INTERVIEW: Jewellery designer Sabine Roemer

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Sabine Roemer talks about charity, life and Nelson Mandela.

Sabine Roemer talks about her upcoming trip, her love of jewellery and what it was like to design for Nelson Mandela.

Who would you most like to design for?

“I think it’s probably Lady Gaga, because you could just go wild. It is sort of every designer’s dreams, because there are just no boundaries. I think she is a very talented musician, as well, on top of that. Of course I would love to do the Oscars again and the Emmys is coming up.”

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If you look back in ten years time, what do you hope to have achieved?

“When I look back, I think I just want to stick to what I stand for at the moment – that is craftsmanship, unique pieces, detail, not trying to sell out and just make a brand. I want to keep the spirit alive and the soul in the jewellery pieces, not mass produce everything and just put it out there.”

I hear you will be visiting Ladakh, India, in the next few days to help start a business initiative with the tribes there, as you did with Botswana. Are you looking forward to it?

“I am very excited. Of course it is going to be very challenging. First of all, it is how to get there, but it is also how to communicate with them, and how to speak to them when we are back in England, as well. We want to keep a stable business for them, like we did with Boswana.

“In Botswana, it’s a business for them and it is stable now. We have sold three collections already. We are working on the winter collection at the moment. We are trying to be the bridge and make it more than charity, to build a business for them.

“The jewellery ranges from coral to metal work and engraving. Of course it is very spiritual, because there is Buddhism there, so they have these nine symbols that we try to involve, like luck and love, and sanskrit is, of course, a big part.

“It is very colourful, because it is a desert in the mountains, so there are not many trees and there is not much green. You just see the temple and they have these colourful praying flags and what they wear, and the jewellery is very colourful. It is trading money for them, as well, because they do not have much up there. “

Who, so far, have you been most excited to design for?

“I think I am very attached to Nelson Mandela, because of what he’s been through. He has an amazing spirit and he’s so humble and down to earth. And after all he has been through, you can’t see one bit of anger in him. There is nothing that he’s angry about.

“He’s such a beautiful person and I think that was my most amazing experience. One man made such a huge change. And you think, ‘I am just a jeweller and I can’t make a difference,’ but you can.

"Everybody can make a difference. And I think he showed that. That is why I am involved in so much charity work, because you can do something and that is what he is teaching.”

Did ever think when you were young that you would be where you are now?

“I did not believe that I would be one day in Harrods or working with so many amazing people. For me, I want to do that until I’m dead.

But I fell in love with the craftsmanship and the jewellery making when I was very young.”

What is the ugliest piece of jewellery you feel you have designed?

“Sometimes, you think the design wasn’t so pretty, but the craftsmanship was amazing. So, you know, maybe sometimes it was a bit over the top, but it was interesting to learn how to create it. Once I did a zipper. I was like, ‘a zipper in gold? That’s a bit weird.’ But it was challenging to work it out, how it actually worked.

“And then I had to do some kind of weird piercings in fine material once. They wanted to have all these weird and funny things in 18 carat yellow gold.”

Like belly button rings?

“Yeh… and other things…”

Do you know yet what your next collection will be about?

“We will see. I was never really into squares, but it is always something new and that hopefully hasn’t been out there. I will probably start on the new collection when I am back in September. I am coming back from Ladakh in August and then I am flying straight to LA for the Emmys.”

Will anyone be wearing your jewellery there?

“Probably, but they can always drop out last minute, so we will see.”

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