"Good design is something beautiful but also stands for something positive" — Stephen Fairchild, PANDORA
There is a certain joy that comes from wearing PANDORA jewellery: The way it sparkles in the light; the feeling of precious silver and gold against your skin; and importantly, knowing that each piece has been hand-crafted responsibly — from the ethical sourcing of materials, to the treatment of their highly-skilled craftsmen, and the company's green strategies to reduce its carbon footprint. Which is why PANDORA's latest spring/summer 2017 campaign — featuring a jubilant Mamé Adjei; runner-up in cycle 22 of America's Next Top Model — radiates with an infectious pastel positivity. The message is clear: Jewellery that delights your eyes, should also delight your heart.
We caught up with Stephen Fairchild, senior vice president and chief creative officer of PANDORA, to discuss his favourite pieces from the spring/summer 2017 drop, the craftmanship behind the Danish company's covetable pieces, and his tips for how women should pick and wear jewellery.
What are your three favourite items from the spring/summer 2017 collection?
For spring, it has to be the Radiant Hearts of PANDORA bangles and coordinating rings for their colour and versatility; for Mother's Day, the PANDORA Floating Heart Locket for its personal storytelling and balance between sentimentality and style; and for summer, the Tropical Starfish & Sea Shell dangle, as it's a key mix and match piece that captures the mood and playfulness of the season.
Are there new materials, techniques or innovations that you have introduced?
Spring's Radiant Droplet charms create a fresh profile and a play on geometry. Sterling silver spheres with cut-out circles hold three bright crystals or cubic zirconia stones in bezel settings. The metal wraps around them, leaving their crowns free to shine. From the side, the silver frame looks triangular, like the triangular facets of the rose-cut stones.
The Hearts of Love series for Mother's Day captures the delicate diversity of mixed media on a pendant, an open ring, asymmetric earrings, a dangle and a charm. Sterling silver hearts shine in different ways: with a heart-shaped cubic zirconia, a polished finish, silver enamel or pavé embellishments, and come together in multiple ways on individual pieces.
The layering of colours runs throughout our summer designs, especially with Murano glass. Our Glitter Glass charms in mint or pink are intricately rolled in powdered golden glass, and repeatedly layered to create a unique marbled effect. Three rows of small bubbles, created by hand, give the effect of looking under water. And no two are exactly the same.
How do you want women to wear the new collection?
We've created a playbook for women to create whatever look they wish. Our customers can bring new aspects to their collections with other product categories that they haven't chosen before. Women who maybe thought that PANDORA wasn't for them can see the variety, excitement, ethics and relevance in what we offer, and put their own stamp on styling it.
What is your best advice for choosing jewellery?
If you're choosing for yourself, be true to you and the styles you love best. For gifting, think of the woman you are buying for and let her style and personality inspire you.
What do you consider to be the essential elements of a woman's jewellery collection?
A versatile everyday set that can instantly upgrade casual outfits and add finishing touches to workwear. They can be added or subtracted according to how women feel or their dress code. A statement piece is the perfect work-to-play essential, like a bold ring, asymmetric earrings or earring jackets, stacks of bangles or a long pendant. Simply add them to a little black dress, an office outfit or jeans and you're ready to go.
"PANDORA jewellery stands for something positive: crafting jewellery responsibly; from how we make the products to the people who make them and our impact on the environment"
What should women avoid when layering or mixing jewellery?
The rules are there are no rules. Just be true to your style and enjoy experimenting with different looks. If a trend doesn't feel like you then don't feel obliged to follow it. Choose something classically you instead — and rock it.
What, in your opinion, is good design?
Good design is something that is beautiful but also stands for something positive that women can admire and be inspired by. It should also be functional, versatile and long-lasting because it is made with high-quality materials, sourced and crafted responsibly by highly skilled people. PANDORA is all of these things.
Explain PANDORA's commitment to high-quality, hand-finished jewellery.
We are a responsible company and brand, and we constantly monitor how our operations and processes impact our products, our employees and the planet. We are a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council and we take this role extremely seriously. It is important to us that our jewellery is responsible as well as beautiful. The materials we use are high-quality, sourced from reputable suppliers, and the traditional-meets-modern crafting techniques and processes that we use empower our craftspeople as well as our products. Stones are set by hand, enamel colours are mixed by hand and hand-painted onto jewellery, and our popular glass charms are made by hand. Our jewellery is hand-finished and goes through a vigorous quality control process. And so much time and thought goes into the designs from the very beginning.
Tell us about the design process.
We constantly want to reinvent and bring something new and exciting to the table, while reconfirming our links to popular themes and vintage design. We combine materials, effects and details to create versatile pieces that reflect the mood of fashion, and the elements of life that captivate.
What is your favourite part of the design process?
The whole process. Every part of creating ethical affordable luxury is inspiring, and seeing our beautifully designed and crafted jewellery on women, uniquely styled by them, is simply wonderful.
What is special about PANDORA jewellery? Why do you think women love the products?
Women want something that they can admire and believe in in terms of roots and actions as well as aesthetics. PANDORA jewellery stands for something positive: crafting jewellery responsibly; from how we make the products to the people who make them and our impact on the environment. It looks greats too. And women can feel great knowing these facts when they wear the jewellery — and will probably cherish it more.
Read more about PANDORA.