Hailing from Munich, Saskia Diez is one of those rare individuals who approaches her practice in a very natural, very organic way. Since her initial foray into jewellery design, she has matured demonstrably, and now has an established eponymous jewellery label. Her ultrafine designs are intended to decorate and enhance the human form, the necessary but not excessive decoration that we all yearn for. She treats jewellery as if it were a fragrance, a transient essence of our inner self. And in light of this, she has now released her own line of fragrances, Saskia Diez Silver and Gold, emerging from collaboration with perfumer Geza Schon; Diez believing that fragrance is a kind of olfactory jewellery of the most delicately intimate kind. The designer has also recently introduced a children’s line to her label. With a deep appreciation for thought, a love of travel, and a deep respect for one Stella McCartney, Saskia Diez is one designer who has a refreshing amount of determination and is not at a loss as to which path to take in next.
Hall of Furs: Firstly, can you tell me a little about yourself? How would you define what you do?
Saskia Diez: I am a designer. I create jewellery, mostly for my own label, Saskia Diez.
What is your definition of beauty? Where do you seek to find it, or how to you aim to create it?
Beauty has a lot to do with your attitude. It can be found everywhere. To create beauty, a kind of coherence is needed. A harmony. A reality. A concentration.
How did you get started in the industry? When did you know that designing and making jewellery was what you wanted to pursue?
It was a bit of back and forth. I used to make a lot of jewellery when I was a kid. Then I stopped. I got back [into it] after I finished school, because there was this good looking guy at the Academy of Arts in the jewellery class. So I became a goldsmith. Which, surprisingly, carried me away from [making] jewellery. It was beautiful work, but this kind of jewellery was not [what] I wanted to wear. So, I studied Industrial Design, and suddenly [I] knew what my jewellery would look like. I did my first project [and] people came and wanted to buy [the jewellery]. So I created my label, a logo, packaging, a website and searched for people [who] would manufacture for me, because I felt that there was more to explore for me in that field.
What does jewellery mean to you? What should it mean for individual wearers?
Jewellery means a lot to me. It is decoration, for sure. It is part of an outfit. It creates personality. It can [take] an outfit into any direction. It can secure me, be my company. It is a means of expression. It shows that I care about myself, it makes me feel more beautiful.
In your opinion, what makes a successful accessory? What part does colour, texture, weight and so on, play in its appeal?
A piece must have the potential to be loved. To be your company for a [long time]. If it surprises you, it should be in a positive way. You [should] realize after looking at it, that someone has paid attention to the details, that someone has thought about the one who would wear it, [and] the weight [feels] nice because you can feel the reality of it. Somehow you can even feel being loved by such a piece because the love and energy someone put into it transfers onto you.
You now currently have a small perfume range, Saskia Diez Gold and Silver. What prompted you to develop a fragrance? Can you tell me a little about the process of developing a fragrance?
Perfume is kind of a jewellery, [it’s] just invisible. Like putting on a delicate golden necklace, it can put some golden flavor to your skin. I fell in love with the idea of creating a perfume when I met Geza Schoen, the perfumer with whom I developed the scents. It seemed very natural to hook on the GOLD and SILVER theme, since these two metals are very much connected to my work and also, because these two metals do not have a smell. Both are very archetypical materials that you [can] have a lot of feelings for (at least I have). These feelings and moods can certainly be translated into perfume. The result is amazing, I really think SILVER smells silver and GOLD smells gold.
The small poems that are attributed to each perfume are very sweet and lyrical. Did you write them yourself?
They are written by a writer, and a friend, her name is Sabine Magnet. I love her work and I always like to connect with people whose work and thoughts I appreciate.
When developing a collection of jewellery, do you work with an overall narrative in mind? For instance, where does the title of each collection come from?
This can be very different from time to time. Sometimes it´s a material, that I just want to work with, [so] often the name of the line is then just the material. Like CRYSTAL, LEATHER or WOOD. Or [with the name] ULTRAFINE, it [was] the idea to [make] the most delicate gold necklace that is almost invisible. Often it is some small aspect with which I start, and then I let or make it grow.
Can you tell me about the production process? Where do you source materials or products?
We work together with a handful of goldsmiths in and around Munich, and in Pforzheim. Everything is very local. We know everybody that is producing for us.
Who is the archetypal Saskia Diez woman? Do you keep a certain individual in mind when designing?
The typical Saskia Diez woman may be me. At least I always start with myself. I do not have a certain target woman in mind. Even if I do not wear everything that I create, I try everything on me, I take [myself] as a reference. But I think my pieces suit a lot of different women, and I also think that these are proud women, independent, loving, sensible, strong, [and] beautiful in various aspects.
You also have a children’s line. What made you want to create and develop accessories for younger people as well?
I have kids myself, and this will to decorate yourself, this love of jewellery, has been very strong for me, [and] already [was] when I was a little girl. And my kids, they love jewellery, [the girls and the boy] wear necklaces. So this was just natural [for me]. And I had the feeling that I could contribute something that is different from the usual kitsch girls jewellery.
Is travel a major component of what you do? Where is one place you would love to visit, either for work or for leisure?
I love travelling. I find it very inspiring. Just the fact of being on my way, the fact of moving. Already [on] the way to somewhere [else] is something great. There´s a lot of places I´d like to visit, where I´ve not been [yet]. One of them is Warsaw.
Now adding perfumer to your list of achievements, where do you see the Saskia Diez label in a few years time? What are some goals you still want to achieve?
I´d love to work together with a designer that I admire. Someone like Pierre Hardy on some shoes or accessories, for example, or a jewellery line for Stella McCartney.
Words: Sophie Flecknoe. Image courtesy of Saskia Diez.