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Objects & Inspirations

An Interview with Yael Sonia

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Q. What excites you most about jewelry?

Not only is the jewel itself precious, but the very act of giving jewelry is precious, so the combination for me is just wonderful.

Q. Is there a piece of jewelry that has meant the most to you?

When I was 12, my aunt passed away and I inherited her necklace. I’ll never forget the comfort I felt wearing that little gem on my neck—it was a constant reminder of how treasurable life is. I realized then that jewelry had the potential of carrying a deeper meaning than any other object.

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Q. How do you integrate jewelry into your own wardrobe?

I enjoy mixing and matching my jewelry and I often dress in black or other neutrals, leaving color to my jewels. I love Sonia Pinto’s meticulous tailoring and slightly avant-garde style.

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Q. While you split your time between New York, Paris, and São Paulo, it's São Paulo that is your home base. What are some of your favorite places in the city?

I've always been interested in art, as my parents are devoted collectors. Avenida Paulista, one of the most important avenues in the city, is home to several cultural institutions including one of my favorites, the fine art museum MASP. I also love Dan Galeria, which showcases brilliant Brazilian artists such as Candido Portinari, Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, Alfredo Volpi, and Jesús Rafael Soto. On my days off, I enjoy strolling around Beco do Batman in the Vila Madalena. The alley is filled with edgy street art that’s constantly changing. And finally, Santo Grão café is a great neighborhood hangout, with the best macchiatos and delicious local pineapple, ginger and honey juice.

Q. Who are some of your all-time favorite artists?

Francesco Clemente, Lucian Freud and Arnaldo Pomodoro.

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Q. In addition to metalsmithing you studied literature in school. What are some of your favorite books?

Le Ravissement de Lol V Stein by Marguerite Duras and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I also love the catalogue from Francesco Clemente's 1999 retrospective at the Guggenheim, which has a-one-of-a-kind embroidered cover.

Q. What is happiness for you?

Being with loved ones, hearing children laugh and feeling inspired.

Q. What is your motto?

Failure is not trying.

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