“The emotion appears when the imagination becomes real...”
When Valérie Messika wrote these words, she did not yet know that in 2015, her dream would come to life beneath the roof of a Parisian building in the heart of the capital. For Valérie Messika, the studio is a creative bubble where ideas take shape, a space of its own where inspiration takes form. A draw bench, a forge, and countless tools, all the equipment required to create the jewelry masterpieces she imagines. Every year, Messika creates ever more daring pieces that push the boundaries of both jewelry and fashion techniques. What is the Messika Jewelry and High Jewelry Maison’s challenge? To enhance the spirit of the Maison, juggling tradition and modernity.
Founder and Artistic Director, Valérie Messika takes us into the heart of the creative process of the Messika Maison.
Messika and France is a love story that has lasted 15 years: What made you choose Paris to set up your high jewelry atelier? Why did you also choose to open your first boutique in Paris?
Valérie Messika (VM): In my eyes, Paris is the most beautiful city in the world. A knowing combination of history and modernity. French know-how and craftsmanship can be found at every street corner, in the architecture of buildings, in museums, in parks... The Parisian lifestyle is such an inspiration to my diamond jewelry creations that setting up our first boutique, as well as the High Jewelry Atelier here was an obvious choice, and allowed me to be as close as possible to the craftsmen during the creative process of new collections.
What is your role in Messika’s story?
VM: I founded the Messika Jewelry Maison in 2005. I am its founder and artistic director. The creative process requires four hands, and so I share the position with my cousin Didier who, since the beginning, has accompanied me on a daily basis in this wonderful experience.
Since when have you been working together?
VM: For almost 15 years! Didier is my true alter ego in the creative process. We’re on the same wavelength and our ideas always end up coming together even if we don’t always agree. Our complementarity as well as our differences are an asset that allows us to bring beautiful creations to life.
How would you describe the creative process that you have put in place together?
VM: We are constantly exchanging ideas. We send each other millions of inspirational messages and photos. We also spend a lot of time together outside the office. Ultimately, our imagination is quite spontaneous and natural. The process is never complete until we are absolutely satisfied.
Where do you take inspiration for your collections?
VM: I take inspiration from fashion, Haute Couture, but above all from today’s women. I find my inspiration in my daily life, through women in general but also through architecture and art. I am lucky to travel a lot and discover beautiful new places which continue to inspire me every day. Art Deco design has always been a huge source of inspiration for its graphic and geometrical lines which add a certain dynamism. I associate it to the brilliant and emerald cuts in my creations. It can be found in several sets from the "Messika by Kate Moss” High Jewelry collection.
Can you explain in a few words the creative process at Messika?
VM: Every creation starts with a blank page, in contrast to the prestigious Maisons of the Place Vendôme which have access to centuries-long archives of distinctive designs. At Messika, each new Jewelry or High Jewelry collection is a leap of faith, although I must admit to being obsessed with certain jewelry techniques. I always start the process without a precise brief. The most difficult task is to transcribe my ideas into a sketch. I always have a lot of ideas, but it’s sometimes difficult to achieve the result I imagined. In the end, we luckily always manage to make it possible.