Pieces Of Me… Yvonne Léon
“Every woman from all generations inspires me - I want to embellish women.” ~ Yvonne Léon
This series is a dedication to the things that are most important to us. To the heirlooms (and memories they hold) that we wear on repeat; that we’ll cherish forever; that become part of us.
In homage to the fine jewellery designers whose pieces bring us so much joy, we’re taking a closer look at their lives through an intimate lens, gaining a sentimental snapshot of their personal stories and what’s most important to them.
Yvonne Léon is no stranger to dazzling, special objects, having been surrounded by them throughout her childhood. Although starting her career as a style editor and fashion stylist, luckily for us, the curious creative realised her calling was in the rare, the unexpected and the precious. Read on to discover what’s precious to her…
"For me, Haussmann's Parisian mouldings are the perfect combination of antique and contemporary."
"My favourite painting from Willem de Kooning."
"I’m always surrounded by flowers. Mimosas are my favourite."
"My De Sede DS-600 sofa. I love the shape - it inspired the Berlingot ring."
What was your route into design and how did you begin the brand?
Since childhood, I’ve always loved jewellery because I belong to a family of jewellers. In the ‘70s, my father created the famous ear jacket silhouette for my mother. To begin with, I started to create jewellery for my personal desires but then it became clear that I needed to create my own eponymous brand.
Who or what inspires you? What drives your creativity?
Inspiration is everywhere. Going to a museum to see a great exhibition inspires me most, as well as holidays in beautiful countries where I can discover new things.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A fashion designer with a clothing brand.
One thing you can’t live without?
A ring on my pinkie finger, it’s become a habit. I think it’s very chic and I love playing with it.
What piece of clothing/accessory/jewellery makes you feel most like yourself?
Handbags make me feel more like myself. I have an addiction for bags, especially vintage ones.
What is your greatest piece of treasure?
My son, Simon.
"The sea is my element. It helps me recharge the batteries and find peace and wisdom."
"I have an addiction to palm trees."
"My vintage Dolphin pendant from Cartier which I bought for my birthday."
"I love collecting shells, it’s a talisman for me."
Which piece of jewellery do you wear the most?
My heart bangle never leaves me. It’s very comfortable, cool and classic at the same time. It goes with everything and adds a touch of unconventional romanticism.
Belle du Seigneur, by Albert Cohen.
I like every kind of movie, such as La Môme by Olivier Dahan or also movies like Pulp Function.
Which three albums would you take on a desert island?
21 by Adèle, Ben by Michael Jackson, Just as I Am by Bill Withers.
If you could live in any era, what would it be?
I would love to live in the ‘30s - known as “Les années folles” - because women were feminine, elegant, and limitless.
Do you have any hobbies?
I never stop creating more and more jewellery. In my (rare) free time, I love walking through Paris and drinking coffee in Parisian bistros. I also like going to vintage shops and flea markets because it gives me inspiration.
Where's your favourite place in the world?
Every beach, with beautiful turquoise water and palm trees, especially in the south of France.
“I love art, especially this neon message of love from Tracey Emin.”
"My photos of The Beatles follow me everywhere."
"Rose is my favourite fragrance and this Frédéric Malle does it best."
"This is my everyday wake up mood.”
What makes you laugh?
What makes you cry?
A sad movie or melancholic song.
Do you have any phobias?
Being stuck in an elevator.
If you could ask anyone a question, who would you ask, and what would you ask?
My paternal grandmother who I never had the chance to know. My father gave me her name to honour her. I would like to ask her if I wear her name well.
What do you need more time for?
To fulfill all my work, so I can end my workday and spend more time with my son and the people I love.
An event you wish you'd witnessed?
I would have loved to be at a Nirvana concert to see Kurt Cobain live.
What's your idea of happiness?
At the beach, under palm trees and blue sky, surrounded by people that I love.
Interview by Sophy Davis Russell
Pieces Of Me… Otiumberg
Pieces Of Me… CC-Steding
24 Hours With… LOLA MAYERAS
See All The Features: