You come from a family of diamond dealers – did you always know you wanted to go into jewellery design?
Not at all, I studied journalism and communications, but I realised very quickly that I hated writing! I then had the opportunity to manufacture for other brands, and I started working in the same industry as my family by pure coincidence when I moved to HK. I really believe it was my destiny to be a part of the jewellery industry… it’s a genetic passion that’s run in my family for four generations! Even though my parents are diamond traders and not jewellers, we both share the same passion – our love for diamonds.
What do you love most about your job?
Having my own company, working for myself and doing what I love most. I’m so lucky that my work is my hobby.
What is it about diamonds that you find so special above other stones and gems?
I grew up with this stone. I was surrounded by this stone as my grandparents and parents all worked in the diamond industry, so I’ve always known it was the stone I wanted to work with. I wear black and white most of the time too, which is why I use white and black diamonds in my collections. I find that I design what I actually like to wear!
Your collection has really changed from when you first started, from more natural shapes to geometric forms. What has inspired this change?
Over the years your own taste and style changes, you don’t dress the same way you did ten years ago! So AS29 has gone from very organic shapes inspired by flowers and butterflies to more abstract modern designs because of my change in style. That being said, I always try to keep the DNA of the brand by using micro settings as a sort of trademark.
What gave you the idea for the ‘diamond remedy’ concept? We love it!
I wanted to create something fun that would help all the ‘diamond addicts’ on this planet and offer them a real cure or ‘remedy’. We designed the packaging in the shape of a pill to go with this playful theme… I usually suggest one or two pills per day around the neck or wrist area for optimal effect! It never fails to work!
What are some of your favourite pieces of all time from your collections? Your ‘must have’ AS29 pieces.
I love my Lana collection rings – I stack them all the time and never get tired of wearing them. I also love my latest Bamboo collection, especially the earrings.
What kind of girl wears AS29 jewellery?
Any girl that is addicted to diamonds (they are a girl’s best friend!). Fashion addicts and trend followers also love AS29 jewellery.
If you could wear just one piece of jewellery for the rest of your life what would it be (excluding wedding rings!)?
My mini wedding ring! It’s a matching copy of my wedding ring… a small emerald stone in an art deco setting… does that count? 🙂
Why are accessories so important?
I really think that accessories just finish and perfect any look you wear.
Apart from diamonds (obviously!) what are other things in your life that act as a ‘remedy’ or ‘cure’ for you?
Cheese, Cheese fondue, cheesecake… anything with cheese! That always does the trick!
You’re originally from Belgium, what drew you to Hong Kong?
My husband who I met while living in London. I moved here for him 11 years ago.
Has living in Hong Kong influenced your work in any way?
Hong Kong has helped me in so many ways. This is where AS29 started! Without the energy and efficiency of this city, I would have never been able to achieve and do everything I’ve done in the last six years with my brand… and raise two kids at the same time!
Any secret Hong Kong shopping spots you can let us in on?
There is this little shop where I buy all my stationary from in Stanley Street in Central… whether it’s stickers and colour pencils for my kids, or just nice crayons I might need for my jewellery drawings and designs. I can spend hours in this tiny store! Ask for Mr. Sam; he’s the best.
What are your favourite places in Hong Kong?
Any dim sum or hot pot restaurants, I love Asian cuisine. I’m addicted to food.
What do you love to do in your spare time?
I love buying flowers and filling my house with them… you can never have enough!
Any advice for aspiring jewellery designers?
There are so many great designers out there, but talent is not everything.
All photos by the talented Martice Milton – www.marticemiltonphotography.com. Check out the rest of our That Girls here!