In conversation withBy Pariah
By Pariah pays the most elegant of tributes to the earth's treasures. In a suits-everyone natural palette of soft grays, cool lavenders and gentle greens, designer Sophie Howard celebrates the raw materials she works with, pairing semi-precious gemstones like quartz, agate and amethyst with recycled yellow gold. She is best known for her addictive Gold and Diamond Linings rings, crafted from gleaming hard stone with a seam of gold or icy diamond pavé, designed to stack high, interspersed with chunky gold bands.
Since By Pariah launched six years ago, its clean, contemporary pieces have become the last word in modern elegance, and an easy way to add polish to an outfit. "For me, longevity in both quality and design make for a classic," she says. "I hope that my pieces of jewelry are enjoyed by generations to come and that they feel as modern then, as they do now."
Sophie sat down with us to explain how she translates a deep respect for nature into sleek, minimalist jewels.
Tell me about the significance of your brand name and how it relates to the natural materials you showcase.
It must have been the year before I officially founded By Pariah that I read an article in the National Geographic about what they referred to as ‘the Pariah parts of the Caribbean’. The article described this natural and raw area of the Caribbean as one of the last frontiers of remote, untouched beauty and when I launched the brand, I knew I wanted to recreate that sentiment - my jewelry would be an homage to the raw materials that it was made from.
What was the first piece of jewelry you designed when you decided to start By Pariah?
One of the first pieces was the Gold Linings ring. It’s the perfect visual for my brand aesthetic; architectural and bold, but elegant and timeless at the same time. At this time, I still had to learn a lot about running a business and production processes, but in turn, with each new collection my knowledge of what was possible grew, and I gained recognition. I then started working with different stockists who played a huge role in raising brand awareness and helped me to grow on a global scale.
“ I’ve always loved nature; the curves and forms of the Earth and its raw materials, and this echoes in how I design. “
The look of your brand is sleek, polished and minimalist. Who do you have in mind when you're designing your jewelry?
By Pariah is created for the global woman - sophisticated but playful, with an appreciation for craftsmanship and the finest, natural materials. In terms of aesthetic, I’ve always loved nature; the curves and forms of the Earth and its raw materials, and this echoes in how I design: my pieces are architectural, but bold and smooth.
Sustainability and ethical practices are an integral part of your brand. How do you put this into action?
There are a lot of different stakeholders involved when it comes to sustainability and ethical practices. My main criteria for our production partners is that they are part of the Responsible Jewellery Council and that only 100% recycled metals are used in our production. We only use recycled packaging and our delivery partners offset omissions. We are by no means perfect, but we constantly strive for a fairer, greener future.
Which are your own personal favorites from your collections? How do you wear them?
My stacking rings! I love that you can create so many different looks by simply switching one out. The Triple Diamond Eternity band, Albert and any of the Stone Stacking rings are on constant rotation at the moment. In the evenings I tend to swap them for the Pebble Cocktail Ring, I love when one piece of jewelry is interesting enough to give you that subtle edge, but speak for itself.