"All That Glitters" – Interview with International Jewelry Designer Pascale Rowe

Her work reminisces the days for which true mavens of style long: The days of Garbo, Dietrich and Monroe . A time when a woman’s private quarters was only referenced as the “boudoir”; a party was not a party without champagne and Sinatra and a lady never acquired an item unless among the myriad of adjectives that involved in its description was the word custom, rare, or one-of-kind.       

Jewelry designer Pascale Rowe has been described as quiet and unassuming by her peers but it is more than apparent that the over-the-top, embellished flair that some automatically associate to the personalities of designers (justly or unjustly) is instead channelled into her handcrafted, unique, jeweled Judith Lieber-esque creations. As a result, her designs have become as saught after as museum worthy collectables by everyone from celebrities, to industry insiders to everyday fashionistas alike.
We managed to locate the in demand designer at her South Florida studio where she took some time to chat with us. 
(Q) I understand that your earliest recollections of your working with stones was at the age of two when you began to glue gems onto your mother’s broaches. When did you realize you were “Born to Bling”?
(A) I actually began deconstructing my mothers jewelry at age 6. It wasn’t until my classmates in the sixth grade nominated me for “best dressed”.   I thought wow, all I did was turn drab into fab by adding crystals….It was then I realized I’ve got something special here!
(Q)What were some of your earliest influences?
(A) I grew up in New York City and the bright lights in Times Square were one of my first influences. 
(Q) One of the things your customers rave about is the variety in the quality of the gems you use. How do you source for material?
(A)I only use the best…Swarovski Crystals of course. They have hundred of facets and this technology is the reason why it’s clarity and brilliance is unsurpassed. 
(Q) What would you say is your design aesthetic?
(A) Gorgeous bright colors, fluid lines and cohesiveness. With those essentials I could design anything!
(Q) It’s obvious that you do have a passion for working with stones and gems, but are their any other materials you would love to work with?
(A) Crystals are my passion. If anything else can “Bling” as beautifully I’ll consider it. However, I choose this material to be my focus. 
(Q) Now, I recognize that you have fashionistas across the globe purchasing your created designs but who is your ideal customer?
(A) Any woman! A sophisticated fashionista to a demure woman who doesn’t want to much fuss, anyone can wear PHOB! From 8-80 and beyond. 
(Q) My assistant, Maya, recently acquired one of your signature products to which she glowingly refers to as “The Cinderella Shoes”, for an event. She is now (lovingly) referred to as the Pied Piper of Shoes because of how many women and men were inquiring about them. What fostered your decision to try your hand at shoes and will there be a possible expansion of the shoe line given the positive response?
 (A) If I desire something and feel lack of it on the market I’ll make it. My shoes, like most women are an essential part of my wardrobe. With fabulous shoes you can wear a paper bag and look phenomenal!  My next step is designing my shoe collection. This way my clients no longer have to mail their shoes…I’ll design and crystallize them. 
(Q) You’ve developed quite a following with a long list of A-list clientele such as Lil Kim, the Kardashian sisters, Gabrielle  Union and the Queen of Comedy, Sommore, but who else would you love to see wearing your creations? 
(A) I now have Lil’ Wayne and Baby of YMCMB wearing my designs. I wanted them to do so and now it’s happened.
 I’d like to reach EVERYONE! Men, women and children have worn my custom designs. I don’t have to only have celebrities wear my designs.  I want my clients to feel “Celeb Status” when rocking my “Bling”!
(Q) I’ve heard words such as “unique, stunning and intricate” used to describe your hand created pieces. When something is loved so much, the next step is usually finding others copying those creations. How do you feel about knock offs and specifically the “Design Copyright initiative”? 
(A) Imitation is the best form of flattery however, copying is not something I take lightly. My entire collection is patent pending therefore, I’m protected. 
(Q) What is the one piece in your collection you feel very woman should have and what is your personal favorite? 
(A) I love them all…I couldn’t choose however, my bangles are a must have!
(Q) You’ve blinged from earrings to flat irons. What is the most unusual thing you’ve blinged?
(A) A car! I’ve crystallized the interior of a vehicle. It was an amazing experience. 
(Q) Tell us a little about your connection to Islands.
(A) I was born in Haiti, left there at age 5 and was raised in NYC. Growing up in NY was like living in a million cities since it was so diverse. I lived in a section of the Bronx which I considered little Jamaica (NE Bronx, White Plains Road). Growing up there influenced the food I ate, and the music I listened to. It gave me more of a connection to the island of Jamaica then anywhere else…so much my husband of nearly 10 years is a Yardie! 

About the author

Karen Mitchell