Conversing with jewelry designer Gabriela Ramirez Michel is a pleasure and a joy. Gabriela approaches both jewelry design and life with the kind of exuberance and enthusiasm that we cannot muster without chemical interventions. Every word is a celebration, and this is apparent in her hand-sculpted jewelry, which is bursting with life and movement. Based in Mexico, Gabriela is entirely self-taught and finds inspiration all around her. For her latest collection, “Frida In Love,” Gabriela envisioned an “urban and chic” Frida Kahlo. It’s been a great month for Gabriela – you can see her Golden Butterfly Blooming ring on Kim Kardashian in the August issue of InStyle UK. A dreamer unlike any other, to own a Gabriela Ramirez Michel piece is to own a labor of love. For scene-stealing wearable sculptures, Gabriela Ramirez Michel is the crème de la crème.
- Hello Gabriela – can you please tell us a little more about yourself?
This might be the shortest Boticca designer interview because I think I am a kind of “primary woman,” like the colors. I do not like too many words, I sometimes feel lost in them. But, I can tell you that I am Mexican, my mother’s roots are French and my father’s grandpa came from England.
I grew up in Mexico, in Guadalajara, but I always felt like I was in a gypsy family, because we moved a lot from place to place.
Now, I live in Guadalajara, but I am planning to move to live in Oaxaca and to have another pied-à-terre at San Pancho (a very calm and beautiful beach near my city – I need the earth and the ocean).
I am unique because I know that The Big Forces make each of us unique. Nobody has my hands, my soul, my dreams.
- When did you know you wanted to become a jewelry designer?
I’ve known I was a jeweler since I lived in my mother’s womb. I had no options… it was part of my destiny.
I began playing, not planning to start a business, just enjoying the pleasure of creation, but now, my games have become my way of living, my business, so my brand is very natural and honest.
- Can you please tell us about the design process of your jewelry?
I have no structures nor a rigid plan in my work. My creative process is like a living organism that grows and always behaves in different manners. Sometimes it mutates. Other times, the process begins in my dreams, not needing my will, just my passion.
I am also a sculptor, so my hands move by themselves. I just let them fly and surprise me with a new form in wax, that in the process of casting in bronze, they almost gain life, until they touch the human skin of the wearer.
My designs are pure, sensual and bold.
My next collection, Frida in Love, is about and inspired by Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter who painted pain and passion using intense, vibrant colors. This collection is all based on Frida’s passion for life and for Mexican colors and traditions. It is also inspired by the respect and admiration that I have always felt for this woman. I added that personal, gypsy touch, and maybe the allure of the beautiful mix, among my Mexican, French and English blood. And of course, I was also very inspired by her intense love for jewels! Bold rings, golden bracelets – stunning pieces!
- What types of materials do you use and why do you work with them?
Mostly materials that I feel are feminine and organic. Of course, not damaging Gaia, never!
My favorite material to work with in this stage of my life could be precious metals.
- Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
In a woman’s inner body, in the strength and vulnerability of the wings of the butterflies, in art, in the colors of Mexico, in human passions, in sacred plants, in poetry… in myself.
- When you were setting up your brand, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
I think that a real artist never thinks in his work as a brand, so even in these days it is hard for me to deal with it, because most of my pieces are one-of-a-kind pieces. I do not manage any massive production, so for me it has been difficult to gain access to a market with increasing demands, due to the fact that I have just two hands and nobody else helps me in my work. I would love to be a Kali!
Trying to set up my brand has been hard, because I must create a stable center for my wings, to know how to preserve my work as art and be part of the demanding market at the same time. I am working now on a limited-edition collection – that will be a bridge.
- How would you describe your designs and your brand?
Universal, like my work and me. I am universal. I am always searching for the form or the emptiness… forms follow femininity.
Unconventional, cutting edge, avant-garde, unique, flamboyant! Luxury jewels inspired by nature.
- Who is the Gabriela Ramirez Michel customer?
Every woman awake, with real links to nature and to her inner worlds. Women who love ecstasy. Also, men who love the feminine forms. They have bought my pieces as sculptures.
- How do you describe your personal style, and do your designs reflect this?
I think that jewelry has always been an instrument of power or personality confirmation, so I consider my style:
-Transparent: Not pretending to hide anything, but expressed through my accessories and my clothes.
-Alluring: Each movement has a beat, a rhythm, a message.
-Honest: An artist must always be true.
-Chic, but not taking life so seriously, enjoy!
My designs do not reflect my personal style. They are strong reflections of my state of mind. And the leitmotif of my designs is: human feelings mixed with nature.
- You are based in Guadalajara – where do you like to spend your free time?
I love to shop for antiques and vintage jewels at the Trocadero market. I love to eat at the Caligary, a chic bistro and café, and to just spend time with my friends at the cinema – I love art films and cooking!