By Carly Klein
DAVIDOR, the contemporary French jewelry house, just debuted a pop-up shop at Bal Harbour Shops. We caught up with 29-year-old founder David Gusky—who goes by the sobriquet DAVIDOR—to get a preview of what’s in store at the new boutique.
At what point did you realize you wanted to dive into the world of jewelry, let alone create your own brand?
Although I never considered myself an artist, I always wanted to create something beautiful. Since a very young age, I dreamed of establishing a luxury brand that reflected my passion for craftsmanship and my appreciation for exceptional quality. I had a vision of what I wanted to create and the product that I felt could translate that vision most elegantly was jewelry. Jewelry was not a completely foreign art form to me—my parents were in the fine jewelry business and I grew up surrounded by creative minds and master jewelers. DAVIDOR is destined to become a story of generations—a story that my parents shared with me and a story that I intend to share with others.
Can you explain the architectural inspiration for the brand’s arch motif?
I fell in love with Andrea Palladio’s renowned arch that he used in his 16th century Villas of Veneto and specifically those seen in Vicenza, Italy. Frequently visiting Vicenza at a young age, I became infatuated with the beauty and the shape of the pure arch—the support it provides to grand historic villas and the symbolic role that it plays in the passing of time. As I would look through the arch, I would see the beautiful rolling hills and the meticulous gardens that defined the landscape of the region. Over the course of my travels through Europe, my fascination with the arch continued to grow. I realized that each arch has its own story to tell: the arches of Place Vendôme, the arches of the arcades of Rue Rivoli, the arches of villas in Portofino and Capri, the list goes on. Each arch has its own soul, its own history, its own personality. I knew the arch was the right iconic image for DAVIDOR because it is something that is both recognizable and relatable. It is literal and metaphorical, concrete and abstract. It lends a soul and provides support to every structure.
What jewelry pieces should every Bal Harbour shopper be on the lookout for?
I think the L’Arc de DAVIDOR Collection is very “Bal Harbour”. It’s a collection that is crafted with exceptional quality in the finest materials—18k gold, lacquered ceramic, and diamonds. The collection’s sixteen unique colors of lacquered ceramic make it playful and versatile; it is easy to wear from day to night and it is meant to be collected and stacked. I think our signature bangles will be something for the Bal Harbour shoppers to look out for, allowing them to curate a collection of their own over time.
How do you weave your travel experiences into the identity of the DAVIDOR brand?
Travel has always been an essential source of inspiration for me, personally and professionally. DAVIDOR’s DNA and collections are heavily influenced by the memories of my travels. In fact, I can trace each color, piece, and collection back to the architectures, landscapes, and cultures of certain regions. L’Arc Voyage is a collection inspired specifically by travel. As you travel around the world, you discover a new narrative, a distinct story that unravels through each and every arch that you find. L’Arc Voyage is like the DAVIDOR lens; it is the lens through which I have always viewed the world.
Can you share the inspiration behind the Bal Harbour Shops boutique?
Bal Harbour Shops is an inspiration in itself! Because of the Shops’ homage to the lush local landscape, we are having fun with the tropical temperament of the place and the space. While our space will incorporate our Maison’s DNA by highlighting our strong Bordeaux color palette, we will certainly be playing with the ambiance of our sultry surroundings. Because it is a Pop-Up, we want to have a bit of fun with the shop, so we’ll be experimenting with something new, while remaining on brand with our Parisian roots and color codes.
As an expert in the jewelry world and growing up watching your family build a successful fine jewelry business, what makes DAVIDOR so unique?
DAVIDOR’s uniqueness, in my opinion, stems from its architectural design inspiration and its exceptional French craftsmanship. Each piece is crafted by master jewelers as if it were a high jewelry piece, even though it is intended to be worn daily. DAVIDOR is playful, but precious.
Enlighten us on the design process of one of your most prized pieces?
Each piece of DAVIDOR begins with an inspiration that is personal to me and that inspiration is translated on to paper as a croqui or sketch, which is then hand painted as a traditional gouache. From there, we begin the development phase, choosing the materials (18k gold, platinum, diamonds or gemstones, etc.) and begin to craft the piece. The design and development phases are quite long and require a lot of patience to bring the piece to life.
What is the go-to DAVIDOR gift?
At DAVIDOR, there is a gift for everyone. In my opinion, L’Arc de DAVIDOR ring is the perfect gift for any woman or man. Offered in three distinct size models (PM, MM, GM), three colors of 18k gold, sixteen colors of lacquered ceramic, and several diamond options, there’s a ring for everyone! Our other go-to gift is L’Arc Voyage bracelet. With a wide range of options that span silk cord colors, 18k gold colors, and diamond patterns, L’Arc Voyage bracelet is a unisex piece that a person can really live in.
What is your fondest memory with Bal Harbour Shops?
I have many fond memories of Bal Harbour Shops that date back to my childhood. I loved the lush gardens, the peaceful koi ponds and the eccentric turtles. I was always mesmerized by the juxtaposition of the brands’ unique interior atmospheres and the exotic environment of the Shops’ exterior. Being in the Bal Harbour Shops is a full sensory experience.