By Ashley Davis
Vram’s 18-karat yellow gold, white diamond and zircon earrings. The chandelier silhouette figures heavily into the designer’s third collection.

Los Angeles--Vram Minassian spent 30 years behind the scenes as a private-label jewelry designer and manufacturer before launching his namesake collection, and the move was precipitated by an even greater change in his personal life.

The year prior to launching Vram, he became a father to a daughter, Elsa.

“She was my first child and, as many people know, with a newborn in the house your whole routine and perspective changes,” Minassian explained. “I was experiencing that for the first time at 51 years of age and it proved to be an incredible catalyst for my creativity. Even though I was exhausted I would find myself dreaming up new designs and sketching them in the middle of the night.”

His first collection came out in the summer of 2016. This year, he launched Continuum 3, his third collection.
“My designs might be equally impactful carved into wood or scaled 10 feet tall in stainless steel.”  – Vram Minassian
Minassian is a designer who considers form before materials.

“I’ve been collecting sculpture for my whole adult life. My main area of interest is 20th century modernism. When I moved to my current studio I populated it with my collection so the influence is literally omnipresent,” he said. “My designs might be equally impactful carved into wood or scaled 10 feet tall in stainless steel.”

20180411 Vram insertMinassian’s initial curving, lush statement pieces have given way to more primal, reigned-in pieces in the third collection.

“This collection has an intentionally prehistoric sensibility,” he said. “I deliberately kept the gold more textural and the shapes more asymmetrical. A lot of people are saying it reminds them of bones. I don’t particularly think of bones, but if they see bones, then in some sense that’s what it becomes, at least for them. Maybe it is something else for you. My question is—knowing it came from a million places that none of us can know for sure, does it speak to you and can wearing it help you express something about yourself?”

While materials may not be the first step in Minassian’s design process, they are, nonetheless, treated with the artist’s same meticulousness.

He works with his own alloy of 18-karat yellow gold and mixes in pieces in white gold, silver and rhodium plating. His third collection features rubies, emeralds, sapphires, zircons, tourmalines, agate and black and white diamonds, plus carved lotus prayer beads.

Minassian is pleased that much of his third collection, the rings and cuffs specifically, is unisex; he’s been wearing one of the rings since he conceived it three years ago.

He will be bringing his decidedly unique voice to Couture for the first time this year.

Vram’s Continuum 3 collection starts at $1,340 and caps off at $60,000.

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