Maria Tash, New York-based luxury jewelry designer and retailer, celebrated its first West Coast location on Melrose Place with an opening event on September 21. The event gave a look at its latest collections and a tour of the store. Maria Tash offers high-end, classic jewelry—best known for its earrings—and a myriad of piercings. Tash, the company’s founder, has been in the jewelry business since 1993, and created the ‘Curated Ear’ concept, customized piercings designed to the wearer’s ears and style, and also popularized the ‘threaded’ earring backing and ‘invisible set diamond’ styles. Recently, Maria Tash released its Mohawk collection, inspired by the ‘80s punk scene, and the Faceted collection, which draws on the silhouettes of stilettos. We talked to Tash about the art of ear curation, the West Coast and its influence, and the new collections.
The MARIA TASH ear curation and in-house piercing is an experience like no other. What is the most important aspect to you about the MARIA TASH experience? What do you hope your visitors and customers take home with them?
We pride ourselves on delivering a personalized experience for each client. Our stylists are trained to consider skin tone, anatomy, personal style aesthetics, and any prominent visual features to carefully advise on jewelry selection. I design with the highest quality stones and finest materials, taking great care to ensure the pieces are comfortable, like a second skin, and are eye-catching from all angles. When it comes to piercing, we are experts. We use state-of-the-art modern piercing equipment, tools, and sterilization, as well as my forward-facing piercing method. I have even developed patented piercing placements that one can only get in our stores. Our customers leave knowing they have received the most elevated shopping and piercing experience.
What inspired the new Mohawk and Faceted collection?
The Mohawk collection was inspired by the hairstyle that I sported in the 80s, and it marries the aesthetic of the era’s punk scene with modern-day innovative engineering and precision technology. Peaks of updated spiked proportions repeat around the hoop mirroring the silhouette of the narrow, central strip of hair. For this collection, I introduced a unique new material, black moissanite, which has superior light return, similar to that of a white diamond. I faceted the spikes and contrasted them with four rows of prong-set white diamonds that mimic the shaved, bleached sides of the head when I had my mohawk.
The Faceted Spikes combine the angled edges of the long sword shape with inspiration from the sleek profile of my most loved stiletto. This 3-D design features an interesting triangular shaped ring with the spikes recessed seamlessly. The planes of the metal allow for beautiful light reflection from all angles, which I love.
Can you describe the person you have in mind when designing? What do they do, what are there hopes, dreams, aspirations, and aura like?
I don’t design with gender in mind and my stores have never separated jewelry into male and female assortments. I think this stems from a background in the body jewelry world where men and women were equally interested, especially in the 1990s. I just think about what designs I would love to see come to life, and are functional, comfortable, and beautiful. Each piece of jewelry is ultimately unique to the wearer. It's not about masculinity or femininity, it’s about personal style and how one resonates with each piece. Regardless of gender, people are styling themselves with earrings in more unusual locations more than ever before.
I have noticed that a lot of our clients in their mid 30s-40s are self-purchasing. They are at the height of their professional careers and earning the most they ever have and want to do something for themselves.
MARIA TASH Los Angeles Store just opened this summer, and it is beautiful! What can you share about having this West Coast expansion, and how might it influence your brand and your creations?
I have wanted to open in Los Angeles for many years. Los Angeles is such an important city — its impact on the world through its style, movie production, and the tastemakers who live and create there make it interesting and fun. I chose Melrose Place because it is an upscale, designer small enclave, and the location we found has multiple floors and is a uniquely shaped freestanding building. Having a store in Los Angeles will expand our reach and the selection in that store will definitely cater to the client in Hollywood.
What is something you are looking forward to, and what is something we can look forward to from MARIA TASH?
This month and next, I’ll be releasing new and strong collections that combine styles never seen before, interesting variations on my signature coronet style, charms, and studs, as well as unveiling a new type of ear piercing. I’m also excited for continued expansion of our retail footprint.