Jewelry designer Jack Vartanian’s hometown and design headquarters of Sao Paolo, Brazil, may be a long way from the shores of Southern California, but his undeniably glamorous aesthetic is reminiscent of 1930s and 1940s Hollywood.
“It was a very elegant time for jewelry,” says the designer from a Beverly Hills showroom where he is holding press and stylist appointments this week. When in town, he particularly loves staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel, for that glamorous, old feeling that also comes through in the Art Deco cuffs, tear- drop diamond earrings and giant emerald rings he creates.
Vartanian’s pieces are also connected to Hollywood through the slew of celebrities, including Demi Moore, Kate Hudson and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who wear his jewelry regularly on the red carpet. He recently teamed up with Moore and her husband Ashton Kutcher’s DNA foundation (which raises awareness about child sex slavery). From Feb. 1 through Feb. 14, 50% of the sales from a handcuff necklace, picked out by Moore from Vartanian’s Valentine’s Day collection, will be donated to DNA.
“Demi really loved that necklace,” says the designer. “She bought a few, for herself and her daughters.”
Vartanian learned about jewelry through his family who has a precious stone business back in Brazil, and launched out on his own with a designed collection in 1999. He has three stores in Brazil and one in New York and has his sights set on an L.A. store in the near future.
The ghosts of Old Hollywood keep calling him back to Los Angeles. “I ask myself, ‘Where does this feeling for that time period come from?’ Maybe I was a jeweler in the 1930s -- in a previous life.”
-- Melissa Magsaysay
Top photos: Emma Stone, left, and Zoe Saldana in Jack Vartanian's signature tear-drop earrings. Credit: Jack Vartanian
Middle photos: Morganite earrings, left, and an emerald and diamond ring. Credit: Jack Vartanian
Bottom photo: Handcuff necklace. Credit: Jack Vartanian