Maria Black's playful contemporary jewelry line is filled with subtle pieces that are in tune with fashion's current modern sentiment. Her mix 'n' match jewels have been described as a fashionista's legos, allowing you to create as many looks as your imagination will allow. Her Danish background, London style sensibility and never-ending supply of inspiration makes Maria Black as dynamic as her jewelry. We sat down with the uber-cool designer to get her take on everything from her go-to London hotspots to her first brick and mortar store in Copenhagen.
AW: What kind of woman do you design for?
MB: I mainly design jewelry for myself. I have a 'tough' side and pretty dainty jewelry never appealed to me. I suppose my girls and I share a common interest in structural beauty. A classic quiet aesthetic with a touch of rock n roll.
AW: Interchangeable jewelry is one of your signatures, what inspired you to do this unique twist?
MB: I remember buying a pair of trousers a few years ago that you could change the look of with some cleverly placed strings. I forgot them in a pub after a particularly wet evening, so I never got to wear them. But that inspired me to do 'more' with my pieces. I want my girls to feel like they are creating their own look, using their creativity and style.
AW: What kind of outfit would you wear with your designs?
MB: I have a very laid back, casual style. If you are prone to keeping your styling simple, my jewelry is perfect. The more basic the clothes the more mental you can go with your jewels.
AW: What are some of your inspirations?
MB: So far I've gone from a youth movement, to a design movement to a culture... My next collection is inspired by Plato and the mathematical teachings of Platonic Solids. It's really what I'm obsessed about at the time of designing, I don't spend time thinking or guessing about what will be in fashion, just go with my gut feeling.
AW: Has London inspired your style sensibility? If so, how?
MB: Oh yes very much so. It was on a walk in Camden in 2009 that inspired me to do a retake on the ear cuff. There it was, so terribly cool and so horribly designed.
AW: What are some of your favorite London hotspots?
MB: My favorite part is east London. Diverse, gritty, fun, dirty, inventive and never ever boring.
Ridley Road Market (sheep heads and fake watches)
Efes pool hall (pool and dancing)
Netil house (roof top cocktails)
The Dove (after work drink)
Broadway Market (coffee and food)
Brick Lane (curry, vintage, clothes)
Columbia Road Flower Market (flowers)
AW: Do you travel to Denmark often? How has your Danish heritage inspired you?
MB: I go to Copenhagen almost every month for work. My design philosophy is heavily influenced by the design heritage of Georg Jensen fused with a healthy dose of attitude. The good kind. The Danish minimalism is very hard to escape and why would I. It's seriously cool.
AW: What are you currently working on?
MB: I am currently working on our new 18K Diamond Cut gold collection. We are opening a Maria Black Jewelry store in Silkegade Copenhagen in mid May, so all my collections will finally be under one roof soon!
AW: What’s on replay in your office?
MB: David Bowie
AW: Any current obsessions?
MB: I am currently obsessed about all things Japanese. I am dying to go to Tokyo. This Japanese crush has been going on for a while and I think it might be an ever lasting love.