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Former Tiffany & Co. Designer Offers Tips for Building a Contemporary Jewelry Wardrobe

Maria Canale has applied a lifetime of prize-winning jewelry experience to creating her first eponymous collection.

Maria Canale Jewelry Photo: Courtesy Maria Canale

Some projects are a lifetime in the making, and Maria Canale’s debut eponymous collection is just that. The New York City–based designer has been creating jewelry since the tender age of 13, when she first sat at a jeweler’s bench at an after-school goldsmith apprenticeship.

Canale went on to work for the likes of Tiffany & Co., Harry Winston, and Mikimoto and has won more than 30 international jewelry awards throughout her career, including the prestigious Diamonds International Award. Maria has now stepped out on her own with a collection of diamond jewels that she’s road tested herself to ensure they become part of a woman’s everyday wardrobe.

She took time away from her studio to answer a few questions about her creations and what she believes are a woman’s jewelry essentials.

With so much experience working for so many legendary houses, what did you want to achieve with your own namesake collection?

After years of designing “behind the scenes,” I wanted to create a line of jewelry that a woman can wear easily and comfortably—no matter what the price—and not keep in a vault. A woman can find pieces in my collection that will become a part of her everyday wardrobe—her signature, so to speak.

Maria Canale collar necklace

Maria Canale Double Bloom Aster hinged collar necklace with round and rose cut dia-monds in 18-karat white gold ($16,500)  Photo: Courtesy Maria Canale

Your Deco collection is a modern classic. What inspired it?

The Deco Collection is an homage to the incredible style and craftsmanship of the past. I love the clean lines and timeless elegances of the ’20s aesthetic and wanted to translate it into contemporary pieces suited to a woman’s lifestyle today.  The Deco Cuff (image attached), which was made here by hand in N.Y.C., is covered in diamonds but is light and easy enough to wear all the time.

Maria Canale diamond cuff

Maria Canale Deco Diamond Mosaic Cuff, featuring round, brilliant, and pave set dia-monds in 18-karat white gold ($54,000)  Photo: Courtesy Maria Canale


What essentials should every woman have in her jewelry box?

A great pair of earrings. No matter what you’re wearing, when you put them on, they light up your face and make you glow. I love to wear my snowflake earrings every day, whether I’m going to the office or relaxing at the weekend.

Maria Canale snowflake earrings

Maria Canale Petit Deco Snowflake earrings featuring baguettes and round brilliant dia-monds in 18-karat white gold ($24,700)  Photo: Courtesy Maria Canale

Maria Canale starburst earrings

Maria Canale Starburst Graduated Pastiche drop earrings featuring diamonds in 18-karat white gold ($13,350)>  Photo: Courtesy Maria Canale

How does your collection suit the way women wear jewelry today?

A woman needs jewelry that “moves” with her—versatile pieces that can travel and be worn a multitude of ways so that they adapt to the way she feels and what she is wearing. The Flapper adjustable necklace is the perfect example of a piece that can be worn with any neckline—long, short, tassels cascading down the back or over the shoulder. I’ve even worn it as a belt.

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