With over 109K Instagram followers, Elena Gondorf made a name for herself in the high jewelry industry. Specializing in minimalistic designs she set with rubies or black diamonds exclusively… The Eye of Jewelry interviewed the founder of La Tache Bobo and got an asnwer on why such a French yet original name… !
First things first…
WHO ARE YOU ELENA GONDORF?
I consider myself more an artist than a designer. The jewelry collections that I create are a reflection of who I am! To be honest, I am a bit of a gypsy. I was born in Belarus, educated in the US where I got a master zin Psychology before going to Milan to study design at the Instituto Marangoni. I lived in Ulan Bhator, New York, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan and established myself between London and Dubai … The next stop will probably be Asia … but right now, I can’t find a place where I want to settle.
WHAT IS THE NAME ALL ABOUT?
This can be called my “grandiose” idea. I actually did check the meaning … La Tâche in French means the “splash”, the “stain”- and Bobo is the contraction for Bohemian-Bourgeoise, two social castes no one ever expected to find mixed up together. It must sound a bit strange but I still love it! I thought La Tache Bobo (togother) sounded exotic and beautiful! Some were mortified ! At least… people remember the name.
WANDERLUST COLLECTION – RUBY ONLY
The Wanderlust collection is inspired from my journey through Indochina and handcrafted using finest natural ruby and black gold. When I first thought about the idea of a ruby collection I did not know if I was going to found my stones. I heard 100 times that is was going to be impossible to find medium quality, solid stones with a deep color. It must have been the best encouragement I received. I went on a real journey – hence the name of the collection- seeking for more and more stones. It was a true self-learning process!
MAYHEM COLLECTION- BLACK DIAMONDS ONLY
To wear black gold and black diamonds you need personality – Mayhem is a strong collection inspired by foil art of Anselm Reyle. Pushing the boundaries of traditional fine jewelry design this collection is special and extraordinary at the same time. Some of the pieces worked for some and not for others. It is a true example of self expression – which fantastic and which is the feeling that I want my jewelry collections to trigger.
WHAT WILL THE NEXT COLLECTION BE ?
Very feminine ! With pink, blue and yellow diamonds introduced within the Wanderlust collection. I believe people would want to see variations of the original collection. Emeralds and sapphires are also options to consider! For now what I see is something light, romantic, feminine… but it is very much a “work in progress”…
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR STONES?
I have a basic stone knowledge… I am just curious about it. I choose and pick what I want, it all depends on the collections ! All stones are certified. For example, we source rubies in Myanmar, Burma. We work on them from raw and all the work is done “in-house”… being very different from cut stones, it is a fascinating work… I come accross incredible findings ! Mostly pear-shapes, as they are easier to wear. The stone shape and color combination is young and fresh, we have to play around with the stones to reveal the dark and mysterious side of them.
La Tache Bobo
Wanderlust Collection – Three Finger ring set with 36 carats of natural ruby on black gold – $4’500
La Tache Bobo
Wanderlust Collection – Thumb Ring set with 23 carats of Natural Ruby on black gold – $3’150
La Tache Bobo
Wanderlust Collection – Two Finger Ring on black gold with 27 carats of natural ruby – $3’750
La Tache Bobo
Wanderlust Collection – Mini Ring on black gold and 9.8 carats of natural ruby – $1’950
WHAT’S YOUR INSPIRATION?
I draw inspiration from art, music, different cultures and countries I travel to. Every collection has a story to tell. We always make short film to reflect it. Wanderlust film should be launched before Christmas. I want to be carrying different styles with the idea that a leading line remains. That’s how we do and see jewelry through… I believe that anyone can do it.
COULD YOU HAVE DONE SOMETHING DIFFERENT?
If I would not do this, I would have done something different… but what ? I am not sure, it would have to be creative. Since I do not wear jewelry, I could not find proper jewelry that suits my personnality, therefore I ended up creating for myself.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT YOU WEAR YOUR PIECES?
I only wear the Thumb Ring – EVA which is my favorite and goes up the hand. Thumb rings are unique and unexpected. Yet, I get tired of them rather quickly.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU?
First, we have developed online sales through the website as it is a way to make jewelry more accessible… shopping online open up the opportunity of sales!
Then, distribution is very exclusive. I do not work with dealers, only direct through store places. We need to find boutiques that have a personnality. Fashion stores or multi-brand shops can easily look random and not so good. We also closely work with some exclusive boutiques like Kessaris Greece, Jade KSA, Sylvie Saliba in Lebanon, we are also in Qatar and Monaco and at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
Elena Gondorf’s workshop is based out of Dubai and Bangkok where every piece of jewelry is made once they get all of the stones. Four men in addition to her have been working together since 2013 to make La Tache Bobo an established brand in the jewelry market.
It seems like U.S. celebrities show a genuine interest in her pieces… according to the different stylists who contact her seeking for not-so-much-seen fine jewelry ! With her Russian heritage combined to the variety of cities she lived in, Elena Gondorf has yet to surprise us … again !