Usually when I meet a designer, it’s because I’ve seen their jewelry and then sought them out: I see the designs first, and then the person. With Ruta Reifen, everything happened at once.
I was walking a trade show when a woman in a super cute white sundress stopped me because she recognized me from Instagram. She introduced herself as Ruta, and we immediately hit it off: I didn’t know who she was or why she was there, but her bright energy and warm, open friendliness drew me in right away. It wasn’t until we’d been chatting happily for a several minutes that I even realized she was there as a designer.
And then: holy moly, her designs.
Don’t these necklaces look like something that mermaid would gift you in exchange for a favor, probably through swirls of a silver mist near a secret lagoon?
I love the delicacy of the color contrast – it range from gentle to drastic, sometimes with a close enough gradient to feel almost ombre, but never going with what’s expected.
Perhaps the most distinctive element of Ruta Reifen’s design aesthetic is the texture of her gold work.
There’s something organic about the barnacle-esque texture of the gold settings; and you know I love a bit of well-executed texture. Ruta blends the “maybe it just grew this way” feeling with glamour and finesse in a way I find totally irresistible.
I was getting the mermaid vibe from Ruta Reifen’s pieces all along, but when I interviewed her for this article I found out that’s it’s intentional: the sea is a major inspiration for her. In her own words:
Growing up by the Mediterranean gazing into the sea with wonder, I’ve always been fascinated with underwater forms, they have punctuated my life with slivers of happiness. Their flowing lines, endless shapes and colors, are the source of my creative work.
A synergy of classic silhouettes, coral-like texture and evolving color story create the romantic feel I wish to extend to the wearer.”