Architecture and jewelry design often wrestle with similar principles—proportions, dimensions, and materials—yet at vastly different scales. The two fields share a logical convergence according to Robert D’Loren, who studied at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture before becoming the chairman and CEO of Xcel Brands, which owns the label Judith Ripka. For the jeweler’s latest collaboration, he sought out the discerning eye of architecture firm WorkAC’s co-founder Amale Andraos, who happens to be the former dean of his alma mater.
Andraos had never tried her hand at jewelry but jumped at the chance to realize experimental ideas on a smaller scale—and trusted Judith Ripka’s eye after the brand collaborated with fellow female architects Elena Manferdini and Rossana Hu. The resulting Ayah Collection of sterling silver and white sapphire rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, which debuted this past Friday, pays homage to how Art Deco manifested in Beirut, her hometown.
“It celebrates design’s ability to hold different elements together, to hybridize influences, and to tell new stories,” Andraos tells WWD. “I would hope it feels a little unexpected and fresh.” Indeed—though she’s known for her asymmetrical buildings such as the Miami Design District’s whimsical Museum Garage, her jewelry retains a sense of balance and depth. And she’s already contemplating her next move: “It’s really fun to think about. I can already see things I would do differently.”