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Exquisite jewels in the art of designer earrings

ACTRESS Katie Holmes was seen leaving high end retailer Barneys New York on the way to her own brand event recently. But the hot topic in New York fashion circles last month was that she was wearing a stunning pair of maple leaf earrings from Cindy Chao.

Many might not be familiar with Cindy Chao, the gorgeous Taiwanese designer whose art jewels have been consistently sought by private collectors, celebrities and Hollywood stars since her brand was founded in 2004.

Q: We love your design aesthetic of high class, feminine, exquisite, and experimental. Can you comment on your own artistic and design style, your inspirations and concepts? A: Growing up in an artistic family, I was always surrounded by creativity. My grandfather was a renowned architect who designed and built traditional temples across Taiwan, and my father is a sculptor.

While I had always dreamed of becoming an architect, it was actually my mother who introduced me to the world of jewelry - she passed a ruby ring to me and said "since you love to design, why not help me re-design this ring."

As soon as I took a piece of wax and started to sculpt out my ideas, my mind instantly became the wax itself, and guided my hands to carve the wax to be exactly what I envisioned with all my sentiments. I knew at that moment that this was what I wanted to do all my life.

Q: Your art jewelry seems to be a real hit in the celebrity circle. Who are your loyal followers? Since you only release 36 one-of-a-kind masterpieces once a year, how could you meet the demand?

A: I was actually really surprised when the style and fashion websites in New York started discussions with posted photos of Katie Holmes wearing my Maple Leaves Earrings to her own brand event. I have heard and read that Queen Rania of Jordan is also a collector of mine. It is a huge compliment and driving force for me knowing that my Art Jewels have been collected by such global influencers.

Q: Why did you choose the butterfly as your signature design? A: Butterflies have always been a favorite of mine. I love the fact that even though their lifespan is short, they express their beauty to the fullest.

Q: Is there a fine art jewelry artist who has profoundly impacted your work? A: I truly believe that every artist has his or her unique perspective of the world. Personally I look up to master painters and architects such as Vincent Van Gogh and Antonio Gaudi for inspiration.

Q: Where can Chinese consumers view and even purchase your creations? Any plans for further expansion - especially on the Chinese mainland?

A: For the past year, we have been hosting exclusive private viewings in both Beijing and Shanghai. Our White Label collections have been very well received in internationally renowned luxury boutiques such as Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Selfridges in London.

We are currently planning to open our first global concept store in Beijing within the year, which I am very thrilled about.


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