Don’t be fooled by the colors; next to pink sapphires, this cuff takes on a rosy hue, but it is 14-karat yellow gold. The materials, chosen specifically for their complementary tones, feature in Kendra Pariseault’s debut fine jewelry collection. (Photo by Alain Simić)
New York—It isn’t often that a new jewelry designer comes out of the gate declaring her love for a particular gemstone, but a peek at Kendra Pariseault’s debut collection leaves no doubt of her allegiance to pink sapphires.

“My engagement ring is a pink sapphire, so it’s a very personal stone for me,” Pariseault said.

The New York City-based designer noted that in general, “I wouldn’t consider myself a super-pink girl,” instead favoring black and gray in her wardrobe. For jewelry, though, she makes an exception.

“I’ve always loved color in my jewelry, and the shade of these hot pink sapphires is like candy; you almost want to eat them.”

20190410 Kendra 2Earrings in 14-karat yellow gold with pink sapphires (Photo by Alain Simić)

The designer discovered her love of colored gemstones at David Yurman, where she went to work during the 2008 recession after having worked in the fabrics department at Calvin Klein.

“There was something about jewelry that felt more exciting than apparel did for me. I loved how, when you see a gorgeous stone, it really speaks to you in a certain way,” she said.

She left David Yurman to pursue a master of fine arts in jewelry and metalsmithing at the esteemed Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where the program “taught me and trained me how to think about concepts and bring those concepts to reality.”

20190410 Kendra 3Earrings inspired by the visual representation of sound waves (Photo by Alain Simić)

The concept that Pariseault explores in her first collection is sound as a memory marker of important life events.

The designer recalls how the sound of the ocean in her native Rhode Island, where she still spends her summers, functions almost as a personal soundtrack to her own life.

Likewise, moments like hearing her son’s heartbeat for the first time when she was pregnant or the sound of a deceased relative’s voice captured in a saved voicemail on a cell phone are intense memory triggers.

From this idea, Pariseault has crystallized the sound waves of specific words or moments in jewelry, making the visual form of a sound wave permanent courtesy of 14-karat yellow gold, often accented with her beloved pink sapphires.

The specific shade of the 14-karat yellow gold alloy the designer uses was chosen for the way it complements, rather than competes with, the color of the sapphires.

20190410 Kendra 4A personalized sound wave bracelet in 14-karat yellow gold with diamonds (Photo by Alain Simić)

Pieces from her debut collection, which also incorporate diamonds and a few other gems and metals, will be available on Moda Operandi this spring, retailing mostlybetween $5,000 and $50,000.

Pariseault also creates custom sound wave bracelets, using a spoken word or sound of the client’s choosing to create a wholly personal and sentimental talisman.

Expect a second collection—a continuation of her sound wave concept—this summer.


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