Anna Sheffield creates exquisitely unique, yet classic jewelery. Based in New York but originally from California, Anna’s fashion forward style has caught the eye of celebrities and the fashion crowd alike and she’s collaborated with 3.1 Philip Lim, Marc Jacobs and even Target Go International. We love her line and are totally obsessed with her work with colored diamonds. We can’t think of anything more glamorous than her Hazeline black diamond ring, based on a ring that belonged to her grandmother, so were thrilled to be able to interview Anna and find out the story behind her divine jewelery.
What We Like NYC talks with Anna Sheffield
- WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? I was born in North Carolina but moved at 3 weeks old to an Indian reservation in northern New Mexico. I grew up between there and several other small towns around the four corners area. For a little while we lived in a log cabin on a Mesa. It’s was one spectacular place to be as a child, or anytime actually. Once you fall in love with the desert it takes a hold of you. The idea of New Mexico sort of haunts me. I miss it quite a bit, but can’t imagine when I’d ever live there again.
- HOW DID YOU BECOME A JEWELRY DESIGNER? Quite accidentally. I learned the techniques for making sculptures and jewelry, but rarely used them to make wearable objects. Jewelry became a sort of aside to my creative process when making art. I’d work on little things when I was stuck on an idea or had some random scrap of material that seemed fitted for a ring or pendant. Becoming a brand, designing seasonal collections and all of that came way later and totally grew from the tiniest idea. I had no formal training in fashion merchandising or branding and marketing. That’s actually become the most incredible, exciting and inspiring part of my job. Well next to actually making a piece of jewelry at the bench.
- IS THERE A RUNNING THEME THROUGH YOUR COLLECTION? There certainly are – and many! The fine jewelry has these themes and personas I like to reference in the design or with certain silhouettes and gem shapes. I am adding to them all the time, and right now I’m obsessed with designing more for the Chasse collection. Eleonore and Emma are evolving and becoming more prevalent in the collection at large. As I expand the bridal line I draw from the sort of visual vocabulary built around them and the other themes in the line.
- IS THERE A PARTICULAR STYLE THAT YOU ARE BEST KNOWN FOR? I never know what words to commit to in describing it myself, but I get a lot of wonderful insights from my colleagues, clients and friends. I’d say edgy and unique top the list. It’s chic, a very classic collection but with a twist that makes it just that much off the beaten path…unconventional, vintage inspired but modern. My one reference is Dada, I love that movement. I try very hard to take each design to the next level in terms of innovation and to always bring a little something strange and uniquely beautiful to it.
- WHAT’S YOUR MOST POPULAR PIECE? It’s a tie among three rings, I’d say. The rosette with the stacking crescent bands and rose cut centers has garned much attention for the way they nest together and how the look separately as well. The Hazeline solitaire -either gold gem or with a black or champagne diamond- takes the cake. It’s always been a center of attention and that is great because that ring is based on one that belonged to my grandmother, so it’s close to my heart. And the two finger ring, which I wear everyday in some iteration is surely my most well loved style in the line. The yellow or rose gold with pavé diamonds are beautiful, and even more beasty when stacked in multiple.
- WHAT GEMS/MATERIALS ARE YOU MOST INTERESTED IN USING? I love odd colored diamonds and work a lot with champagne and a color I call creme soda. At the moment though, I’m obsessed with opaque diamonds. Some of them are rose cuts and some are faceted.. They vary from grey like a stormy sky to warm pinks and yellows. They’re so unusual and still rare, and – in their own way- very pristine.
- WHERE DO YOU GO TO GET INSPIRED? Living in New York City and having been born with an overactive imagination, I don’t need to go very far to be inspired. I do love architecture, whether here or encountered through travel. I’m just as easily immersed in the storytelling of a fine art piece as I am of a fashion show. Inspiration really comes in so many forms, hoping that it’s always this way!
NYC retailers for Anna Sheffield jewelry include Love Adorned and Greenwich Jewelers, and the fabulous ABC Carpet & Home.AnnaSheffield.com ABC Carpet & Home 19 Broadway. New York. Tel: 212 473 3000 Love Adorned 269 Elizabeth Street. New York. Tel: 212 431 5683 Greenwich Jewelers. 64 Trinity Place. New York. Tel: 212 964 7592
Photo Credit for Anna Sheffield photograph: Mindy Best