Designer David Yurman started his line with the design of his iconic signature cable bracelet in sterling silver and gold adorned with colorful gemstones. He later expanded his line to include a vast array of jewelry collections for both men and women, luxury timepieces, fragrance and eyewear. His passion for design shines through in the pieces he creates. Read on and learn more about the man behind the designs.
Where were you born? New York
What was your first job? My first jobs were mowing lawns, delivering newspapers and simonizing cars.
How did you get started designing jewelry? I never intended to become a “jewelry designer” – perhaps I’m a sculptor in a jeweler’s body or visa versa. My initial apprenticeships were noted artists: Jacques Lipschitz, Theodore Rozack and Hans Van de Bovenkamp. My own work in sculpture followed. In 1969, I created a piece of sculptural jewelry for my wife, Sybil, that was purchased and later sold through a Madison Avenue art gallery. During the American Craft movement in the 1970’s, I made the commitment to focus all my creative and commercial efforts on my jewelry collections and in 1980, the David Yurman brand was born.
What inspires your designs? Inspiration begins with desire and constantly translating feelings and moods into a design concept, then sketching, illustrating and using wax models to refine the initial idea into a finished piece. It’s in the studio where the idea comes to life. Another source of creative inspiration comes from the collaboration with my wife Sybil and our son Evan – an exchange that is rich and robust. The jewelry is informed by a historical and artistic continuum, beautiful materials, the stones and gems and always from nature.
What piece of jewelry do you where everyday? I am never without my yellow and rose gold wedding band on my left hand. It is a symbol of the bond and trust with Sybil, my life and business partner. I also wear the Men’s Classic Timepiece along with an original cable bracelet from 1979. Recently, I have been wearing a studded leather bracelet, a prototype, which I love and is a reminder of the evolving creative process.
If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? I am incapable of doing anything else. It is my life’s passion and purpose.
What do you like to do in your spare time? I own two reining horses, one with which I compete, the other I use as a trail horse. I enjoy the ride whenever I can – it clears my head.
What’s your favorite vacation spot? It depends where my life takes me – the Caribbean, Italy, France.
What was your best meal and where? Am I on death row contemplating my last meal? I’ve enjoyed many.
What’s your favorite cocktail? Not to imbibe, although I do like Jameson on the rocks and Don Julio 1942.
What are you most proud of? Our son, Evan.
What’s your personal motto? Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.