INTRODUCING: THIRTEEN 31

Jewelry designer Joanne Fiske held such a great fascination for the elegance and impact of black diamonds that she decided to launch an entire line focused on them. Her pieces balance between edgy aesthetic and timeless quality, and are heavily inspired by Joanne’s grandfather who, as a stone-setter for Cartier and Tiffany, created jewels for old Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor, always making his mantra known – “Never wear fake jewels, always own real, no matter how small or how grand.” Read on as Joanne opens up about the beginning of her career in jewelry design, and walks us through her whimsical collections.

thirteen-31-jewelry-interview-Diamond Bracelet

What is the story behind your brand name?

I did not want to give the brand a “name.” I felt there were far too many companies with names for the customer to remember. I wanted to separate myself and my brand, and the way I felt I could be distinctive was using numbers. Eight is my lucky number; and the numbers 13 and 31, if added up, they total to eight.

What was the first piece of jewelry you designed?

The first piece of jewelry I designed, actually, was the “Asscher” 10 carat black diamond cut ring I wear everyday. I wanted the stone to stand alone – so the shank is set on nothing; there are four prongs holding it. I also designed two bands of black diamonds, individually set, to hold the shank to it.

thirteen-31-jewelry-interview-ring

What is it about black diamonds that drew you to use them in your collections?

When I look and hold a black diamond, I feel it reflects strength and warmth. I also like the fact that I can use them in styles that can be worn everyday – and not just special occasions.

thirteen-31-jewelry-interview-10 Carat Studs

Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

I definitely draw inspiration from vintage jewelry. My grandfather was a stone-setter for Oscar Hyman, and I wore only vintage clothing when I was in my late teens and twenties. I grew up looking at catalogs of ring settings and my imagination ran wild.

How would you define your design aesthetic?

I would like to think that it is modern with a little twist.

thirteen-31-jewelry-interview-Gold Cuff

Do you have a signature silhouette?

My signature is the double row of black diamonds I use in all my rings.

How do you feel the fine jewelry industry has evolved in the recent years?

I believe there is a lot of repetition and competition. But, with that said, I also believe that it has led fine jewelry to be introduced to a younger market, which is amazing.

thirteen-31-jewelry-interview-Pear Shaped Vault Ring

How do you feel the fine jewelry industry has evolved in the recent years?

I believe there is a lot of repetition and competition. But, with that said, I also believe that it has led fine jewelry to be introduced to a younger market, which is amazing.

Do you have a most treasured jewelry item in your personal collection?

I have my grandmothers’ Tiffany earrings, which I adore. They are made of gold, and have emerald-cut sapphires in the center.

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What is the one piece of jewelry every woman should invest in?

Every woman needs a great pair of diamond earrings!

What would you consider the biggest achievement in your career?

I have been in the fashion industry my entire life. I worked in New York as a buyer. I moved to Los Angeles, opened a showroom, and represented Juicy Couture for 14 years. Now I feel I am going back to the beginning – creating jewelry – in a way my grandfather did. I think my biggest achievement is staying relevant in the fashion industry. I have loved every minute and every aspect of my career. I am very lucky to have always done things I love.

thirteen-31-jewelry-interview-Triple Stack Gold Ring

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Images © Joanne Fiske of Thirteen 31

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