Anna Hu’s jewellery journey might, at first glance, seem like a straightforward one. “Born and raised in a gemstone family,” as she puts it, the Asian-American jewellery artist has jewellery in her blood. But on close inspection, a story unfolds that takes many unexpected turns—from aspirations as a solo cellist to life-altering advice from her mentors to record-breaking achievements.
“I used to help my father sort all different types of gemstones by colour, shape, size and cut; it was like playing with Lego bricks,” recalls Hu. “That was my very first foray into this world.”
This introduction into the world sparked Hu’s interest; she later went on to study at New York’s Gemological Institute of America, Parsons School of Design and Columbia University, and gained experience with Christie’s, Van Cleef & Arpels and Harry Winston. It was at the latter institution that she met her mentor, Maurice Galli, whom she credits for encouraging her to take the next step and establish her eponymous brand.
“He once said to me, ‘Don’t be a caged bird,’ and suggested I create a new concept.” This concept, she explains, blends European craftsmanship with an Asian aesthetic. In 2007, Anna Hu Haute Joallerie was born, and opened its first retail space a year later at The Plaza hotel in New York.
The brand produces just 30 pieces a year, each one a labour of love that can take up to a year to complete. Extravagant, vividly coloured creations, they are imbued with a sense of movement. Integrating French and Chinese cultures and artistic inspirations, Hu explains, helps to foster “romantic, fluid, organic and authentic designs”.
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