Often spotted on the likes of Taylor Swift and Rihanna, celebrity favorite jewelry brand, Hueb, blends Brazilian gemstones with architectural and nature-inspired designs for maximum impact. Creative director Priscila Hueb shared with us what inspires her designs and some of her favorite pieces available on Sotheby’s Home.
How has the company evolved since Fadua Hueb first started?
I think we have a much stronger identity today. We have evolved and adjusted to every era’s fashion and style, but most importantly, we have reflected our DNA through the differing lens of each of the three creative directors the brand has had. I strive to maintain the legacy and DNA laid out by Cristina Hueb, my mother-in-law and previous creative director, while also bringing my own vision to Hueb’s designs.
What do you attribute the success of your designs to?
I think our designs are conceived to maximize the look for the cost. It’s also fresh, fun, colorful and full of personality. Above all, it’s very wearable. We like to say it’s jewelry to be enjoyed.
Hueb pieces often have striking architectural lines. What is the relationship between jewelry-making and architecture, in your opinion?
I think architecture has always been about showcasing a culture’s absolute best to convey the success of a people (best engineering, best innovation, best design, etc.). It’s about pushing for more knowledge and expressing it. In a way, jewelry-making carries that, but in a more private note. We seek the perfect combination of mastering the engineering of tangible components with our understanding of aesthetic beauty.
Can you walk us through the process of one of your pieces, from the inspiration through completion? What is the process like and how long does it usually take?
My inspirations come from everywhere: skylines, landscapes, art galleries and, of course, nature. I always keep my eyes open, and try to notice everything around me. Anything can inspire a collection, from raindrops to a beautiful painting. A detailed briefing is prepared with rough sketches, references, stones and materials to be used, as well as commercial guidelines such as mix of product, size of the collection and price points. I then approve the final drawings and design specifications that go into CAD development. The final stage is approving the prototype. This process takes about six weeks (depending on the complexity of the collection).
Does Hueb have any recurring signature styles, and what is the story behind them?
Hueb has always been about a sense of fun, fashion and playful sensuality. Our jewelry doesn’t have a “traditional” look. The brand was originally developed for the women of Brazil who wanted to wear beautiful and playful pieces that they could truly live in, and this has been what translated in the jewelry as the brand has evolved.
How do you see the jewelry market today? Do you think the younger generation of women have the same interest and taste as older generations? What are the differences and similarities?
I think we are living in a moment of value shift. The individual self-expression at “any cost” is no longer holding up. I believe younger generations are questioning more and wanting to convey that self-expression WHILE respecting the Earth and its inhabitants. The use of alternative materials is a big trend now. There are brands promoting “recycled metals” and “ethically mined gemstones” trying to adjust to these consumers. I also think younger generations are less concerned about jewelry as a status symbol and more concerned about jewelry as self-expression and self-validation, which is why we see more self-purchasing today. In my opinion, what still remains the same is the strong emotional pull towards jewelry. The “romance” of jewelry is still very strong from the role it has played in our culture.
For someone who is thinking about their first jewelry purchase, what would you recommend?
Jewelry is all about self-expression. It’s part of the statement we make. It’s used to portray an image, how we feel or where we belong. My tip is to look for something that speaks to you, reflecting who you are, so that it truly (and effortlessly) becomes part of your life. The goal is to find a piece that you don’t want to leave your home without.
What was your first piece of jewelry, and where (or how) did you wear it?
My first pair of diamond earrings were small butterfly studs, gifted to me by my father when I was about six years old. It’s a very special memory to me, and I was quite emotional when I passed it on to my daughter a few months ago.
What are the jewelry trends you are excited about for 2020?
I’m most excited about the use of alternative materials like enamel, titanium, seeds and nonprecious stones used in an elevated way. Chunky jewelry and statement necklaces that are casual enough for every day are also on my radar.
Is there a no-no when it comes to wearing jewelry, and what would that be?
I think rules for wearing jewelry are from such a bygone era. Jewelry is about how we choose to wear a piece, how it makes us feel and the way we style it. Personally, the only no-no is sleeping and showering in my jewelry!
Can you choose five pieces from the Sotheby’s Home consignment, and highlight their design story and inspiration? What makes them special? How would you wear them?
Labyrinth Collection: Inspired by mazes of the Renaissance gardens. It’s a perfect everyday earring. Covers the ear lobe just right, and has three rows of diamonds that bring depth to the piece. It’s definitely a classic with a twist.
Romance Collection: The bow has firmly established itself as an enduring symbol in fine jewelry. This bracelet is light, romantic and fresh. It resembles a ribbon delicately wrapping the wrist. It’s the perfect jewelry to be worn with a flowy spring dress.
Apus Collection: Named after a constellation that represents birds of paradise. These earrings are like diamond wings with a detachable colored stone drop, framed with diamonds. It’s very versatile, and can easily go from day to night. The “wings” are sophisticated ear crawlers that could be paired with jeans. The pear-shaped stone gives it a slightly more formal look, making it perfect for a cocktail dress.
Wave Collection: The lines are meant to represent the mesmerizing effect that we see as waves roll out from the shore. It’s a great ring for the index finger because of all the side details. It’s perfect for wearing to work, not too flashy and very strong.
Plissé Collection: Reminiscent of purposefully pleated fabric—or plissé, as the French call it—this collection showcases an array of creased 18k gold that gives a whole new meaning to texture in gold. This ring has six loose bands attached by a row of diamonds. Each band has a different texture on the metal, giving the impression of stacked rings. This ring band easily matches the other pieces in a woman’s jewelry box, and is perfect for every day.