Reza’s Edge: A Place Vendôme Jeweler Sparkles on Park Avenue

Thursday, May 4, 2017

“Does it surprise you? Does it provoke a positive emotion? Is it wearable? These are the three criteria I follow when designing each piece,” says Olivier Reza, CEO and artistic director of Parisian jewelry house Reza. Starting today until May 8th, thirty women’s and men’s pieces from his collection will be shown at The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) New York Spring Edition held at the Park Avenue Armory. The inaugural event, which opened last night at a benefit for The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, features 93 exhibitors across the globe who specialize in modern and contemporary art and design.

It’s been nine years since Reza, who is of Iranian descent, has taken the helm of the jewelry house founded in the 1950s by his late and legendary father, Alexandre. Born in Moscow, Alexandre fled to Paris after World War II and it was there that he began to trade gemstones for a living. His talent has earned him the recognition as one of the world’s leading gem experts and in 1984, he opened a store selling his own designs on the Place Vendôme.

Reza recalls childhood memories of traveling to exotic countries to source gemstones. “We went to Thailand and I would sit next to him, hearing him bargain and talk about why he liked or didn’t like a certain piece.” 

One of the first steps Reza took upon taking over was closing five stores worldwide to focus on designing new pieces. Currently, he has two salons: at Hôtel de Fontpertuis on the Place Vendôme and the Ritz, located just a short walk away from each other. 

“My father strived for the pieces to be well made and three dimensional so it looks good from every angle,” he says. “In that sense, we overlap.” Unlike his father, who often designed extravagant sets which were worn by kings and queens, Reza is taking a more modern approach. “Being in Paris and New York, I look at women around me and their lifestyle for inspiration. I try to make pieces that are timeless yet contemporary.”

“Participating in TEFAF is really an opportunity to show very selected offerings, some of which took two years to create,” says Reza, a true believer of quality over quantity. “Doing more is difficult if you want to do it well.”

He adds, “New York consumers are used to the best of the best. When we come here, we will always bring something fresh and never seen before.”

Photos courtesy of Reza.


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