BY: HAL RUBENSTEIN
DESIGNER FLASH focuses on a very special artist I think you’re going to enjoy learning more about.
Co-owner who is the Senior Vice President and Chief Design Officer - Dominick Gabriel, has been creating jewelry all of his adult life. But for him, it’s less about continuing a family tradition, than it is an organic extension of Dominick’s passion for discovering and reinterpreting beauty, his adoration for his wife, his eagerness to celebrate and elevate romance, and his hope that the history and the heart that surrounds and burnishes every piece of fine jewelry will generate recurring moments of happiness.
All in all, not a bad job description.
HR: Obviously, jewelry is in the family business, but is there a personal mission in being a jewelry designer?
DG: It’s funny. People automatically think of jewelry as something very materialistic. I don’t see it that way at all. There is nothing you can buy that will be given with as much heart, will generate as much memory, and is as likely to become a part of you, and last as long as fine jewelry.
I always wear my father’s cufflinks. They’re a part of me. I want to make jewelry that generates that kind of warm glow. That makes you feel special every day.
HR: Where do you look for inspiration?
DG: I always look to nature first. God and Mother Nature are pretty genius in their choices and sense of color and design. For example, I was snorkeling in Turks and Caicos and the colors of the fish, were stunning, like gems. Once I got out of the water, I couldn’t get to a sketchbook fast enough. But besides nature, there is the work of other gifted artists in different fields. I can get excited looking at the craftsmanship of a striking chandelier, or marvel at the design of a great chair. I even walk into restaurants and become distracted and fascinated by the silverware. If you slow down and look at this amazing world, there is art all around us.
HR: Gabriel Fashion Jewelry has a distinctive and seductive new image. What’s the key to the new pieces of FINE JEWELRY EVERYDAY?
DG: After the recession of 2008, people wisely refrained from parading around in flashy jewelry. But after the recovery, style evolved to match the times. People wanted to return to elegance but with more ease and relevance. Instead of pieces worn twice a year and then locked up in a jewelry box, the customer is now excited about jewelry you can count on all the time. Whether at work or at dinner, on the weekends or attending a wedding, or wearing a little black dress or jeans and a pullover.
HR: Are FINE JEWELRY EVERYDAY’s sleek, modern silhouettes easier to create than the more ornate jewelry of the past?
DG: Actually, they’re more challenging. Designing for the fantasy of the red carpet is still impressive but you’re basically creating a one-time thing. Designing for real life offers a greater degree of difficulty because jewelry has to fit several occasions, often within the same day.
HR: Who is your ideal customer? Is there one “Gabriel Woman?”
DG: NO! I love women and everyone on our team always keeps in mind that every one of them is unique and very special. So when I design, it’s a little bit like becoming an actor, deciding which woman am I designing for this time? Where is she going? What is her mood today, and the impression she wants to make? By incorporating such diversity, we can adjust our designs to suit every woman’s desires
HR: But there is a unifying aesthetic?
DG: Sophistication is the key and a certain level of grace. Sometimes we call it charm with an edge or simplicity with a twist. Either way, it’s making sure we’re satisfying women with a touch of the unexpected.
HR: What is the magic to Gabriel’s art?
DG: We never forget there is a real woman wearing what we create. So it’s not about how a Gabriel piece looks in the jewelry case. It’s about how it looks on her. Is she comfortable wearing it? Is the earring resting comfortably around her lobe? Is that necklace light enough, but will it always lay right. And most important of all, does it make her feel sexy? If a woman doesn’t feel sexier wearing jewelry, forget it. It’s over.
we believe that if we create with our hearts, and make jewelry that celebrates life, love and happiness, then we will succeed in a way that make us happy too. You can’t ask for more.- Dominick Gabriel
HR: So sexy really does sell, even with jewelry?
DG: But sexy isn’t about being obvious or vulgar. Rather, it’s about exploring sensuality which is the natural result of a woman feeling confident and attractive, intellegent, and aware. When a woman is comfortable with who she is and how she looks, that’s when she is at her most irresistable and seductive. And it just so happens, diamonds can help make that happen.
HR: Speaking of diamonds, Gabriel generates enormous excitement in the bridal industry? Why is this category such a passion for you?
DG: Because here is an interesting realization: when it comes to the journey of a relationship, people have it backwards. Engagement is the main course of a relationship and its marriage, that’s the dessert. Getting engaged is your announcement to the world that you have chosen to belong together for life. The wedding simply legitimizes your relationship with a piece of paper. And your ring is the ultimate symbol of this life-changing declaration, one that I hope will last a lifetime.
HR: Why are your “Secrets” engagement rings so wildly successful?
DG: Our designs take into the account that in today’s world, the couple is likely to be in on the process of ring selection. The ring is no longer about him giving it to her. It’s about him and her.
Now, almost everyone else looks at an engagement ring head on. But the bride looks down at it constantly from a different angle. So we gave her some glorious craftsmanship to look at that only she can readily see. And of course, he can too, because he’s the only other person who automatically knows it’s there.
HR: Besides the quality of your work, what you are most proud of ?
* I am proud of the company my brother and I have built together.
* I am proud that, thanks to technology, a woman is no longer restricted to the style immediately available geographically, and Gabriel has created a website that opens a world of beauty to her.
* I am proud that a mom, a daughter, and a grandmother can all shop for each other and find something wonderful.
* I am proud that because we are a shareholderfree family business, our passion can flow. Everyone wants to be successful, but we are driven more by emotion than profit, because we believe that if we create with our hearts, and make jewelry that celebrates life, love and happiness, then we will succeed in a way that make us happy too. You can’t ask for more.
FROM THE NEW COLLECTION
Earrings are essential to every woman’s wardrobe. We took the familiar, perfect hoop, and added these spikes of diamonds as the circle was shooting off sparks. The result is slightly edgy, unexpected romanticism. In addition, we have Gabriel’s screwback closure, which increases wearability and an air of calm because no woman wants to fear losing something she loves.
I love pink gold and sapphires. It’s a combination that just explodes. It makes you want to wear something daring and colorful. And look at how the sapphires appear as if they are floating across the top of the ring
This waterfall effect is so romantic and feminine, and then we have paired it with a cuff that is so clean and modern. The wide hinge makes it so easy to get on and off, and the spaced ergonomic curved bars not only allows your skin to breathe, it incorporates your skin into the design.
(EARRINGS AND NECKLACE)NK5777W45JJ & EG13390W45JJ
Every era has its own standards for beauty, but you can’t do deco exactly as it was done in the 20 ’s. It’s too conspicuous and costumey to really match the clothes people wear now. So to get it a fresh take, we focused on antighter geometry and more attention to minute detail than flamboyant strokes. So you can still appreciate the mood, but adapt it to anything you wear.