Understanding the creative process as a way of connecting the dots, Kris Ter-Ghazaryan launched her own fine jewellery brand, OUVERTURE, in Berlin after noticing a niche in the market. Seeing a gap for a fairly priced fine jewellery brand in Europe, she set out to create a project to honour the cultural legacy closely connected to this craft in her home country Armenia and make the most of her experience having worked in investment management and consulting. She now unveils the new campaign for her brand designed in Berlin and handcrafted in Armenia. Impressive images with creative direction by Annegret von Feiertag, photography by Antonio Alfonso and Megan Courtis and starring Rim Tekle
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“We were fascinated by Rim for a long time, so the choice of talent was an easy one,” she replies when asked about choosing the model-turned-face of this new campaign. Preferring not to pigeonhole her clientele and seeing the editorial shoots and content creation as an integral part of the brand, the OUVERTURE founder now tells us all the details about the creative and production process of their pieces, how and why she changed her profession to devote herself to fine jewellery and what her plans are for the coming months.
How are you and where do you answer us from? Could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
David, thank you for having me. I am currently based in Berlin. I am originally from Armenia, and I’ve lived in Prague, Boston and New York before making Berlin my home. Before OUVERTURE, I worked in investment management and economic consulting.
You are now based in Berlin, but you are originally from Armenia and as you mention have lived in Prague, Boston, and NYC. How have these experiences influenced you? And when it comes to the artistic field, how has it shaped your creative vision?
While my previous background and experiences did not directly develop or enable creativity, they have shaped my strategic thinking and taught me how to connect the dots. Somehow, the creative process to me is also about connecting the dots.
Now you lead OUVERTURE, a Berlin-based fine jewellery brand at the intersection of art and design, set out to redefine modern luxury. But as you've said, before undertaking this project you worked in investment management and consulting. What can you tell us about this stage of your life?
It was fast-paced. That stage of my life laid the business foundation for OUVERTURE.
Entrepreneurship is not always easy. Starting a brand involves making a lot of decisions and dealing with different unforeseen events that can be difficult to manage. When and why did you decide to launch your own project? Did you feel you needed a change in your life?
I saw a gap for a fairly priced fine jewellery brand in Europe. That combined with my passion for design and the strong desire to build my own company in Berlin got me started.
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And what were the first challenges you found once you started OUVERTURE?
Building a network in a new country and industry from scratch.
I guess that the Armenian cultural legacy, in which jewellery has played a fundamental role, has a lot to do with your choice to start a brand in this sector. Have you always been interested in this discipline?
Yes and no. Jewellery is indeed an integral part of Armenian culture. A fine jewellery piece is a valuable present you will give someone for special occasions such as weddings, as it is meant to last. I personally did not have any particular interest in jewellery making until later when I set out to redesign my own engagement ring. That ignited my interest in the field.
Could you tell us more about the jewellery tradition of your native country? Was anyone in your family involved in it?
Both of my parents are scientists, but I was exposed to the jewellery tradition early on simply because I grew up in Armenia. Jewellery-making has been treated as a form of art for thousands of years, and Armenians take great pride in preserving this tradition.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Observing how the dots connect in the most fascinating ways.
Craftsmanship is an essential value of your brand, which is handcrafted in a small atelier in Armenia by jewellers with over 25 years of experience, as we read in your manifesto. How is the process of creating a jewel in OUVERTURE? Do you usually travel to the country to supervise the atelier? How do you guarantee that there is perfect gear in all phases of the creative and production process?
It starts with an initial design, followed by conversations with our head jeweller. He is an expert in evaluating designs in terms of functionality and longevity. Once the design details are defined, we create the first models. I visit the atelier and we evaluate the models together with our jewellers, potentially modify further, and eventually finalize them before going into small-batch production.
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Rim stars in the images that you now reveal, in which we see some of your new creations crafted from fourteen karat solid gold, diamonds and other precious stones. Now you’re presenting your new campaign, what can you tell us about it?
Editorial shoots and content creation are an integral part of how OUVERTURE tells its story and connects with its audience. We recently started collaborating with an extraordinary group of creatives from the film industry, who I am also lucky to call friends. They bring a fresh take and a different creative perspective which is simply invaluable. We were fascinated by Rim for a long time, so the choice of talent was an easy one. And this shoot, as well as all our shoots, was about provoking an emotion that stays with the viewer.
And who is your leading consumer? What or who do you think of when you define the pieces you are going to create?
OUVERTURE’s client base is diverse. So, there is no single box I could tick to describe them, which is amazing because I don’t like boxes. My creative process is always focused on expressing my ever-evolving viewpoint on modern aesthetics and designing pieces that are relevant to contemporary women.
Where would you like to see OUVERTURE 5 years from now?
Quite frankly, in all the right places.
And what can you tell us about your next projects?
We are currently working on expanding OUVERTURE’s engagement/bridal line. There are also several creative collaborations in progress which will be unveiled soon.
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