In these ever-changing times, Valérie Messika, founder and creative director of her namesake jewelry brand, has put her imagination to good use, envisioning a face mask that makes beauty out of a situation that is not so beautiful Though the mask won’t be produced, we chatted with Valérie about her creative process in this endeavour, and her thoughts around the importance of staying inspired and continuing to dream and create in order to remain positive during tough times. —Vita Daily
Hello Valérie! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
My name is Valérie Messika. I am the founder and creative director of Messika Paris. My Father, André Messika, has dedicated his life to diamonds. At only 22 years old he set up his own business to quickly become one of the most prominent and respected diamond dealers of the industry. I worked alongside him for five years, learning every secret of the diamond industry. I loved sharing our common passion, but I was missing the creative part. I needed to be able to express myself and I couldn’t do it through diamonds alone. That’s why I started to create my own jewelry. Some of my friends liked my first designs and insisted that I do more jewelry. I started to design pieces for them as well. This is how everything begun.
And now, a bit about Messika, the jewelry brand.
When I founded Messika 15 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 is aged them. That’s why I started Messika Paris, as I really wanted to change this idea and break down any sort of age on style barriers that had been put up. I feel that Messika has succeeded. Today, Messika can be considered as a fashion luxury house. We started this journey with five people and now we are more than 200 worldwide. Messika Paris is a family business. I co-create my collection with my cousin, my husband is the general manager and of course I source all my diamonds from my father. I feel lucky! It makes me stronger.
Why did you decide to design an imagined Messika mask, even though it won’t be produced?
I like to push forward the limits of jewelry creativity. I had the opportunity to express my creativity on a never-seen jewel accessory. During the quarantine, I got inspired by many things like the nature, but also our new life once the lockdown was over. The face mask is currently the new accessory that you need to have in your bag. The idea of the mask is a way of allowing us to continue our daily activities. Always inspired by my daily life, I couldn’t help but dream of it as a style accessory rather than just medical protection. It’s not just about protecting yourself but also protecting the people around us. It was also a way to show our support to the hospital staff and all those who are fighting the COVID-19 virus.
Please give us the fine details of the final mask design.
It was obvious for me to add my signature collection, Move. With its three diamonds, the symbolism of movement has never been stronger. But not only that, Move reflects a vision of love, a feeling that is unconditionally lived in the past, present and future.
What are you doing to stay inspired, positive and hopeful during these challenging times?
Every day, I do my best to keep a positive state of mind, be full of good energy and good vibes. I strongly have great hopes for the future. I look at things from a new angle. Thanks to this COVID-19, I looked at my life from a different perspective. For example, when I was working with my drawers on the latest High Jewelry collection. I took a basic subject that inspires me but that I see today from another angle. Also, I believe that my role, as a creative person, is to make people dream even during these challenging times.