DESIGNER Katie Kova is taking the fine jewelry landscape in a whole new direction.
Katie Kova is petite, softly spoken, and very chic (think simple, understated style that conveys a quiet sort of elegance). Her newly launched fine jewelry label, KOVA, follows in much the same vein. “My jewelry is 100% wearable, stackable, mixable, and day-to-night viable,” she says. “I wear it with a T-shirt and flats and with a cocktail dress and stilettos.”
“THEN THERE'S JEWELRY, MY TRUE PASSION. THE MINUTE MY GRANDFATHER GAVE ME MY FIRST PIECE AT AGE 14, I BECAME AN AD HOC JEWELRY RESEARCHER."
Inspired by the 20th-century Russian art movement Suprematism (invented by Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, it was one of the earliest and most radical developments in abstract art), Kova's pieces possess the same sort of graphic, linear construction and minimalist feel as her favorite artworks. An ear cuff features circles and zig zag lines embedded with dozens of black and white pave diamonds, while a pair of triangular earrings have slight differences in each side. “At KOVA we see jewelry as a form of wearable creation,” she says. “We begin with analysis, researching shapes, lines, concepts, references, textures, inspirations, fits, and even variable degrees of shine—that´s how nerdy we can be. It´s all about the conceptual and creative challenges of launching a line that’s cohesive, unique, and by all means; beautiful.”
For the Moscow-born, London-based designer, jewelry wasn’t her first calling. Rather, she studied business before leaping into the world of accessories. “I always knew that I´d start my own project and that it would be a creative one. Even when I was studying business I was interested in architecture and design,” she explains. “Jewelry is my true passion. The minute my grandfather gave me my first piece of jewelry when I was 14, I became an ad hoc jewelry researcher. KOVA is the result of that informal education and my very formal business studies.” And while her homeland provides much of the inspiration, Kova’s London base also delivers plenty of influences. “Russia gave me a vast cultural legacy: The unparalleled graphic influence of artists Rodchenko, Malevich, and Kandinsky—to name just three. London on the other hand stimulated my creativity as an individual. It´s a city of creativity, talent, and brains that has made my vision so much more versatile.”
“at KOVA we see jewelry as a form of wearable creation.”
Her sculptural, minimalist pieces are also a step away from traditional fine jewelry, especially those that she grew up around. “In Russia, fine jewelry is passed from generation to generation so it´s highly valued. Collecting fine jewelry has been a tradition in my family for generations. My favorite piece is a Tiffany & Co. bracelet that my grandfather gave me when I was 14. I still wear it all the time. It’s not about trends, it´s about design integrity and the best stones.” In a rapidly changing accessories market, KOVA personifies a new approach to fine jewelry. The pieces are wearable, stackable, and can be worn everyday. Unlike traditional fine jewels there’s no need to keep them locked in a vault or only worn on special occasions. “Women today understand fine jewelry as a wearable accessory rather than just an investment,” agrees Kova. Her own personal approach to fashion and style is indicative of the change. “I am not a girly girl but I´m not masculine either. I appreciate femininity but not in its literal instance. You won´t see me in ruffles and bows, you’ll see me in pieces that are understated and elegant. I love wearing clothes that empower you, that give you confidence.” The same can be said for her creations.
The most important meal of the day! One of my all time favourites is Matcha Chia Pudding with Mango.
2. What was the last thing you dreamed about?
I rarely remember my dreams…
3. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
The ability to freeze time.
4. What is your spirit animal?
5. Biggest vice?
I can´t resist chocolate.
6. If you could swap lives with anyone in history (alive or dead), who would it be?
Ernest Hemingway. I´m fascinated by the dangers he faced in life.
7. What is your favorite song?
I know it´s cheesy but I adore Coldplay’s Fix You!
8. Favorite artists?
Kazimir Malevich, Vasily Kandinsky and Alexandr Rodchenko. Russian Suprematism is essential to me and to KOVA.
9. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A silk slip dress.
10. Any hidden talents?
Cooking if you can call it a talent!