The Magic of Jewelry in the Words of Après Ski Designer Lucía Vergara
“I have always been fascinated by the human need for adornment, and the way jewelry and accessories have been tightly linked to rituals and the sacred. Subconsciously, we imbue our jewelry with sentimental value and it ends up acting as an amulet.”
Barcelona-based accessories designer Lucía Vergara of Après Ski, the brand she founded in 2009, is operating under a heavy multi-cultural influence, sourcing her references from all over the world. This is highly visible in the brand aesthetics, and further emphasized in their inspirational Instagram feed, which really says it all. We’ve fallen head over heels for the designer’s playful jewelry, which is also captured in the most visually stunning ways. Knowing their mindful approach, we think the brand has unlimited potential going forward.
Who are you as a designer and brand owner?
– I’d say I am quite curious and have an inquiring mind, eager to discover and to share. I am largely self-taught regarding design, which can be challenging, but I believe this helps to endow the project with a more personal character and vision.
– As a brand owner, I try to let myself be guided by intuition and search for a way of doing where I can feel at ease. I started on my own, but with time I was able to gather a small and marvellous team, and we enjoy a pleasant working atmosphere, which I consider vital for the brand to function.
What is the story behind Après Ski, and how would you describe the brand and collection?
– I never had the intention of creating a brand, it all started with me making some pieces for personal use, and some friends became interested and begun to place orders that started to grow in volume. So it started out as a very natural thing. The aesthetics and products have evolved with time since my interests change frequently and this shows in the brand’s aesthetics. However, I clearly see that the love for craftsmanship and handcrafted objects acts as a guiding principle.
What would you say is the magic of jewelry and accessories?
– Some months ago, after I visited the Anthropology Museum of Mexico City, I was thinking about this a lot. I have always been fascinated by the human need for adornment, and the way jewelry and accessories have been tightly linked to rituals and the sacred. Subconsciously, we imbue our jewelry with sentimental value and it ends up acting as an amulet. Many accessories are passed on from generation to generation, regardless of their economical value. I think that the magic lies right there, in the belief that these objects keep us company or aid us in a more special way than other objects.
You seem to take inspiration from lots of different cultures?
– Yes, multi-cultural references are on display when communicating and on an aesthetic level. Independently from the brand, I am very interested in the promotion and diffusion of popular culture and traditional craftsmanship. I will be launching a collection entirely produced by Turkish craftsmen, as I am very passionate about their way of working with metal, which I feel connects with my vision.
What materials do you prefer to work with, and how do you source them?
– I have worked with wood for so many years. Wood being considered a cheap or “poor” material, I felt interested in exploring the possibilities of lacquered wood. My grandfather was a carpentry enthusiast, and I have spent my whole childhood playing with wood. I have a strong attraction for fake tortoiseshell, which is actually acetate, because my mother had many accessories made out of this. So let’s say that I choose to work with materials that feel familiar to me. I am very good at “finding things”, I really enjoy investigating and sourcing so that is an easy part of the process for me.
Do you consider sustainability and make conscious choices in your design and production process?
– Yes, this is something that concerns me. I have worked with wood for many years, but the material that we use now is mainly acetate sourced from cellulose, which takes less time to decompose than plastic but still isn’t a very sustainable material. So I am studying other options, and bio acetate could be an alternative.
– Recently we substituted the cellophane bags used for packaging for ones made from corn. This was something that made me uneasy, and I feel glad that we finally went in that direction. I am always thinking about how to come up with a packaging solution that is attractive and functional enough so our customers would want to keep the box in which we deliver our products and avoid further residues.
Finally: What’s on the horizon for Après Ski?
– I try to focus on the present moment, so I usually don’t set many goals or long-term objectives. For the time being, having my brand makes me happy and I am enjoying every bit; so investigating new materials or seeking out future collaborations with artisans could be my so-called short-term goals.
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