Designer and Communications Executive
Switzerland-based designer and communications executive Orianne Collins has channeled her talents for the last decade into the support of philanthropic causes, most notably the Little Dreams Foundation, for which she is chairman and co-founder, and No Difference. Both programs help gifted children. She recently launched her own jewelry company, The Right Label, for individuals who want to customize their fine jewelry. And this year she becomes the first jewelry designer for Swiss watch brand Bedat. Elite Traveler met with Orianne in Las Vegas this summer to preview her jewelry creations for both companies, and to learn more about the inspiration behind her personal designs.
ET: How did jewelry become a part of your life?
Orianne Collins: I was traveling in France on holiday and thought, How could I have a picture of my children engraved on a precious stone? So the first process for me was to create a ring with my son’s face engraved onto a diamond and precious stones. That was three years ago.
ET: When did jewelry become a business?
Orianne Collins: For all women, when you go to a party or out for a special evening, there is nothing worse than another woman dressing like you. So I created the brand The Right Label so clients can customize everything. And there will only be three identical pieces ever sold per country in order to make it remain special. And the customization process means you are wearing something that is you. Usually, when you go into a jewelry boutique, the only question to answer is the size. But with my jewelry company The Right Label, you can make it all, and you can do it either in a store or on the web site. We tested The Right Label concept two years ago in Geneva, and then launched the full collection this spring in Basel, for men, women, children, and body piercing, with pieces incorporating diamonds and precious stones.
ET: When someone places a custom order, how long must they wait before their jewelry is complete?
Orianne Collins: Six weeks from the order date. For the precious stone engravings, a customer can send a picture and the artisan in France will engrave the portrait onto a gold or platinum ring, and the client’s chosen surrounding stones and even initials of children can be added to the sides. The process is the same for men’s cufflinks, and in addition to their children’s images they can feature their cars, yachts, or even cat!
ET: How did you join with watchmaker Bedat to design its first jewelry collection?
Orianne Collins: Last December they said they wanted to do their first jewelry pieces and approached me. First, there would be a bracelet suitable for everyday wearing, made in yellow or white gold. Then I created the Couture collection. For it, clients can also choose their stones, though the examples that are on display here feature brown diamonds or multi-colored pearls. Bedat’s “8” shape logo is incorporated into all the pieces because eight is a lucky number, so it makes sense and is very powerful.
ET: How else has design been important to you?
Orianne Collins: When I was younger I wanted to become a fashion designer, but sewing school was not my cup of tea. So I studied management instead and headed a communications agency in Geneva for the last 15 years. Then I decided that now is the time to create my own label. My company is based in Geneva, with jewelry made in Italy and metal engraving done in Germany.
ET: And are your children still inspiring your jewelry designs?
Orianne Collins: I have two kids and they like the company, especially the web site! On the site, our virtual woman, “Stella,” helps you choose the perfect product. She is blond, and we thought men would even try to customize her, so when you click her she “tsks” and shakes her finger. And the kids love it because when you don’t click on the site for a long time, Stella knocks on the screen. Additionally, I also have a collection for children of angels. When you give an angel piece to them, the children are guarded.
ET: Which other designers do you admire today?
Orianne Collins: For a long time I have admired Giorgio Armani. He is a fantastic person with a lot of charisma, and he knows how to make a man or a woman look gorgeous. I also used to design for Van Cleef & Arpels, and I admire that brand. Bedat is great because no one did any jewelry design for the company previously, so it’s a great challenge for me to do so. When I presented in Basel, even more people asked if I could design for them too. People are always looking for something new and different. For Bedat’s collection, I am involved from A to Z, I even chose the stones (and I love the chocolate pearls).
ET: Have you taken any elite trips recently that you would recommend?
Orianne Collins: I went to Mustique, which was very special, and I rented a fantastic villa. I also took my sons to Egypt because they were studying the history of the region. We went inside a pyramid! And in the South of France we all stay in villas, which the kids like. Finally, we took a trip to Kenya and went on safari, staying at Cottar’s cottage.
For more information on Orianne Collins’ designs for The Right Label, visit www.rightlabel.com, and for more on Bedat, visit www.bedat.com.