This summer, the Brazilian-born, New York-based designer Ana Khouri exhibited her high jewelry at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Meanwhile, the American fashion designer Mary-Kate Olsen, who runs the Row with her sister Ashley, was in town as well, and she and Khouri ended up having a rendezvous at the Ritz. The meeting was originally so Olsen could shop for herself, but by the end of the week, they’d decided that the Row stores would start carrying some of Khouri’s latest pieces — and would later partner on a small collection of entirely new ones.

Like many intriguing collaborations, Ana Khouri with the Row, which consists of two black- and white-gold ear cuffs, one slightly larger than the other, and one black- and white-gold ring, all entirely pavéd in emeralds — the ring alone is set with 560 stones — is an unexpected pairing. The Row sells more vintage jewelry than contemporary pieces, and is known for an elegant but austere aesthetic. Yet for all of their decadence, Khouri’s works have a certain restraint. The designer, who trained as a sculptor and still keeps an art studio in Brooklyn, is primarily concerned with form. “She’s a true artist, and it shows in her work,” Ashley Olsen wrote in an email.

Khouri, 38, grew up near her family’s farm outside of Londrina, a city west of São Paulo. “I was always outside or using my hands and making things,” she says. These days, she concentrates on her sculptural pieces, many of which hug the ear or the finger; she spent nearly a year working with artisans and a 3-D imaging machine to perfect the clasps used for the ear pieces. “The other challenge was adding volume while removing what was unneeded and keeping things light,” says Khouri. Unlike some minimalists, though, she finds meaning beyond the fact of the physical object. She’s partial to emeralds because both her grandmother and her mother wore them, and because the stone is thought to promote healing. And she feels that the ear pieces’ shape — a rounded-edged link — speaks to a greater interconnectedness. Or, as Khouri says, “the idea that we’re all part of the same thing, something bigger than ourselves.”



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