Behind The Brand: Jewellery Designer Mona Assemi

While the fashion industry constantly ebbs and flows from minimalist style to maximalist design and back again, award-winning celebrity favourite jewellery designer Mona Assemi’s statement pieces have remained the steady mainstay all the while throughout the years.
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Without fail, whenever someone adorns a Mona Assemi necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings (s)he is guaranteed to be asked who the designer is.  The brand’s often one-of-a-kind statement jewellery are truly conversation pieces:  they immediately stand out with their unique, eclectic and bold architectural forms, in turn prompting curiosity and discussion.  

Mona Assemi's jewellery pieces are featured at our very own Le Carré pop-up concept store here in Gustavia's luxury shopping district. 

The brand was born when Mona was living in Washington, D.C., after which she relocated to the city of making one’s dreams come true: New York City.  Prior to venturing into jewellery design, Mona left her post at Morgan Stanley and worked for luxury retailers as an associate and buyer which sparked her curiosity about the design process.  This led to her experimenting with jewellery design and the rest is history. With a clear vision, relentless drive and conviction, she quickly trailblazed her way up the ranks of the ready-to-wear jewellery industry, with awards to back it up:  She won the Accessories Council competition several years, which provided her with a powerful platform from which to grow her business.  The organisation opened doors for Mona through offering up their resources such as free exhibit space at trade shows in Paris, Las Vegas, and Atlanta.  She also did a talk with Harvard Business School about Persian women in fashion entrepreneurship.

Fast-forward to today and the mother of two children has cinched her first flagship outpost situated within The James Hotel in New York City’s NoMad district.  

Beyoncé wears Mona Assemi for her Ivy Park campaign

A celebrity go-to designer when it comes to statement piece jewellery, Mona's pieces have been spotted on film, television, music and fashion A-list personalities including Beyoncé for her Disney+ film "Black Is King," for her music video "Brown Girl Skin," and for her Ivy Park campaigns; Serena Williams in her Stuart Weitzman campaign with her daughter, Jessica Alba, Katie Holmes, Solange Knowles, Rita Ora, Norah Jones, Kelly Ripa, Giovanna Engelbert and former Miss Universe-turned-entrepreneur and fashion influencer Olivia Culpo.   

Serena Williams wears Mona Assemi for her Stuart Weitzman campaign
Norah Jones wearing Mona Assemi earrings in a Times Square ad

Her jewellery has been featured in leading publications including InStyle, Vogue, Allure, Hamptons, Marie Claire, WWD, New York Magazine, Washingtonian, Forbes, among others. 

“I usually find inspiration from artists- people in the past have consisted of terrazzos, lighting designers, paintings, sculptures, and more.” Mona Assemi

Although each piece is distinctly different in shape and look, there is a seamless commonality between all of them collectively as they all share foundational qualities:  Firstly, Mona combines inspiration from old Persian culture (she is Iranian by descent) with modern American lifestyle.  Secondly, placing strong emphasis on shape and form, she takes inspiration from the worlds of art, architecture and design.  She has mastered that ability to use minimalist lines, unconventional shapes, repetition and negative space to make a maximalist statement.  Thirdly, sustainability is a constant priority: she uses sustainable materials that are locally sourced in New York City where everything is handmade.  Lastly, the common elements throughout her collection are constant: 14-carat- and rose gold-, silver-, and gunmetal-plated metals serve as the base for forming her sculptural pieces, while crystal embellishments often add a touch of colour and sparkle.  Her popular signature ACIDS line blends chic with distressed to convey the downtown meets uptown girl look.  

A giver by nature, Mona implemented a kindness mission throughout the pandemic by launching a gifting and gratitude initiative.  The designer gifted jewellery to Nurses and Doctors as a thank you for putting their lives on the line every day to protect and to care for everyone. She also asked for people to nominate heros, after which she would send them complimentary pieces.  It was a truly fulfilling experience for her.  She is expanding this initiative now, asking for people to nominate someone who has been going through a difficult time, an illness or death in the family, a divorce, etc… as a means of putting a smile on their face through her artwork.   It’s her way of “paying it forward” and she hopes that it encourages others to do the same. 

“The inspiration behind our #AW18 M E I K A collection is artist Joey Nicotera’s astounding light installations. They are meant to symbolize explosions of ideas, light and creativity. A radiance or starburst of light one might receive.” Mona Assemi

As the world is escaping the confines of the two-year pandemic, Mona feels inspired to create new works that evoke the uninhibited decadence and jubilant energy of The Roaring Twenties.  We look forward to seeing what she has up her sleeve (on her wrist).   

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