In 2009 Nina became a forerunner of incorporating Slice Diamonds to her line. She discovered the extraordinary Slice Diamonds that would become one of her signature elements on a trip to India and then spent months developing techniques to create slices from other gemstones.
A fierce believer that each gem contains a personality, Nina has a vibrant, artistic approach, which translates into eclectic pieces that exude passion, romance, and vivacity. Inspired by stones, Nina’s design playful process is forged around the shape, color and type of stone she is using. To her, fine jewelry isn’t merely a commodity; it’s a piece of art that elevates personal style and brings joy to the wearer.
Nina Runsdorf creates her designs out of a beautiful and intimate atelier on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. In her salon, visitors are invited to discover her creations as well as some of her favorite pieces of art which often inspire her designs. She believes an intimate relationship with the designer is the modern definition of luxury and one that defines her way of working with clients: “People want pieces that no one else has, and it’s all about developing a personal connection. That’s luxury today.”
Hopeful Spring Green
There is something both inspiring and soothing about the in-depth magic and light of emeralds. Maybe that’s why Nina loves the stones so much.
The designer spent a large part of her childhood on her parent’s farm in Medusa NY. She grew up around nature and greenery, growth and fertility, a hotbed for her own creativity.
Nina’s attraction to emeralds probably stemmed from admiring her mother’s wedding ring, as a little girl. An Edwardian band of dark flat emeralds set into rose gold, the ring now adorns the finger of the designer’s eldest daughter Alexa.
But maybe the bigger crush for the budding creative was a large bar pin with two glowing emeralds set around a diamond. Her mother would clasp it around a multiple strand pearl necklace. (you can catch a glimpse of in the picture below)
“I remember my mother looking so chic. She used to have a chignon, her hair was up, up, up! She had tiny little waist. And I used to just remember her and the pearls and the pin, and it’s like my vision of my mother. She was such an inspiration to me. So, I think my love of emeralds comes from her.”
While traditionally an emerald on the darker side is considered by many the more precious, the fine jeweler tends to favor the brighter green of Colombian emeralds, which to her feel more cheerful. She dearly loves the inclusions, giving the gems an extra dimension or sense of realness.
From bold and bright, platinum, emerald and diamond rings, to deep green cabochon front hoops or lighter mix-shape oval hoops on blackened white gold for a more casual feel.
“Every piece of jewelry we layout is a bit different. We did hoops with different diamond cuts, the next one was with oval, the next one will be round. We want to keep changing things and the architecture should always be different from one to another.”
Lush greens feel soothing and relaxing to Nina and many items in her closet complement these shades. Outside her wardrobe, amongst other things in her home, she particularly cherishes a beautiful photograph of two geishas walking on water, in a bamboo forest of green by photographer Ahmet Ertug.
More recently, the designer added to her offering striking emerald necklaces and bracelets on blackened 18k gold, pure and strong designs to be worn either with a white t-shirt, or a ballgown. Staying true to her motto, never too precious to wear.