Interviews

EVERYTHING BUT THE JEWELLERY: ANISSA KERMICHE

Anissa Kermiche. We’re quite sure you’ll know the name by now, but if you haven’t, you can thank us later for helping you avoid that awkward ‘You haven’t heard of Anissa Kermiche?!!!’ moment when asking your friend where her kick-ass sculptural gold earrings are from.

Kermiche is the designer on everyone’s lips: since the launch of her ‘paniers Dorés’ earrings (which you’ll have seen on every stylish woman with her jewellery wits about her) and her genius ‘body language’ and ‘tatouage’ collections, she’s been catapulted into the jewellery limelight. And it’s no surprise, either: she’s the woman who’s given ruby her boobies and made the menage a trois the mark of a chic woman (we’re talking pearls not people, thank you very much.) But way, way above and beyond her cheeky humour and boundary-pushing body parts (which, by the way, is a reflection of her sweet and sassy nature) Anissa simply knows what we want to wear now, and next season, and the season after that.

Behind the jewellery, though, there is an enviably beautiful, savvy and insanely stylish woman who’s taste in iconic bags and artful interiors we couldn’t help but be mesmerised by. So, we dug deeper than the earrings, deeper even than the morse code of her ‘love is blind’ collection, to find out about her style, her hopes, and the certificate 15 things that her favourite accessories have seen.

Q. Your jewellery designs are playful and tongue-in-cheek: do you want people to have fun when wearing your pieces? Are they supposed to be a statement?

I do want to draw a smile on people’s faces. Jewellery is meant to be noticed. When I started, I thought that the fine jewellery world was a bit too serious and rusty and that someone needed to rock it a bit. I remember making a ring that looked like a saucepan, where I set the main diamond for my engagement ring project at university. Everyone laughed: I had reached my target.
I am often asked if my jewellery is a feminist statement, and to that question I answer ‘not really.’ I feel like feminism has lost its meaning. What is being a feminist nowadays? Getting all the advantages from both sexes? My jewellery is simply massively FEMININE. Circular shapes keep coming back as the symbol of womanhood.

There is a message, or at least an attempt to portray something behind all of the pieces. My jewellery adventure is a celebration of womanhood, and what could be more feminine and empowering than wearing jewellery? The rubies boobies with rubies in the nipples or Precieux Pubis with a Onyx set between the legs portray, for me, how precious your womanhood is.

Q. Did you grow up / were you handed down any pieces that, in particular, inspired you to design your own line?

I had a very strict upbringing. I was not really allowed to wear my dream pieces, and thank god for that: I would have looked like a christmas tree. My ultimate dream was to wear that black plastic choker we all wore in the 80s but my Mum thought it wasn’t appropriate. It probably explains why I redesigned it 15 years later covered with 1500 diamonds.

Q. Your designs are pretty quirky - would you say the same of your own style? How would you describe your style?

Yes: I am quite adventurous with the pieces I wear. I particularly love sculptural shapes, hence why I always invest in shoes with a crazy heel or clutches with funny shapes. But as time passes I’d say I am becoming more (a bit too much) street and comfortable. Running your business is like having kids: you are not going to wander around all day in heels and makeup. I am starting to have a wide collection of Doc Martens, which to me act as mini mattresses for my feet, jeans and oversized tops. I always add a feminine touch to it: lace sleeves under a sleeveless hoodie, fishnets socks with flair pants.

Q. What would be your one piece of advice when investing in jewellery?

I will quote a line from ‘why men marry bitches’: have a pair of gold hoops! Apparently that’s what turns men on the most! I personally don’t have one and I don’t wear earrings as pairs but mismatched. I think wearing one midi ring by itself is quite cool, and stacking loads on the other hand. Having a good necklace you can wear on a daily basis with a symbolic sign or medal is quite chic. I am so bored with girls who wear this diamond solitaire pendant with a pair of pearl earrings: zzzzzzzz. The more the merrier! I must inherit this from my Arabic background. I think mixing timeless precious pieces with fashion or tribal jewellery makes the difference: it tells your story and says who you are by showing the styling choices you have made.

Q. If, for a day, you could design accessories other than jewellery, what would you design?

Oh so much! I find it so frustrating you have to choose one subject and stick to it. I can’t wait for my next life to try being a shoe designer, and the one after to be a doctor, and the one after a cake designer. Joking, but not so much, I recall a couple of weeks in my life where I researched a lot on these famous starred chefs who collaborate with designers for the craziest cakes ever.

Q. When it comes to your interiors, do you prefer looking at antiques or new pieces? Where do you shop?

I never, ever stop shopping and changing my place - it is a sickness. I should be an interior designer to be able to shop for other people but instead I’ll buy a chandelier and then fall in love with another one 3 months later and change it! My beautiful sofa comes from the Conran Shop, where I’ve found a lot of little gems. My other favourite place is Sunbury Antique Market, running one every other Tuesday in Middlesex, where all the small antique shops source their own stuff. I get so excited every time I arrive - it is really a treasure hunt! I also love shopping around Pimlico Road, or at least window shopping - the furniture there is really expensive and I am the bargaining kind. If I invest a lot, it will be in a new piece. When it comes to vintage, I won’t spend thousands but instead I will go for the rusty cabinet that I will spend time refurbishing and making my own.

Q. We know you did a collab with the brilliant Zoe Karssen. For the next one, ff you could collaborate with any designer / artist / person in the world, who would be your ultimate?

I would love to collaborate with the lamp designer Lee Broom - I am obsessed with his work. His shop in Shoreditch is a work of art and everything about his aesthetic makes me absolutely dream.
If I picked a fashion designer, it would be Jacquemus for so many reasons. Not only because he is a true inspiration for me, but also because I think he celebrates women like no one else. The geometry in his designs and how he manages to mismatch shoes for example, are just up my strasse!

Q. Tell us the funniest thing that each of your favourite accessories has seen (funny memories that they have been a part of, such as hilarious nights out, special views or sights on holiday, etc...!)

Loewe elephant bag : his name is Ernest Hemingway, he was gifted to me for my birthday this year. We’ve been having loads of fun since, he went with me to Berghain in Berlin, and enjoyed himself very much!

Loewe Shoes : I gave a lot of kisses wearing these shoes, single ladies  Loewe!
Vetements Boots: The heeled shiny green socks helped me get the full last minute Xmas tree look for a Halloween party where I didn’t know how to dress as I was too busy with work to take care of it. I wore a green catsuit, the boots, and wrapped myself with xmas lights from the corner shop downstairs. Maxi effect!

Yo Suzi Hat : This one stands in my bedroom on this mannequin chest all day and doesn’t need to go out to see action as singing attempts in front of the mirror or dance moves on african music when my girlfriends come for a sleepover.

Shot by Danny Qazi @shotsbydq

Just when you thought it was all over...

*If I were a bag, I'd be... A charlotte Olympia book clutch
*If I were a shoe, I'd be... a pair of pink Docs
*If I were one of my jewellery pieces, I'd be... Precieux Pubis
*Boobies or bum? Boobs
*Piercing or tattoo? Piercing clearly!
*Trousers or skirt? Skirt
*Minimal or maximal? Depends on the mood
*Dinner or rave? Why chose? Dinner followed by rave
*Gucci or Vetements? Vetement boots!!!!
*Early morning or sleep in? Early morning
*Burger or green juice? Double cheese burger with Bacon