We chat to one of the biggest influencers in the fine jewellery world, Katerina Perez, about her infectious obsession with all things jewelled, dreaming up article ideas at 2am and travelling the globe uncovering the next big jewellery designers. Also get an exclusive look into her private jewellery collection, and the fascinating stories behind the pieces.
“My website was my first baby"
Katerina Perez started her eponymous website in 2013, when she decided that working in a jewellery boutique and editing the jewellery section of a luxury lifestyle magazine was not enough; the Russian-born jewellery lover needed another platform to share her never-ending appetite for fine jewellery. And what began as a hobby soon transformed into her being one of the world’s most influential fine jewellery bloggers. “It was a hobby of mine and it was just for myself, I never thought someone would read it. I was writing for some time and then 3 or 4 months later I checked the figures, and thought ok actually people do read me!”
From in-depth interviews with the world's leading jewellery houses, to must-have jewellery trends for this season, when it comes to fine jewellery, Katerina covers it all. “The whole reason I created my website was because I want to inspire women to wear more fine jewellery, I want them to know about fine jewellery, to see what’s out there and to wear it eventually as well.” Her conversational, yet educational tone attracts a dedicated readership of jewellery lovers, connoisseurs and experts from all over the globe. But putting up 5 new posts each week is no easy task, and the amount of time and effort put into each post is evident, so it’s no wonder Katerina often works 12 hour days, 6 days a week. “It doesn’t feel like work to me so I can work 12 hours straight and not even notice.” However even jewellery-obsessed Katerina admits that perhaps doing research for articles before bed at 2am probably isn’t normal, yet you can’t help but feel inspired by her boundless and infectious enthusiasm for fine jewellery. “I’m obsessed with jewellery, sometimes I think it’s not even normal! But that’s how it all started, with passion.”
Since the arrival of her first child in spring 2016, things have had to slow down, slightly. “My website was my first baby, as I created it out of nothing, so I can’t give up one baby for the sake of another, so they have to work together; it’s like having two children.” Her work pattern has had to adapt though; “I used to work during the day but now I split my time by working 5 hours in the day and then in the evening after Alexander has gone to bed, usually until the early hours of the morning.”
“I didn’t know I could function on 5 hours of sleep a night. Now I know that maybe I am superwoman!”
There’s never a slow news day for Katerina; if anything there is almost too much to write about. From exhibitions and the internet, to books and the people around her, she sources inspiration from everywhere. “I get inspiration from so many different things because I’m always doing research. Say I’m looking for a necklace for one article and then I find something else I really like, I think ‘Oh my word, I have to write about that!’”
“What is special about my website is that I find things that you didn't know existed. There are so many jewellery designers out there who aren’t in all the big magazines but they are equally as creative and amazing as the names you see on Bond Street."
Now a household name within the fine jewellery industry, Katerina Perez has a huge global reach. “That’s the beauty of being online; anyone can access it from any place, at any time, there are no restrictions. I love that I can reach different jewellery connoisseurs or jewellery aficionados anywhere in the world. For me it’s all about this little community of jewellery obsessed people, and it’s great that I can reach them in every country.”
Her social media platform is growing by the day, with over 120k followers on Instagram. “The amount of interest I get about the pieces I post is increasing, people are always asking where they get the pieces from, or how much it costs, or who’s it by.” If you’re not following Katerina already, take a second to scroll down through her Instagram feed, as we guarantee you’ll will be left feeling starry-eyed from the amount of incredible, sparkly jewels.
Katerina is always on the move, travelling to different countries and jewellery shows to uncover the next big thing. “What is special about my website and my Instagram is that I find things that you don’t know exist. There are so many jewellery designers out there who aren’t in all the big magazines but they are equally as creative and amazing as the names you see on Bond Street, so I really want to bring out those names to give them recognition.” However, her travel schedule has been put on hold slightly this year due to the arrival of Alexander between two of the biggest jewellery shows, Baselworld and Couture, but next year Katerina plans to give Alexander his first taste of the fine jewellery world. “Next year it will all continue, with Hong Kong, Basel and Couture, so he’s going to travel before he’s even 1 year old.”
Having recently returned from Paris Haute Couture week, Katerina saw some of the most exquisite jewels from the world’s biggest jewellery houses. “I love how jewellery has become a bit more fun now and even those high jewellery houses are creating transformable pieces that can be more of a fashion statement.” For Katerina the standout pieces from the show were Chaumet’s wonderful tiara with jewelled flowers that can be detached and worn as a pendant, and Boucheron’s entire collection. “Boucheron was completely out of this world. They had an orchid necklace and they had created the volume of the petals from rock crystal and then set diamonds into the rock crystal, which is very difficult to do, and it has such an amazing effect because it looked like diamonds are actually floating in the air. It looks so beautiful on.”
Photo by Dominique Maitre/WWD/REX/Shutterstock Boucheron show, Autumn Winter 2016, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France - 04 Jul 2016
Her personal collection
On a day-to-day basis, Katerina’s jewellery of choice tends to be dainty pieces of fine jewellery that compliment her outfits, usually with a few diamonds sprinkled here and there. “Obviously during the day I’m not going to put on my big diamonds or large statement pieces, but because all of my jewellery has some sentiment, what I wear depends on what it is connected with, what mood I’m in and of course it’s colour, size etc.”
For a jewellery obsessive like Katerina, her collection of around 30 pieces may seem relatively refined, however every piece in her collection has a story behind it and holds a meaningful sentiment. “I never buy jewellery. It’s always a gift for anniversaries, a successful project or a birthday. I think I’ve bought maybe just a couple pieces in my life.” From a timeless pair of onyx and diamond studs, that were one of her first fine pieces and kicked off her love affair with fine jewellery, to a super statement ear cuff studded with black diamonds, rubies and orange sapphires that Katerina wore on stage at last year’s Couture show in Las Vegas, Katerina has a vast jewellery collection. Looking through her jewellery box is like taking a walk down the past 10 years of Katerina’s life, and it’s a certainly been a fascinating one.
One of Katerina’s most meaningful pieces is a classic diamond pendant that was gifted to her on her 30th birthday from her family. “We all put money together and bought the diamond first and then I sketched out the design and took it to the jeweller and they made it for me.” Although the design may look relatively simple, Katerina designed the versatile pendant so that it can be worn on a necklace, a bracelet or even a ring. “Every time I wear it I think of my big three-zero and all of my family because it was gift from everyone.”
“Sometimes jewellery chooses you, and for me this is how it works. You set your heart on a piece and you have to have it."
Another staple piece in her everyday jewellery wardrobe is a delicate diamond bracelet that Katerina describes as being so fluid that it feels like a second skin. She first spotted it on a trip to New York and soon set her heart on it, but due to the store being closed she had to reluctantly return back to London empty handed. However her devoted husband picked it up a year later whilst back in NYC on a work trip, and Katerina has barely taken it off since. “Sometimes jewellery chooses you, and for me this is how it works. You set your heart on a piece and you have to have it, because when you wear the piece you really love, it makes you feel amazing.”
Katerina’s entire mantra is based around encouraging women to wear more fine jewellery, and not leaving your special pieces sat in a jewellery box never to be seen or enjoyed. “I just want women to wear more fine jewellery, it makes you feel special, glamourous and good about yourself when you wear your special pieces.” And after meeting Katerina and experiencing her infectious passion for fine jewellery, I for one will be digging out my most meaningful pieces of jewellery and letting them see the light day. Will you? Delve into Katerina's wonderful world of fine jewellery here.