Wing Yau, designer of WWAKE whose collection has just been launched in our Mont Thabor boutique has answered our “Precious” questionnaire. After a childhood spent in South America, she settled in New York and launched her brand of gold jewellery and asymmetrically set gemstones. She quickly became recognized by the fashion industry being a 2015 CFDA finalist and ranked in 2016 among the 30 most influential people under 30 year-old by Forbes.
What is your first jewellery memory ?
My family went to Papua New Guinea when I was a child and during this trip I purchased a woven bead necklace from a local craftswoman at the market. It had red, green, yellow and black seed beads woven into a basketshaped pendant and I loved it very much the work was extremely intricate, it was like nothing I had seen before. I spent hours and years observing how it was made, it was a very special piece that I still think of often.
What’s the first piece that you designed ?
The first piece of fine jewelry I designed was actually a series of delicate gold rings with graphic shapes. When I first started, my focus was on opposites: I wanted to make rings without center stone, and, rather than a single ring with a single formation forever, I wanted the wearer to create their own composition from multiple rings. The combinations were endless and created the core concept of what WWAKE has become today.
What is your favorite stone ? Why ?
The opal! It is a mysterious stone, a world within itself. I find its variation in colors, its unpredictable iridescence and its myth that it can help you turn invisible.
Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all yearround?
A simple pinky ring and my linear chain necklaces never come off!
Who are your favorite jewellery designers?
Elsa Peretti, Bibi Van der Velden and Fernando Jorge.
What are your greatest design influences ?
My background in sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design and studying the works of Lynda Benglis, Richard Serra, Donald Judd, and Robert Smithson to name a few.
What do you listen to in your studio ?
Julie Byrne, Arthur Russell, the Smashing Pumpkins, Okay Kaya.
If you weren’t a jewellery designer, what would you do ?
Which famous people (living or dead) inspire you the most ?
Kate Bush and Patti Smith.
What is your dream destination ?
The Faroe Islands!