They say the best revenge is a life well lived. A beloved piece of jewelry deserves the same life. For designer Catherine Zadeh of Zadeh NY, her goal is to make precious jewelry that is not precious. It is meant to be loved and worn. She explains, “Designs by Zadeh work in harmony with the elements. Zadeh pieces should be worn while swimming, yachting, even showering. We aren’t afraid to use and wear our jewelry. The more well used they are the more beautiful they become.”
In her second year with a boutique at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida, she is finding an appreciative audience for her men and women’s line of jewelry and accessories. “For me this is a gallery,” says Zadeh, “I show my work to people who can appreciate it. This is my art. It’s one of a kind – understated and elegant.”
Born in Iran, schooled in Paris and settled with her family in New York, Catherine’s inspirations are varied and deep. She draws from art and architecture, nature and life. Her hand-made designs include sustainable Asian Water Buffalo Horn, vegetable ivory, exotic woods, sterling silver, 18 karat gold, and precious and semi-precious stones like diamonds, citrine, moonstone, and Ceylon Saphire. Her secret ingredient is parachute chord which is both sleek and durable. The vibe is chic, cool, and chill.
The idea to come to WEF came from her clients who saw her work at the Hampton Classic. Zadeh notes of her experience in Wellington, “I have the best time because I’m not selling here – I’m introducing my art to people. I know that I make people happy. At a certain point I questioned if my work was meaningful, and my friend said, ‘You make jewelry with a soul. It was truly the greatest compliment.’” For Zadeh, the wow reaction to her designs is the best reward.
After her first Hampton Classic, Catherine realized that the passion of people in the horse world, the style, the elegance is entirely in line with Zadeh’s values. “There’s a completely different level of passion with the horse world. It’s not only about yourself, it’s about working in harmony with and caring for another animal. What I’ve seen of this world is incredible,” says Catherine.
Catherine fell into the designing of equestrian-inspired pieces entirely by accident. Several years ago she was working on new designs, and found herself in a bit of a rut. Nonchalantly she suggested to her daughter, Chloe, that they sketch out a few designs together, just for fun. Little did she know that Chloe’s simple doodle, reminiscent of a stirrup, would become the cornerstone of Zadeh’s ambiguously equestrian collection.
Zadeh says, “Usually what I love about my jewelry is when you wear very simple clothing, even a white T-shirt, they become a canvas for my designs to shine.” For the equestrian, it is not only the durability of her pieces but the versatility which attracts them. Designs by Zadeh are equally at home adorning a linen shirt and jeans or taking a sleek black dress to the next level.
Women in the equestrian world relate to jewelry which is precious but not precious as they move from barn to show ring to charity gala. Zadeh observes, “These women are discretely confident. They just need one piece to show their personality. The jewelry speaks volumes.” Zadeh began her career designing for men, who still flock to her cool and understated designs.
Meticulously hand-crafted in New York, Zadeh has pieces at varying price points, ranging from $300 to $40,000 for stunning one of a kind creations.