Maria Tash is always up to something. The body piercer and jeweler has released a new jewelry collection, inspired by his college-age hairstyle.
The collection pays homage to Tash’s larger-than-life mohawk hairstyle while enrolled at Columbia University. “I was inspired by the music and the gothic punk scene at the time. When I was thinking of ways to iterate on the tips of my old hairstyle, it occurred to me to put black in the center and white pavé on the sides, just like I would fade the sides of my hair,” Tash said.
In recent years, Tash has used new collections as an opportunity to explore innovations in diamond and stone cutting. She drew on her history within the gothic and piercing communities to carve out new shapes; like translating the stainless steel spikes popular in 80s East Village piercing parlors into diamonds that dangle from the ear like ominous icicles.
For the mohawk-inspired collection, Tash wanted to stay true to her original hairstyle with long black spikes. The diamonds, however, weren’t up to the task – and became brittle or uneven. Tash turned to Moissanite, a stone that is gaining popularity as the price of diamonds rises due to a ban on stones of Russian origin.
“They have highly refractive and reflective properties, which makes them a good cousin to diamonds. We had so much trouble with diamonds [while developing this] someone suggested to me that moissanite would be more feasible. I always knew them in the quiet distance,” Tash said of Stone.
But she doesn’t see moissanites eclipsing diamonds in popularity anytime soon. “Diamonds have so much panache in the market and there’s a lot of money behind them. It’s good that we have more choices now, with lab-grown diamonds, natural stones and even moissanites.
The designer’s new styles accompany recent releases such as classic Tash styles set with stones new to the brand, such as emeralds and tiger’s eye. The designer said this latest stone is part of her larger plan to appeal to more male consumers.
“Tiger’s eye is something that was popular in the early 90s and had more of a gender-neutral appeal. Men are getting stronger and stronger for us, it’s something from the early 90s that’s coming back from more and more and we are targeting a lot of male musicians and athletes wearing our jewelry,” she said.
All of Tash’s new styles will be released regularly in drop formats until early next year. The jeweler is also planning new retail rollouts early next year, including a renovated and expanded space inside Harrods and a store in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Despite some analysts’ gloomy projections for next year, Tash said she “has a more optimistic outlook.” I feel like we navigated through COVID[-19] pretty good, although our stores had to be closed and that had an impact. The Middle East is a region that is close to my heart now because of the Russian and Chinese tourists there, I am very happy with this region. I’m pretty confident we’re a self-purchasing business and I think people will continue to buy things for themselves.