Having worked in the fashion industry since the age of 18, it wasn’t until Yrys Abuquerque turned 38 that she decided she wanted to create something with more emotion, value and exclusivity. Calling on her 20 years of experience, Yrys switched her focus from fashion to jewellery. Her designs are bold and expressive, perfectly representing the culture and vibrancy of her home, Brazil.
Working with artisan Portuguese jewellers known for their goldsmithing talents, YRYS offers an eclectic and diverse collection of jewellery that blends beauty with ethical and social responsibility. We chat with Yrys about her favourite client stories, supporting local Brazilian design schools in less affluent areas of Rio de Janeiro and her plans for the future.
How did your brand begin?
“I’d worked in the fashion business for 20 years and I wanted to take full advantage of my knowledge, from product development to the contemporary woman. At the age of 38, I decided to follow my instincts and start a new professional stage. I wanted something that allowed me to add more emotion, value and exclusivity to my work - and so, the YRYS brand was born.”
"At the age of 38, I decided to follow my instincts and start a new professional stage."
What are your core brand values?
“I love jewels. I love to know that I’m using the best stones and can count on the best goldsmiths, who are working with ethical and social responsibility.”
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
“I take inspiration mainly from the Brazilian culture and its nature, with plenty of tropical colours and diversity of shapes. I’m also inspired by the casual style of Rio de Janeiro and the launchings of new collections in the fashion world.”
What’s your favourite quote?
"Costume jewellery is not made to give women an aura of wealth, but to make them beautiful" -Madame Coco Chanel.
"Those were the most creative months of my life!"
Tell us about your favourite clients...
“One client, a beautiful woman, had an outstanding wedding in Paris and needed a rich and colourful earring to match with her simple beige dress. She got it!! I had another really exciting commission from a client who had an amazing number of opal fire stones, and needed 50 pieces ready in two months. Those were the most creative months of my life!”
Where do you source your gemstones?
“My diamonds come from New York and the Brazilian stones come direct from mines. We use hired Portuguese artisans, renowned for their talent of production in goldsmithing.”
"We believe in the DNA of the local Brazilian creation"
Do you work with any charities?
“We believe in the DNA of the local Brazilian creation and have been supporting the Casa Geração, a Design and Fashion School in Rio's favelas (www.casageracao.com.br), by donating 5% of our earnings.”
What are your plans for the future?
“To be successful at my new journey with JewelStreet and to hire students of Casa Geração to work with us in a few years.”