diamonds. From a young age, he communicated his passion to me and my brother, Ilan. I know the diamond business well, my dad trained me all my life to identify the best stones. When I was young, we used to do a lot of blind tests for me to identify the best. He shared with me all of his secrets to identifying the perfect stone.

I loved working with him and sharing our common passion for diamonds, but I was missing the creative part. I needed to be able to express myself and I couldn’t do it through diamonds alone. In the beginning, I created my own jewellery pieces just for myself. Some of my friends liked my first creations a lot and insisted that I launched more jewellery, so I started to design pieces for them as well. This is how everything began.

What are some of the company’s core philosophies, principles and goals?

My goal was and is to create a new way of wearing jewellery. I have this vision where the diamond must be modern, innovative and easy to wear. Jewellery is an opportunity to express your personality. That’s the reason why my biggest career challenge was to transform diamonds into jewellery. I love the fact that there are no rules anymore: it is really about embracing your own personal style and making the jewellery ‘yours’. This is the spirit I want to inject into my collections. It’s no longer a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to jewellery.

Moreover, I like my creations to be very comfortable; a woman should be able to live her life without being annoyed by excessively heavy jewellery.

Tell us more about the brand’s growth over the years and what were some of the elements that led to its success?

Little by little, step by step, trying new things and creating new collections that obviously answered a market need. Indeed, I noticed that there was a gap to be filled between big jewellery houses that offered mainly very serious and classic, expensive pieces and other jewellery brands that offered costume-made jewellery without precious stones. I had the idea to create diamond jewels to be worn on an everyday basis. Jewels are made to bring sparkle and joy to the woman and not only on special occasions. I like the idea of being able to wear diamonds daily, especially with casual clothes such as jeans. This is Messika’s philosophy.

Where does your passion for jewellery stem from?

My passion came from my family’s passion for diamonds and jewellery. In brief, I wanted to be an architect but instead, I studied communication. I changed my mind regarding my career after my father asked me to spend a year with him so he could teach me about the jewellery business. And then I created Messika Paris.

What about the inspiration for the collections – where does this come from?

I get my inspiration from a lot of things, all the time – I am constantly on the lookout for things! I am always looking for inspiration on my travels, through architecture, interior design (which I am crazy about), by walking in the streets and looking at people’s attitudes and styles. The names of collections are chosen after the jewels are created. The jewel is always the starting point.

What are some of the biggest challenges faced in this industry and how do you and Messika overcome these?

When I founded Messika 16 years ago, there was a real fear and apprehension around diamonds and most women only really wore the diamond for their engagement ring or for very traditional evening wear. A lot of women also thought of it as a stone to wear when they were ‘older’, as they had this notion that it aged them. That’s why I started Messika Paris, as I really wanted to change this idea and break down any sort of age and style barriers that had been put up. My goal is to create pieces that are fashionable but also timeless. From this challenge, I created double finger rings, hand bracelets, triple finger rings and ear cuffs in both fine jewellery and high jewellery collections.

What would you say you love most about working in this industry?

Respecting the sense of know-how, whether it is the know-how of small hands, craftsmen, diamond cutters or experts. And finally, it is an industry that creates products for eternity, gold and diamonds are passed on. It is even more important in this period that we do not make something that destroys itself over time but on the contrary, persists for generations.

What I love about my job is that I get the chance to exercise my passion for turning my imagination into reality. Whether it involves the making of a jewel or the decoration of a shop or the staging and scenography of a window or the realization of advertising campaigns.

Tell us about the kinds of pieces and collections you produce? Is there a specific theme or signature element present in all the designs?

I like to push forward the limits of jewellery creativity. I have always been lucky to work with diamonds in a free and audacious spirit. That is why I always try to imagine innovative and audacious pieces, like the nose piercing jewels or head jewellery that I presented in my last high jewellery collection called “Messika By Kate Moss”.

Messika’s signature is the Move collection with its three diamonds in motion. This technical system of sliding diamonds was developed by Messika’s jewellers.

Can you give details on some of the best-selling collections and why you think they are so popular?

Move is Messika’s iconic and first collection. It is the creation that gave Messika its signature style and that heralded its success. Its design comes from a childhood memory. Indeed, when I was a little girl my father used to let the diamonds slide between his fingers. The three moving diamonds of my Move collection were inspired by this memory of my childhood.

Move is popular for its design and for its symbol of love with the three diamonds in motion, representing the love of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

What about your latest collections – the Lucky Move Collection and My Move – tell us more about these and what makes them so special?

A few weeks ago, we launched My Move collection composed of unisex leather bracelets. This collection also allows people to create their own customized Move jewel. You can change the leather bracelets’ colour or Move motif according to your moods or desires. This collection is modish, casual and fun at the same time!

Tell us about some of your all-time favourite designs or pieces…

I always wear my two bangles, Move Noa and Move Romane, with my Skinny bracelet. I decided to celebrate my love by naming these two collections in honour of my daughters, Noa and Romane. In this way, there is a part of each of them wherever I am.

How do you hope that your clients will feel wearing your jewellery? What emotions do you hope to evoke with your creations?

Messika pieces are created to be worn on an everyday basis for every woman. Diamonds can be worn every day with a pair of jeans, your favourite sneakers or your favourite pullover! I wish for women wearing Messika pieces to feel comfortable and confident. I’m fascinated and really touched every time I see a woman wearing a Messika jewel.

What’s next on the cards for Messika – any upcoming collaborations or new product launches?

Everything is going so fast for Messika. I hope we will continue to evolve, we are still a young brand and there are so many things to do! Now, we are preparing many new Boutique openings all over the world. Lots of exciting projects are coming for 2021… stay tuned!

To find out more about Messika and to shop online visit their website. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date with their latest news and happenings.


Image 1 © David Ferrua; image 2 © Thomas Legrand; all other images © Isabelle Bonjean.