Hubert Burda Media

Diamonds, Pearls and Gold, oh my! with Sophie Bille Brahe

Copenhagen-based jewellery designer Sophie Bille Brahe breaks the mould with her understated and exceptionally elegant pieces. 

Sophie Bille Brahe has been around since 2011, but if you’re not yet familiar with this fine-jewellery designer, then you need to be, pronto. Early last year, Bille Brahe got her big break when she teamed up with Sacai – a hip fashion label launched by Japanese designer Chitose Abe – on a 10-piece capsule collection of chic earrings made from yellow gold, diamonds and pearls: what a combination!

The collection, which was a huge success, earned this down-to-earth designer a new following of savvy online shoppers and street-style stars. Pieces from the collaboration, (they were snapped up in an instant) were stocked at trendy shopping destinations such as Net-A-Porter.com and Lane Crawford Hong Kong.

As we approach a brand-new season, Bille Brahe’s fine jewellery line for autumn/winter 2017 carries forward the designer’s minimalist and elegant-but-edgy aesthetic. When paired with casual wear, her versatile jewellery pieces still stand out. Just take a look at her official portrait shot (on the opposite page) where she rocks her rings and stunning Croissant de Lune earring.

Another piece that caught our eye recently? The delicate Kelly Diamant (single) earring made with yellow gold, a pearl and a diamond.

When did you start creating jewellery?

I just did it from when I was very young. I would always do [chandelier earrings]. I would do everything. Even the school I went to, they could see that I needed to use my hands in a different way other than painting or with clay. When I was 14 years old they actually did a special workshop for me where I could do jewellery setting. I don’t feel like it was ever a choice, it’s just simply been a way for me to, somehow, do things. When I was 16, I would do little pearl earrings that all my mum’s girlfriends started to buy. So I’ve always done this.

Kelly Diamant Earring

Describe your pieces.

For me, it’s minimalist and it’s always been very much about using these very precious metals and stones in a way where they wouldn’t be like a hard-core status symbol, it would be like, you know, it’s the beauty of the stone, the exclusiveness of the stone.

Tell us about the collaboration that you did with Sacai last year.

The whole collection was made out of the two pieces that Abe had bought and loved. She told me the collection was about deconstruction and movement, so it was actually quite easy to work on pieces that were my own, but got a few [descriptive] words from Sacai to kind of like make it a mix. I’m really happy about that collection because I feel like it was really coherent. It was clear that it was my product but also very clear that it was Sacai.

How does your background influence your designs?

I come from a very old Danish family, so I grew up knowing a lot of stories about my ancestors. Coming from an old family makes it sometimes easier to actually know stories about everything. So I think having that love for stories is important for me. I’ve been brought up in a country where craftsmanship is very important and it’s very loved. 

There are a lot of fine-jewellery brands out there, but you manage to do something totally different from everyone else.

I’ve always really tried to be very aware of what other people do and try to do what I want to do and not think about the trends right now. The reason I started working with pearls was because there were no pearls that I wanted to wear. For me, the pearl is a little bit like a baby. Obviously not the same, but it has the same kind of magic feel to me. This is why I started working on pearls.