The Appeal of the Uncomplicated
“Open – Please ring the bell” says the small white sign on this low-key shop door in Munich. No garish, colourful advertising slogan on the window, no fancy displays. Saskia Diez’s studio in Munich’s trendy Glockenbachviertel area almost goes unnoticed, that’s how subtle it appears to the outside world. “I like the appeal of the uncomplicated,” says the jewellery designer whose magnetic personality casts a spell over one instantly. Just like her work which is puristic and poetic, simple and elegant, sophisticated and powerful. An inspiring mixture.
“Many of my things seem unspectacular if simply seen in the shop. It is only when wearing them that they come into their own,” says the trained goldsmith who also has a degree in industrial design. Her collections don’t follow any fast-moving fashion trends. They tell stories and are meant to adorn in a timeless way.
In order to achieve that, Saskia Diez uses inspirations from her everyday life, such as surfaces playing with the rays of sunlight they reflect. These light reflections turn her earrings, which are made up from simple polished silver plates strung together, into a fascinating eye catcher. A sailor’s knot gave her the idea to work entwined material into necklaces and rings, and a walk along the Isar river to turn pebbles into perfectly-shaped cufflinks and rings – “each piece truly unique”. Wooden beads provide the basis for colourful bracelets, necklaces or hair ties. Cast from bronze and elaborately cut like a gem, her silver and gold-coloured bracelets bring to mind an Art Deco style. And exactly this idea – to apply classic gemstone cutting to other materials – gave Saskia Diez the impulse in 2006 to create her own independent label.
She gave the unusual bracelets to her husband Stefan Diez – one of the most successful furniture designers in Germany – for decoration purposes for his exhibition at the Cologne furniture fair. A client from New York discovered the pieces – and put in an order. Her first collection was an unexpected success.
Today, more than 30 of her collections make a statement through understatement and are sold as far as the likes of Paris and Tokyo. A joint project with her husband is one of them: travel bags made of paper. They’re extremely light and yet very robust as well as tear-resistant and water-resistant owing to the special paper “Tyvek” which is also used for envelopes. In 2010 they received the German Design Award for it.
Saskia Diez’s approach seems impressively simple, yet a lot of thought goes into each and every piece. Ingenuity is always part of her game and the highest quality is at the forefront at all times. The 36-year-old sketches her first ideas at her antique desk in the room next to the showroom. At the workbench opposite the desk shapes of her first drafts come to life. “My jewellery is very personal. Each piece starts with a dialogue I lead with myself,” she says.
The Munich-born designer’s style has caught on. Gone are the days where she served as embellishment for her husband who she has three children with and who works on his projects in the rear of the house. Family and career, creativity and down-to-earthness. Saskia Diez skilfully combines seeming contradictions – in her work as well as in real life.