Stalked: Annamarie Sabo, Jewellery Designer, La Corza

30 July 2015

Recently I was introduced to the very talented Annamarie Sabo, the jewellery designer behind La Corza; “Inspiration is never the question,” says Annamarie. “It’s really finding ways to channel that inspiration, to decide which lines to follow and how far, that is my challenge.” I caught up with her to find out why she loves designing and what tips she has for young emerging designers...

How did you get to where you are now and what do you love about jewellery design? 

When you start with nature as your inspiration, you are never at a loss for ideas. I literally fill my sketchbooks with ideas when I'm out traveling and then begin the lengthy process of seeing which designs speak the loudest, or demand to be made. My first cactus cuff bracelet happened that way, by seeing the interior skeleton of a preserved cactus while I was hiking through the desert. That architecture that was revealed, the fine network of veins that once carried the life force of that magnificent plant, struck me as an amazing pattern. From there I began seeing the shape of a bracelet wrapped around my wrist, as if it were carrying that same energy back into my body. That was years ago and I am still refining that design with many different variations.

I design for both women and men, and that is one La Corza's strengths, I think. I love seeing my designs on people from people who look different from one another but share something within, a certain strength and certainty. I'm thrilled that my pieces look as stunning on Conchita Wurst as they do on an NFL football player or someone as iconic as Alicia Keys or Alexa Chung. I design for individuals who want to stand out.

What inspired your latest collection? 

Every collection begins with me discovering something new or surprising out in nature. I don’t go looking for it, but when it hits me, I can’t stop until I’ve really investigated what it is that appeals to me. I’ve had inspiration hit during a long walk on the beach, a hike through the high desert, or a visit to an stunning, remote ecosystem, like the lava fields of Iceland. I also love the work of luminaries like Andy Goldsworthy and Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s about revisioning, finding the essence of a material and refining it as far as you can take it. You see the direct connection to the earth in their work, and that is what inspires me in my own designs.

What advice would you give to jewellery students graduating this year? 

I would definitely start with a winning lottery ticket! Honestly, running a business on your own, particularly a creative business, is a joy but also a constant demand on all your time, attention and resources. If I did anything differently the second time around, I’d probably have to say I’d go out on a limb even sooner, trust my instincts and push my vision to the limits, because what we’re doing now is so incredibly fulfilling. I’m a risk-taker and I think there is a great reward in simply going for it when you know you’re on to something amazing.

La Corza began the day I decided to train myself as a jewellery and started taking classes from the very best teachers I could find. I didn’t know then where it was headed, but eventually I saw that there was a place in the world for a fine jewellery line steeped in tradition and inspired by the natural world. Since that moment I haven’t stopped designing, refining my skills, and seeing new ideas take shape when I step outside and take in all the beauty around me. Behind every piece is a reverence for nature and a desire to work to the finest, time honoured standards.

Do you think the relationship between art and jewellery is getting stronger nowadays and in what way have you come across this? 

Yes, indeed I do believe the relationship between art and jewelry is getting stronger. I am witness to this as I exhibit around the world getting a glimpse of what designers are showing. I was enchanted by amazing designs and designers at a show in Milan. Many artists were true sculptures with fine art as their background and reference point. I am delighted to bring my own sense of art to the world of design by embracing nature's own architecture as my muse. 

Where do you shop? 

I am a passionate fan of supporting independent artisans and craftsman. One of my favorite stores is Aftur's in Reykjavik, Iceland.  The designer and owner is Bára Hólmgeirsdóttir a master artisan of recycled cashmere couture.  I'm also passionate for the eclectic style and visual art of Icelandic designers Hugrun and Magni of KRON shoes.

Five items you can't live without? 

Italian coffee, reggae music, signature jewelry pieces, foreign adventures and my sanctuary.


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