Introducing the wonderful Bernard Ungar, part of the husband-and-wife team behind fine jewellery designers Ungar & Ungar. He’s witty, kind and always has a smile on his face. What’s more, the jewellery he designs is absolutely gorgeous – after 5 generations of designing, the Ungar & Ungar team definitely know what women want! We caught up with Bernard to find out his plans for 2010 and beyond…
So Bernard, your rings are distinctly ‘deco’. The mill graining technique used in your designs is beautiful. Is such craftsmanship an integral part of what you do?
As a jewellery designer, I appreciate the skill required to produce this level of quality, of course such detail can only be achieved with skilled hand work.
And where did you draw influence from when designing your collections?
Five generations ago, my family set up shop in Eastern Europe and I look back to that time… It was important to me to recreate the most exacting Old World standards in the collection. I’m also influenced by the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods, which is evident in our Deco-style diamond Floral rings.
Is there anyone you would you love to see wearing your pieces?
It is always rewarding to see brides choosing Ungar & Ungar as wedding and engagement rings. I could say I would like to see Keira Knightley or any of the other actresses I admire wearing pieces from the collection but, in truth, I like to see women from this generation, without celebrity, showing off our designs and revelling in the luxury and elegance of their chosen piece.
You’re right – every woman who chooses Ungar are overjoyed to wear the rings! So for you, what has been your favourite item of jewellery you’ve created?
I particularly like a tiara we designed. It converts into a necklace and bracelet. It took a long time to conceptualise and works beautifully. We like it to think it would be an heirloom for families to pass on or use for those special life moments. Recently I created a beautiful setting for a breath-taking emerald-cut Aquamarine; it is totally regal but easy to wear.
Sounds stunning… So dare we ask, what do you love most about EC One?
Your passion and modern approach!
Thanks! And talking of modern, what plans do you have for Ungar & Ungar during 2011?
We’re hoping to develop some of the styles to offer the same precision and detail, but with a more modern twist. I’m excited to see the response we get to this!
When it comes to jewellery, who is your favourite designer?
Rene Lalique… Early Cartier too… But there are too many designers I admire to choose an overall favourite!
So, to round up… Tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise us?
We live with an African Grey Parrot and two Milk Snakes!
Bernards’ Quick Fire Questions!
Gold or Silver? Gold
Clean lines or quirky details? Detail – it’s all about detail
Favourite clothing designer? Coco Chanel
Childhood hero/idol? My dad
Most treasured possession? My family – nothing we own is more treasured than that!