Yvonne Leon grew up in jewelry, worked in the industry, studied at ESMOD Paris and became a stylist and editorial assistant for various magazines before she launched her own brand in 2013. Her diamond lobe-earrings made her famous worldwide. The Bee is her iconic piece and the Feuilletis necklace her favorite. The Eye of Jewelry sat down for a simple talk with a simple woman.
She may be the one who set the trend of wearing diamonds under-the-ear, but that idea did not pop up in her mind yesterday… it goes back to her childhood when her dad designed a lobe-earring for her mom who did not want to pierce her ear again!
The lobe-earrings made her famous- worldwide. Celebrities wear Yvonne Leon, journalists, moms, it-girls and many more love her style. This successful women, mother of a little boy remains sweet, humble, talented, smart and creative…She smokes in her private showroom, like a true Parisian.
The Eye of Jewelry met with her one street away from Place Vendome.
What do you wear
Either vintage jewelry or the pieces that I design. The one that I wear every single day is the diamond feuilletis sautoir (a long necklace) mounted on white gold.
What do you like
I love mixing colors and materials.
I love white diamonds in a variety of cuts.
Gold that I can work on endlessly to give different textures, shapes, forms…
Creative or technical
I only do the creative part … never out of inspiration. I leave the technical part to specialists!
I start by wondering what would I want to wear…
I do not really look at what others do… The diamond jewerly market is a bit saturated – there is too much !
Why focusing on lobe earring
It all started in the 80’s when I was a kid… My Dad made a lobe-earring diamond earring for my Mom so she could dress up her ear in a different way without having to pierce it again. I kept thinking about it. Since no-one had really developed the concept, I naturally went down that path, exploring and imagining designs.
The under-the-ear design with pearls and diamonds.
The Bee ! It’s timeless, fun and intergenerational.
I would not call it a mistake… but a piece that does not work is the flower bouquet set with tiny white pearls on white gold. For some reason it can look a bit old and odd…
In the pipeline
Not planning on a men’s jewelry line … but potentially a collection focused on animals aimed for kids, young teenagers and babies.
Bestiary jewelry is a common theme … I have always been intrigued by animals sometimes even scared. I find it fun to adapt them in pieces of jewelry, the + is that I can easily work on colors and textures.
Reason of success
Two key components that help on building your brand and your success:
-The different points of sale where your pieces are available
– The quality of the workshop thanks to the craftmen who work on the jewelry.
Points of sale
Baby Buddha located in the middle of the 7th Arrondissement in Paris was the first store that sold my pieces. Montaigne Market, Le Bon Marché, Dover Street Market… and many other famous addresses came along.
Online sales do well ! For example, Net-a-Porter sell better big pieces than small! Go figure…