She’s the reigning queen of joyful layering, a designer who tore up the rulebook and replaced it with a modern, disruptive vision. During a visit to her Paris showroom, Lauren Rubinski delights in draping this reporter in jewels — chains with flashes of bright enamel, puffy gold hearts, rings with hidden secrets, and bejeweled charms. Love runs through her collection, most prominently in the charms that open to reveal personal inscriptions.
Rubinski describes her brand as “audacious, elegant, sensual, versatile and timeless,” designed for “women and men who want to make a statement with bold but wearable pieces.”
“Audacious” is a good word for her chunky, mixed-metal chains, which stack easily on the wrist and neck. When it comes to layering, “the more, the merrier,” she smiles. “Our American customers are never afraid to wear more. They buy pieces in pairs — the same necklace or ring in different sizes.”
In fact, her Paris-based brand is often mistaken for an American house. “That is very flattering,” she laughs, “but I’m as French as they come.” That said, her family lived in California for a time, and while her design roots are in European craftsmanship, her approach to running the business is all-American: “I am laid-back, unafraid to make my own rules. I truly believe the sky is the limit.”
From punk to playful
Although her eponymous brand has a soft and sensual feel today, Rubinski first came to prominence in 2010 as the 24-year-old designer behind Pristine, a punky brand inspired by a passion for piercings. The fashion set couldn’t get enough of her glittering diamond-pavé spike earrings in white gold, but by 2017, she was ready to take time off.
In 2020, she was back, now with a young son and her mind set on love. She took straightforward shapes like hearts and stars and blew them up to statement size. She introduced a grown-up play on color, creating brightly enameled rings and rainbow-highlighted gold chokers with discreet diamond accents. The idea was to let people feel free to mix up their existing pieces with her exquisitely crafted fine jewelry to create personal collections full of meaning.
Her creations are incredibly light to wear — uncomfortable jewelry is one of her bugbears — but she won’t say how she does it, only that the solid-metal technique she uses has taken years to develop.
Artistry in bloom
The ultimate expression of her ethos is the Hatching Ball pendant, which launched at the Couture show in 2023. Taking its inspiration from a paper game she made for her son, the customizable gold ball has enameled letters on the outside and opens at a touch to reveal 10 “petals” with personal inscriptions on them — sentiments the wearer can express to whomever they choose. This masterpiece is the result of two years’ development at an atelier in Tuscany, Italy.
“Craftsmanship is at the center of my work,” states Rubinski. “These pieces are the very reflection of that. Behind the concept lie hours of work to make them wearable.”
And the workmanship is exceptional. “Italy has a wonderful history of jewelry craft,” she says. “I like to say my atelier chose me; it was one of those encounters where you know instantly that you share the same values. The work that comes out of that can only be beautiful.”
Today, her business has gained traction and is growing apace. There are rumors of a flagship store, but she’s keeping her plans to herself for now, content to say that “2024 will definitely be full of surprises.”
Main image: From left: Lauren Rubinski; gem-set heart pendant in 14-karat yellow gold. (Lauren Rubinski)
This article is from the January-February 2024 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.