For American-born, London-based jewellery designer Diane Kordas, jewellery should communicate emotions above all else. Inspired by a wide range of sources from Ancient Greek and Roman mythology, art, architecture and her extensive travels, Diane’s creations are simple yet opulent, classic yet surprising and always underpinned by a cool-girl aesthetic. A fashion graduate of New York’s Parsons School of Design, Diane was drawn to jewellery design and founded her eponymous brand in 2010. The brand has since become synonymous with effortless, modern glamour and boasts a star-studded fanbase that includes Gisele Bündchen, Scarlett Johansson, Madonna, Taylor Swift and Gwyneth Paltrow to name but a few. From diamond encrusted BOOM necklaces referencing the Pop Art movement and spinning ID tags engraved with witty repartee, to gold armour rings and vial-like amulets holding your favourite scent close to your heart, Diane’s collections are imbued with an effusive spirituality that emotionally connects them to the wearer. We recently caught up with Diane to ask her about her design ethos, inspirations, and the things she values the most.
How would you define yourself in three words?
Fun, inclusive and possibly stylish?
Who is the woman you design for?
A woman who is cultured, appreciates design and, above all, loves to have fun! Definitely confident and smart.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration for my collection derives from various sources such as architecture, art, travel, history, and even conversations. My perfume amulet collection for example, derived from a discussion between my husband and myself about personalising jewellery. I wanted to design a collection which encapsulated something very personal, and after researching scent, I decided to create a diamond vial dispensing perfume. Scent is a communicator linked to our emotional system and the amulet encases something powerful personal linking the essence of fragrance to the jewellery.
Which colours are you currently enamoured of?
My recent multi-coloured beaded hippie collection has changed my monochromatic predilections. I'm now really loving many colours all together which radiate happiness.
What’s your approach to sustainability as a designer?
I only use ethically sourced stones by adhering to the Kimberley Process, environmentally friendly 3D printers as often as possible and recycled gold whenever I'm able.
Favourite destination and hotel?
Sedona Arizona, an incredible desert town with red rocks, steep canyons surrounded by pine forests. Sedona has the most unique energy with the uplifting power of it's Vortexes, it's magic! My favourite hotel is The Almhof Schneider in Lech Austria. It is understated luxury with unbelievable attention to detail along with amazing food surrounded by the most idyllic mountain beauty. Our girls grew up skiing in Lech and the memories are priceless.
A project/initiative you’re most proud of?
I'm about to launch my sustainable cuff collection which is has been in development for 2 years. I'm working with The Sustainable Angle, a non-profit organisation dedicated to lowering the environmental footprint of the textiles industry. The first series use discarded ostrich skins from South African farms, recycled leather shavings for reinforcement, dyed with organic, chrome-free dyes in pale gold, silver and deep forest green. I will be donating 20% of the profits back to The Sustainable Angle.
A timeless design piece you own?
In terms of my wardrobe, it would probably be my black leather Ann Demeulemeester top which I bought over 20 years ago and still fits like a glove! It compliments any outfit, day or night.
Which piece of jewellery you designed do you wear the most?
That's a tough one! It fluctuates between my diamond perfume amulet, armour rings and Lady/Boss spinning ID tag... Sometimes even altogether.
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
In the summer it would be my cut-off jean shorts and in the winter my black Prada combat boots.
What’s an accessory you had for ages?
My Rolex Daytona.
The beauty product you can’t live without?
Definitely Tint & Protect from MZ Skin as it gives an incredible sheen while protecting the skin with SPF oxidants. Love MZ Skin, there are so many incredible products in her range.
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
I guess it would be moving to another continent with a little baby and not knowing a single person. I think it’s a good idea to step out of one's comfort zone as change is good, change will make you grow.
What do you miss most when travelling?
It's funny but it's my bathtub! We have the perfect one at home!
Your latest discovery?
The Sustainable Angle. Hands down.
What is on your bookshelf?
I belong to a book club with fabulous, smart and super interesting women so I have many books: The Beekeeper of Aleppo, Red Notice, Shoe Dog, The Girls of Riyadh, Freedom, Wilding, History of Poland, Paris 1919, The Overstory, along with a collection of books from M.I.T. my husband’s alma mater - he has so many!
Which city would you choose to live in if you had to move?
Maybe Los Angeles? I've never lived on the west coast and I would love to be closer to our girls - one daughter lives in LA currently working in the film business and our other daughter will be moving to LA from NY for the film/music industry as well.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Naps! Many times while we are at our summer home in Greece, I'll slip away without anyone watching and nap in our beautiful white bedroom with views to the Aegean. It is truly magnificent.
What is your most treasured possession?
I'm not sure if I could call Steve, Alexandra & Kristi a possession, but if I could I would! But as for something material, it would be my father's antique gold watch and my mother's gold charm bracelet. I lost my parents many years ago and my memory of them wearing the watch and bracelet keeps them close.
Three Instagram accounts you check daily?
My family lives between 3 different time zones so definitely our daughters Alexandra & Kristi followed by @humansofny which has wonderful, true inspirational stories.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Ok, here's the deal...” It drives my family nuts when I say that!
What quote do you live by?
Surround yourself with quality.
What does luxury mean for you?
Time for myself to reflect, think and have a deep, roaring laugh.
Your idea of happiness?
My idea of happiness is very simple, it's time with Steve, Kristi & Alex... just the four of us! I mentioned before we live in 3 different time zones so being together is rare and therefore priceless. I love arriving together somewhere far and hot to enjoy, challenge and appreciate each other. This is my ultimate reset.