By David Belchermay
LONDON (New York Times) — If the jeweler Ara Vartanian had asked the gods for a muse, he could not have gotten a better one than Kate Moss. That is what the model has been since she visited his São Paulo, Brazil, atelier four years ago — and she is the reason, at least in part, that Vartanian is opening a new showroom in early June in Mayfair.
“It was a totally chance meeting,” he said recently in a phone interview from São Paulo. “I was having lunch near my showroom, and they called me to say Kate Moss was in the store and said she wanted a tanzanite ring designed for her.”
Vartanian, who is a connoisseur of rare stones, including tourmalines and pigeon blood rubies, said it was a simple process for Moss. “I always say a stone chooses you,” he noted. “She looked at one and said, ‘Boom, that is the one.’ ”
In an email, Ms. Moss wrote: “I came across Ara’s treasure by accident in a small shop in São Paulo. I was invited to his studio where I fell in love! I wanted everything and I haven’t stopped wanting.” She was in São Paulo for the annual amfAR gala (she is a longtime co-chairwoman of the annual event, which this year honored her for her contributions).
The next year she wore a necklace and earrings designed by Vartanian to the gala, causing quite a stir. “She told me that I had to go to London with this stuff,” he recalled.