Jewelry Designer Xenia Bous has come a long way since her days of soldering plastic chain accessories in the tailor’s shop. And while Bous may now have big brands like Valentino and Emilio Pucci under her designer’s belt, this self-proclaimed nomad continues to find her inspiration off the beaten track.
The free-spirited artist doesn’t cut along the dotted line when crafting her designs- rather, Bous prefers to create “wearable, body-hugging sculptures” designed with the duality of all things in mind. And while Bous gravitates towards the contrasts she sees in shapes, light, the human body, and in nature, she aims to ultimately design wearable pieces that bring balance to the body and a sense of freedom to the soul.
Where do you live full time?
I am a nomad, I live half in Rome, half in Hamburg. These are two cities that couldn’t be more different, but contrasts have always fascinated me.
Tell us about your brand, how was it born? We’d love to take our readers behind the design concept.
Since my studies, I have worked for companies that have a firm brand identity, in whose paths I have thought and designed. It has always been a great experience, but at some point, I wanted to develop my very own ideas. I wanted to find a creative space that is free from trends and norms and where I can shape and reshape a prototype until it was perfect for me. My design concept, if you want to call it that, is very intuitive. I start off from the body. My pieces are shaped around the body and almost merge with it. My intention is always to create jewelry that anyone can wear at any time of the day.
Did you always want to have a career in jewelry design, if you weren’t designing what would you be doing?
I studied fashion design. In my thesis, I created the accessories myself and burned plastic chains. A couture house saw the show and offered me an internship as a jewelry designer-the whole thing was very improvised. I remember soldering on an inverted frying pan in the tailor shop. I like to remember that-somehow semi-professional, but completely free. I would always do something creative, where I could work with my hands.
What inspires you when you’re creating a new collection?
Nature, stones, art, body folds, curves, light, and shadow.
Can you share with us some brands you have designed jewelry for?
Valentino, ELSA Schiaparelli, Emilio Pucci, Eli Saab, Shiatzy Chen are some of the brands I have designed for.
What are you most excited about when it comes to your collections? What makes them unique and stand out from other designers?
That’s an incredibly difficult question for a designer. I prefer to leave the privilege of judging to others.
Many of us have creative ideas and passions but get stuck trying to execute them. For you, what is the first step towards executing any passion or vision?
When I have an idea, I go to the workbench and start modeling- I am 100% craftsman. My problem is not the implementation, but rather creating a safe space where I can truly dive into my work without distractions.
What is one vital thing you learned early on in the process of creating your brand?
You can’t do everything yourself. If you give up control, there is a real chance for growth.
How often do you travel for work? Where do you travel to the most?
Every week. I have a 7-day rhythm. I travel to Italy because the workshop is there. Apart from that, I’m in Paris a lot.
What’s the most exciting place you’ve ever traveled to and why?
I love mountains, absolute peace, clear water. I love to wander.
How do you feel about this most recent conversation around sustainability in design?
I come from a family where sustainable designs were already appreciated and discussed in the 80s. In this respect, I find that this discussion comes extremely late. It is actually the designers’ task to offer aesthetic solutions.
Do you do any form of exercise, if yes, what?
I practice yoga every day.
What are your beauty nècessitès for traveling?
My guasha stone and a small bottle of argan oil go with me everywhere. Apart from that, I like to travel with as little luggage as possible.
Best advice you ever received?
That you can create new and good things out of any situation, even if it doesn’t look like it at first.
What advice would you give those looking to have a career in jewelry design?
Go to libraries and look at design books. Don’t look too much left and right to find your own style. Don’t be discouraged if a style already exists-if you follow something consistently, you will always find your own way.
In this present moment, what would you want to see more of in this world?
More balance, more slowness, more awareness, less consumption. This applies not only to material things but also relationships, feelings, everyday-life.
What do you do that is a nécessité for your self-care?
Every morning I get up at 6am to exercise for an hour. I also try to be in nature as much as possible.