For Stephanie Wenk, the young creative director behind Amsterdam Sauer’s latest collections, both playfulness and diversity are what makes Brazilian jewellery unique: “I think our creations are fun and colourful, and match perfectly with the top-quality gems that are found here.”
It all started in 1941 when, due to World War II, Frenchman Jules Roger Sauer decided to leave Europe and start afresh in Brazil. As he landed in the state of Minas Gerais, Sauer immediately fell in love with its colourful and enigmatic gemstones. It was the beginning of a journey that transformed him into one of the most fierce gem hunters: a pioneer who envisioned the region’s potential, and fully dedicated himself to the quest of the most spectacular coloured gemstones.
This tradition has been well preserved by successive generations of Brazilian designers, as Stephanie Wenk explains: “Amsterdam Sauer has traditionally favoured coloured gemstones for its jewellery, including emeralds, aquamarines, opals, Paraiba tourmalines and, more importantly, imperial topaz. Nowadays, this gem is only found in Brazil and is one that has greatly helped in promoting other valuable and rare Brazilian gemstones abroad.”
Both a pioneer and one of Brazil’s most traditional jewellers, Amsterdam Sauer was the Official Jeweller to the 2014 World Cup and created a special collection for the event. As for the brand’s participation in the Olympics 2016, Stephanie enthusiastically confirms: “We are very excited about the Olympics - our stores are prepared to welcome visitors in the best way possible. We think it’ll be a great time for Rio to show the world our finest products, places and lifestyle.”
When asked about the distinctive character of Brazilian jewellery, the visionary designer explains: “Brazilians like to be playful with their jewellery. We like to mix and match styles and gems, especially coloured ones. Brazil is sunny and colourful, with an amazing flora and fauna, and this is reflected in our taste and style.” When thinking about gemstones, Stephanie instinctively picks emeralds, Paraiba tourmalines, imperial topazes and opals.
As we go on to discuss the successful launch of her most recent collection, Stephanie shares with us her main sources of inspiration - her favourite designers are Viren Bhagat, JAR and Suzanne Belperron - as well as her creative vision on how to reinvent an iconic brand. “In 1966, Amsterdam Sauer got the first of its three Diamonds International Awards - the Oscars of the jewellery world. The piece awarded that year was the Constellation ring with yellow gold cylinders and diamonds, which immediately became the brand’s icon. To celebrate this jubilee, Amsterdam Sauer is launching the Constellation collection, all inspired by this iconic jewel. The ring has been reshaped and reinterpreted into feminine versions of bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings, created using the award-winning gold cylinders.
“The gemstones used for this collection are white diamonds, champagne diamonds, blue sapphires, emeralds, alexandrites, Paraiba tourmalines, imperial topazes and white quartz, which were widely used in the 60s when the Constellation ring was created,” says Stephanie.
It will be interesting to see how she revisits Amsterdam Sauer’s most emblematic design and offers her interpretation of why millennials should be inspired by this new collection. Stephanie confidently adds: “We are all looking at space. There are new revolutions in astrophysics, discoveries of stars, and a reshaping of the universe. In a certain way, this excitement is a lot like the space race times of the 60s when the Constellation ring was created. Nowadays, people are also getting back in touch with their inner star and looking deeper into themselves. This collection will make women shine even brighter.”