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This weekend, the jewelry designer Jade Trau will open her first boutique in Southampton. Finding the space, as the New York native describes, was a bit of kismet. “When I visited Sag Harbor last summer, there wasn’t one fine jewelry store in the whole area,” she said. “I want to create a place that brings the easiness of everyday jewelry to the Hamptons.”
As of tonight, that space will do just that, hosting the community to an elegant experience of exploration, discovery, and craft. Against a neutral palette of earth tones, visitors can explore Trau’s signature designs—including stacking diamond rings, chain necklaces, and bestselling charms—and completely immerse themselves in the world of fine metals and precious gemstones.
While enjoying cocktails and spirited conversation, the boutique’s first visitors this weekend will also have the opportunity to participate in a complimentary piercing event, featuring New York-based piercer Southundre.
In celebration of tonight’s opening, Whitewall spoke with Trau about this milestone, designing with nostalgia in mind, and what’s found in her personal jewelry collection.
WHITEWALL: Can you tell us about your new store in the Hamptons, opening this summer? What will be offered here?
JADE TRAU: We are excited to finally have a place to showcase the breadth of our collection in one spot. The store is going to be filled with our Jade Trau bestselling charms, diamond earrings, stacking diamond rings, iconic bracelets and loads of delicious Italian made chains that we very carefully select and customize, then add our signature diamond details. We are also so pumped to be offering our earrings as piercing earrings with our talented co-collaborating piercer, Soulthunder.
We will have many of our signature earrings including our zodiac studs available for piercing and as a regular ear stacking story as well. We also will use this beautiful opportunity to work with our clients on bespoke items and some killer restyling projects. I am going to be working from the store the whole summer so it will be a great way for me to personally interact with the community.
WW: How does the space communicate similar details seen in your jewelry?
JT: I really wanted to create a space that felt authentic to the town and at the same time was able to speak to the particulars of the Jade Trau aesthetic. We kept and restored the shingles on the wall and worked to complement and elevate the natural light from the skylight and wrap around windows. The space is everything that you need to make the jewelry look its best, paying attention to all the details. I worked with a wonderful designer named Tom Pulk who is a master of understanding the flow a retail space and completely took my vision to another level, focusing on simplicity with shapes and comfort—almost exactly like my philosophy with with jewelry.
I design around the diamond and make sure that everything I make is comfortable and wearable. We also want it our space to feel totally welcoming for everyone and have the cutest mini sitting area for kids in the front of the store to color while mom and/or dad are shopping and chatting.
WW: You launched three new collections over the course of the past year, two of which happened before the pandemic really took its toll. What did these collections entail?
JT: At the start of the year, we formally debuted “Harlow” which was our nod to the roaring ‘20s—platinum and squarish in its nature and a little fancier than the usual Jade Trau feel.
A couple of months later we put “Tatum” out, our unisex gold collection. It's so easy to wear and layers perfectly with our signature Jade Trau pieces or on it's own—totally unassumingly. And then we had “Victoria” mid-year—charms and chains and great storytelling moments.
WW: Several Jade Trau collections are out now, like "Penelope," "Celestial," and "Forget-Me-Not." The latter is an ode to bygone designs, like cufflinks with ID bars ready to be engraved and loop-hook necklaces that can hold charms. Why was this nostalgic collection one you wanted to present?
JT: I have loved vintage jewelry for as long as I can remember, but I always seemed to gravitate towards smaller, less desirable items that were deeply engraved or very well worn. Years ago when I started a collection of these little objects, I started thinking about how I could honor what I loved but transform them into the modern sentiment of Jade Trau so they could layer with our signature diamond style. I really felt like the marriage of the more diamond heavy styles with the gold/diamond/vintage feel would create an iconic look that is all our own.
WW: What is your favorite design from the past you wanted to embrace and recreate here?
JT: Well, we are working on a new collection called Poppy that will hopefully launch in the next couple of months but has been a bit delayed due to the store opening! As a small team of 7 women, we are working triple time to keep up with all the incredible jewelry we have been asked to make for our clients. That said, if I had to pick a piece from the past that I would want to embrace, it would certainly be the chandelier earring. It's an earring moment that seems to have evaded me in the main and a silhouette I'd like to explore more.
WW: What does your personal jewelry collection look like?
JT: It's a mix of random vintage pieces, sentimental bat mitzvah jewelry, repurposed diamond pieces that feel like an extension of me, and some beads and very very old ivory bangles of my grandmother.
WW: What jewelry do you wear every day?
JT: My regular wardrobe is my carina diamond heart pendant layered with my engraved fob key and crescent charm on a Penelope single station necklace. Usually, another chain or two and a diamond riviera is thrown into the mix. My wrist story includes my cherished custom Penelope bracelet I made myself as a fortieth birthday present last year from a collection of unused diamonds from a small parcel my grandfather cut many years ago. I layer it with a skinny diamond bangle, a hook bracelet, and a typset bracelet that I almost prefer without engraving on it.
I wear around 16 rings a day that range from classic JT collection items to custom pieces and deeply sentimental items. My wardrobe also includes having an array of earrings in my 4 ear piercings that change all the time. I plan to have several more by the end of the summer courtesy of Soulthunder.
WW: What are you working on next?
JT: A new collection called “Poppy” that I probably shouldn't even hint to yet because it still feels like it's in its infancy stages. It's all about the poppy flower and also happens to be what my grandfather was affectionately called. Otherwise, my eye are set on this store opening and all the excitement around it. I really want to feel like our store is adding to the village at large and we are excited for all of the opportunities to come as we start on this new adventure!