Hortense Jewelry is one of those lines that can be your secret to mastering that elusive French girl cool. There are two ways you can go with accessorizing to make a statement that is all you yet neatly on trend: maximalist or minimalist. It’s easy to stack and pile, but it’s an art to dot a low-key look with something so delicate that it just exudes style and confidence. Kind of like how speaking quietly can garner more attention than shouting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a big fan of the stack. But I’m falling more and more in love with delicacy and minimalism – think those thin, single band rings. Something about this simplicity is just so perfect, and a brand like Hortense Jewelry makes is so effortless. Invest in any of these expertly crafted pieces and you have an instant finish to any outfit. A barely-there rose gold chain dotted with a geometric-set diamond? The perfect partner to a soft tee. Who is behind this collection of love-forever, look-reinventing pieces? We just had to get to know the designer, Hortense.
SOF: How did you become a jewelry designer?
H: About ten years ago, I was working as an editor in magazines when I decided I didn't want to do that anymore, so I went back to school in Paris. I moved to San Francisco and went to the Academy of Arts. I became a metal smith and designer for two famous jewelry designers in San Francisco, and then started my own line five years ago.
I always loved jewelry, since I was five or six years old. I would go with my dad to all the jewelry stores in Paris - Van Cleef Arpels, Cartier, these were all big inspirations for me. Jewelry has been a lifelong passion.
SOF: Where do you find inspiration?
H: It's something I like to wear, and then I go from there. It's not themes, like it's not nature that I'm finding inspiration, specifically - I think of what I want to wear, what I like to wear, and create that. Recently, I've been using a lot of geometric shapes.
SOF: What are your favorite materials to work with?
H: Rose gold. I always start with samples in rose gold. People can choose yellow gold, etc., they can choose others, but I start with rose gold.
SOF: How would you describe your personal style?
H: I wear just one or two pieces of jewelry at a time. Small, very dainty - a small statement. My style is minimalist - jeans or leather pants with simple shoes, a tee and a little necklace.
SOF: What lies in store for Hortense Jewelry in the future?
H: I want to explore shoes, I'd like to design espadrilles. I also want to create little pouches for traveling with jewelry, since there's nothing that makes it easy to travel with delicate jewelry. And leather purses, because I can't find the perfect one. I'd also like to create little ceramics for storing jewelry, for keeping it at home. For the jewelry, I'd like to expand to doing two or three new collections a year.
SOF: What is your favorite store, and what's the last thing you bought?
H: I bought pants at Mohawk General Store in LA, one of my favorites. I love to shop at Steven Alan and Joie, too, where you can also find Hortense Jewelry pieces.
Handbags and Hugs,