A true citizen of the world, Rosa Van Parys, grew up in Ecuador and studied in France and the U.S. She eventually landed in Los Angeles, where she now lives. Van Parys holds several degrees, including two master’s degrees: one from the university of Southern California in Building Science and a second in design from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. An architect, interior designer and co-founder and design principal of Van Parys Architecture & Design, she brings an eye for innovation and detail to her jewelry creations. Van Parys got her start in jewelry design when she began creating pieces for herself about 10 years ago. She found that designing jewelry allowed her to release stress and the jewelry that she made was also something unique that no one else had. Her first creations were made using mostly beads and knotting macramé; she then moved into silver and diamonds. About five years ago, Van Parys began working with 18-karat gold, diamonds, colored precious and semi-precious gemstones and pearls. As she used these finer materials, Van Parys became more enamored with jewelry. Clients from her architectural firm — and strangers on the street — saw Van Parys wearing her jewelry, asked who designed the pieces and would then ask to buy the jewels, oftentimes on the spot. She got the message and her eponymous collection was launched in late 2017. Crafted in Los Angeles using materials from around the world, Van Parys describes her jewelry as timeless, yet up-to-the-minute, elegant, edgy and deeply personal due to its one-of-a-kind and limited-edition status.
Amber Michelle: What is your favorite gemstone?
Rosa Van Parys: I love pearls, I love their luster and the fact that they come from the sea. I also love them because they are exotic and mysterious. I love that they are classic and timeless. Next are pink sapphires and tsavorites — my favorite gemstone color combination is obviously pink and green. I simply love colorful jewelry, one of my motto’s is “Color is the new black”.
AM: What influences your design?
RVP: Traveling around the world and learning about other cultures is very enriching to my design point of view. I also enjoy learning about other successful past and current designers and artists. I believe that getting inspired by what other people have done and succeeded with over the centuries is extremely important. Knowing how design has influenced the world and how design has evolved through generations and cultures is very important to me in creating a good collection. My career in architecture and interior design is also a key factor in my approach to jewelry design and I think this gives me a different edge as I see things with an architect and an interior designer’s eye. I love symmetry, composition of shapes and the right use of color combinations when designing beautiful and timeless spaces and this transcends to my jewelry designs. I aim to design unique things and dare to create designs that are different from what anyone else is doing. The human body is also an influence and I design my pieces thinking about how my jewelry can complement, enhance and move around a woman’s body. Although I don’t think a woman needs jewelry to be beautiful I believe that jewelry makes all of us feel more beautiful.
AM: What is your favorite city?
RVP: Paris is my favorite city since always. Growing up I attended a French lycée for all of my schooling in Ecuador. From the time I was in preschool, I was attracted to French culture and I especially love the food and the language. Paris to me is such an impressive city for its architectural and urban beauty and for the special power you feel when you walk the streets or cross a bridge along the Seine river. When I am there, I always imagine how important this city was back in the 1800s and how many artists, poets, politicians and others were there making history during the Age of Enlightenment. It’s also a very romantic city and I love to visit it with my husband and also with my kids.
AM: If you could pick another era to live in what would it be?
RVP: Although I was born in the 1970s, I wish I had been older during that decade so I could have experienced firsthand the amazing music, the freedom and the revolutionary movements that happened throughout that time.