Contemporary European Jewelry
Nikaia spotlights unique and innovative European lines befitting the upper segment of the US market. The artisans we represent focus on handmade jewelry with high quality materials and components. Scroll down to preview each line and the artist behind the look. When you’re ready click on the Shop button next to the line you’re interested in purchasing.
Coeur de Lion
Carola Eckrodt is the founder and chief designer of Coeur de Lion jewelry, which she started in 1987. A timeless collection of high quality bridge jewelry, it is entirely handcrafted in Stuttgart, Germany under Carola’s close supervision. Coeur de Lion epitomizes her passion for deep, luxurious colors, clean crisp designs, and unusual textures.
At the core of the creative process is Carola’s ingenious use of components. Swarovski® crystals, hand-finished two-tone glass, Polaris®, nappa leather, and Lucite® are crafted by master artisans and skillfully combined with stainless steel and anodized aluminum. In addition, her metal parts are expensively treated through an eloxation process. This is a bath in which the parts are dipped to lock the surface and protect against scarring. The components are then thickly plated in silver, rhodium and 24-karat gold. Drilling, rhodium-plating, alloying, anodising – the list of the special processing techniques she uses is long.
In the end what truly makes Coeur de Lion® exceptional is that it strongly appeals to distinctive women who have Classic Taste…with an Attitude©.
Laurent Guillot has a very strong background in the European luxury market. He has taken part in the creation of jewelry collections for Yves St Laurent, Chanel, Courrèges, Guy Laroche, Swarovski, and Baccarat. His current passion is bringing transparent Lucite® alive with hand-carved necklaces, rings, and bracelets. Laurent explores minimalism through dimension, scale, and volume.
Laurent’s training started in painting restoration. Consequently he had to master a range of techniques including painting, working with foil and gold leaf, and layering. He combines these techniques with transparency and his sense of proportion. The result is a line of very modern jewelry. It is bold, clean. And, the way it catches and reflects light projects a subtlety and strength.
Lucite® is different from resin in that it cannot be mass produced. The material has to be heated and manipulated by hand. Once the material has been individually shaped, each piece is finished with additional layers of color, paint or foil by hand. Because Laurent has been working in Lucite for so long, and is constantly experimenting, he has a technical expertise that very few others can attain.
Each piece is individually made by Laurent himself in his atelier, located in the Norman countryside. Since working with Lucite is time consuming, these pieces are limited edition. Some of Laurent Guillot’s earlier work has been auctioned off by the world’s leading auction houses.
Christina Brampti believes that there are many ways to view reality and her jewelry reflects that. Using a wide range of materials, she explores different ways of working with each one, resulting in a collection that embraces geometric minimalism, soft undulating shapes, and relaxed, urban cool.
She explores scale, using brushed aluminum tubes, both rounded and squared in different sizes, & combines them with cords of varying thickness and materials, including rubber, leather, nylon, tulle, elastic, and cotton.
Different techniques are used in the combination of cords, from tightly wrapping one cord around another to create texture to inserting smaller cords inside net tubing to add weight and visual interest.
Christina works with ceramic beads but also uses ceramic chain mail in strong colors which she also wraps around another cord.
Brampti creates linked circles using nylon tubes, combines a handful of net tubes with brushed aluminum clips, or mixes the tulle with transparent plexi chips to create an ethereal effect.
Her treatment of plexi starts w/ a sculpted geometric swirl, held by a fine rubber cord. From there, she plays with layering different colors of translucent and opaque plexi to create both radiating bands of color and bold circular pendants. And the plexi reappears as fluttering transparent chips when combined with tulle.
The designer’s workshop is located north of Athens.
Sandrine Giraud Creations
Sandrine Giraud Creations is a whimsical line created for the artistic woman who dresses with flair and isn’t shy about standing out from the crowd. As her line is extremely reliant on very difficult to master techniques, Sandrine individually makes every piece of jewelry in her Bordeaux workshop.
Sandrine Giraud started her career in the film industry as a costume and accessories designer, and was named the young artisan of Paris in 1996. It was that recognition that drove her to further develop her “variable” jewelry. The idea is to be able to “convert” the same necklace into many different looks through the careful bending and reshaping of the cables. She now has more than 120 different designs in her current collection, and she introduces more and more elements to enrich her core components.
Parisian designer Samuel Coraux is unlike any other in his trade. His passion for art and architecture translates seamlessly into his unconventional, yet brilliant pieces of colorful and comfortable jewelry. This designer lives to push the limit, as each new collection incorporates rubber and glass in wild shapes and a vivid palette.
Samuel Coraux lived in Japan for some years before moving back to France. While in Japan he studied the principles of material, color and movement, which then led to the eccentric collections that he displays today. European modernity meets strong contemporary ideas in Coraux’s studio, which is located in the heart of Paris. Behind his wire glasses are eyes that see the world just a bit differently than most of us, and it shows in his bold designs.
With the Klamir line designed and handcrafted by Mirella Foffano in Italy, it was love at first sight. The idea behind the creative approach was to somehow fuse a modern and contemporary material (VPC) with a highly traditional component (Murano Glass). What I find most innovative and fascinating is the technique Mirella uses to work the rubber – the twisting, braiding, cutting, bending, coiling – to create a collection both very architectural and astonishingly feminine.
Her designs are dramatic but not ostentatious, rich but not showy. The line is very sensual, the VPC soft against the skin. The Murano glass adds a tremendous dimension. With Mirella we created a special collection for the USA encompassing powerful pieces. Her casual designs and theatrical creations are versatile beauties easy to wear and easy to love.
Handcrafted by French artisan Thierry Joo, this collection is built around simple shapes and vibrant colors. Thierry is almost as much a chemist as he is a jewelry designer. The pigments are skillfully combined to achieve the exact shade desired. The epoxy is then brushed inside each individual receptacle and the necklaces become alive one color at a time, in a whimsical and happy kind of way. The collection includes necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. Thierry uses black oxide copper with a satin finish as his metal of choice but some pieces are also available in pewter.