MUSE launches new Charming Initiative

Shirley P. Olin

The New York-based fine jewelry agency Muse is expanding its charitable charming initiative ‘Have A Heart’ with new brand ambassador Meeling Wong.  

MUSE collaborates with a roster of talented designers on a collection of earmarked charms to benefit a host of charitable causes. Philanthropic, fine jewelry-loving, fabulous people act as ambassadors, curating a selection of charms and picking a charity that is meaningful to them. 

Proceeds have gone to non-profits and charities across the globe, including Glasswing International, The Loveland Foundation, and Citymeals on Wheels. MUSE sells each ambassador’s curation online, in its store, and at other retailers.  

Wong: “This project inspired me to think differently about contributing without wasting,” she shared. “The six designers partnered with us on this journey have created their Have A Heart charms with recycled materials, repurposing old gemstones and using scrap materials from their archives.” With its focus on regeneration rather than production, Wong acknowledges that this edition of the charms for a cause will challenge creators to think and work differently.  

Participating Designers:  

● Annoushka Jewellery (@annoushkajewellery) 

● Christopher Thompson-Royds (@cthompsonroyds)  

● Fernando Jorge (@fernandojorge)  

● Graziela (@grazielagems)  

● NN by NGHI (@nnbynghi)  

● Ten Thousand Things (@tenthousandthingsnyc) 

  • The price range for the charms is $925 – $11,000, and they will all be available at the MUSE Shop -605 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014- and on MUSExMUSE.com.
  • Ten percent of proceeds from charm sales will benefit Charity: Water, an organization with the ambitious goal of ending the global water crisis. 

While the water crisis is enormous, this non for profit is optimistic. Charity: Water understands how to solve the problem, and they make progress every day thanks to the help of local partners and supporters.

So far:

  • over 110,000 water projects have been funded
  • in 29 different countries
  • and over 15 million people have been served.
  • With this initiative, Wong aims to raise sufficient funds ($10,000) from the jewelry community to contribute to this vital mission.
  • Due to the organization’s unique funding model, 100% of public donations go directly to fund clean water projects, allowing this to make even more of an impact. 

This Charming Initiative is the latest of many that comprise MUSE’s multi-designer, extraordinary, collaborative, 

The idea behind Have A Heart is simple but powerful: We can accomplish a lot collaboratively if everyone does a little bit. Very true!

The philanthropic possibilities are endless, as are the combinations of charms that can be made into forever pieces. 

MUSE is a jewelry showroom for emerging and established talent. Founded by Jennifer Shanker, MUSE provides a one-stop experience for leading buyers, stylists, editors, and private clients to seek out and shop a unique set of international designers.  

@musexmuse 

charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. Since charity: water was founded in 2006, the organization has been chasing one ambitious goal: ending the global water crisis and partnering with local professional organizations that build sustainable, community-owned water projects worldwide. 

www.charitywater.org  

Annoushka

“Recycling the gold already in circulation seems obvious rather than continuing to mine limited resources. Recycled gold is just as beautiful, holds the same value as newly-mined gold, and has 600 times lower carbon emissions than newly-mined gold.” 

Annoushka Ducas MBE founded Annoushka in London in 2009. The founder and creative director of her eponymous jewelry brand, Annoushka, grew up in London, later studying French language and civilization at the Sorbonne. From Paris, she moved to Hong Kong in the late Eighties and began to work with local artisans, designing jewelry for herself and her friends and family; she co-founded her first Business, Links of London, in 1990. Three decades on, she continues this passion and exploration with Annoushka. 

Christopher Thompson-Royds

“I swept and collected gold dust from my bench and found the diamonds on the floor of my studio – recycle, reuse!”  

Christopher Thompson Royds is an artist and jeweler of international renown whose work is included in several prominent collections in Europe and the US, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, UK. But also at the CODA Museum; NL, Schmuck Museum; DE, National Museum Zurich; CH, and Museum of Fine Art Houston; US, Rotasa Collection Trust; US. He is represented by Louisa Guinness Gallery in London, Mahnaz Collection in New York, Irene Belfi Gallery in Milan, and Galerie Marzee, Nijmegen.

Christopher has an MA in Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork, and Jewellery from the Royal College of Art, London.

Fernando Jorge

“I was thrilled with the challenge to upcycle an older piece and make it into a heart charm, and it feels even better doing this for a good cause. Repurposing is intrinsic to jewelry because of the nature of the materials. However, the challenge of looking into my work and approaching my older designs opened many possibilities in my mind.”  

Brazilian-born jewelry designer Fernando Jorge encapsulates his home country’s laidback attitude and effortless sensuality, using locally sourced and hand-carved gemstones, detailed by his signature finish in fluid and delicate gold structures and diamonds. The result is distinctly sculptural jewelry that is both elegant and modern.  

Initially studying in São Paulo, Fernando gathered experience through crucial design roles in Brazil before moving to London for a Master’s Degree in Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins. His graduation collection, presented in 2010, was received with critical acclaim and the designer subsequently established his eponymous brand in the UK.  

Jorge’s notable achievements include being the winner of Best in Colored Gemstones (2014), Best in Diamonds (2017), and Editor’s Choice (2018) at the Couture Jewelry Show, “Diamonds of the Year” from Town & Country (2018), British Fashion Awards nominations for “Best Emerging Accessories Designer” by the British Fashion Council (2014 & 2015), Business of Fashion’s 500 People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry (yearly since 2014), the GEM Award for “Jewellery Designer of the Year (2019), and the Town & Country Award for “Best in Diamonds” (2020).  

Graziela

“This project from Meeling, although difficult to accomplish, was advantageous. To repurpose diamonds and gold reclaimed from our old pieces to create these heart charms felt incredible. I look at them with love and pride.”  

Graziela Kaufman hand-designs every piece, a practice she learned from her grandfather. She grew up in Brazil, learning about many of the country’s natural resources. Her backyard was a ‘gemological treasure.’ She traveled to many different mining towns throughout Brazil, learning about the fascinating history behind every stone that would ultimately inspire her future creations.  

NN by NGHI

“Upcycling is a wise art form of our generation; giving neglected materials new life is magical work requiring in-depth creativity and imagination, our most precious possessions.”  

‘Artifacts from a distant galaxy, excavated for the curious jewelry lover who is drawn to the unknown and the alien’ Born in Vietnam, NGHI moved with his family to Australia after the Vietnam war. The experience of displacement influenced his early interest in escapism and science fiction, as did subsequent years living in Japan, which emerged in Tokyo’s subcultures while designing for fashion brands, musicians, and cult feature films.  

In New York, he honed his skills as a jeweler. He created NN, a fusion of east/west philosophies and aesthetics to express the forward motion of tradition and memory toward a subversive dimension of beauty.  

Ten Thousand Things  

“We chose to reuse scraps of black MOP (mother-of-pearl) left over from cutting our recent Sotheby’s chandelier earrings. One side of the heart is white; the other is black. We studded them together with 18k gold wire, and they have a simple spring ring clasp.”  

TENTHOUSANDTHINGS is a collection of fine jewelry designed by Ron Anderson and David Rees, self-taught jewelers who came to the bench after successful careers in fashion retail. From their downtown New York City atelier, they meticulously handcraft modern heirlooms — sculptural forms in silver and gold — inspired by abstract shapes found in nature and meant to best highlight expertly-chosen stones, including Sleeping Beauty turquoise, black opals, and American natural pearls.  

Their obsessive search for extraordinary stones recently led them to a stone carving workshop in Jaipur, where David and Ron sit with skilled artisans. 

Meeling Wong is the founder of Meeling Wong Associates, a business consultancy with extensive experience in Business, brand, and product development within the jewelry industry since 2013. Wong has held executive positions at David Yurman, John Hardy, and Georg Jensen and is a strong advocate for emerging talent.  

@meelingwong 

  

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