Peter Hofmeister got his start designing for Ralph Lauren and now works full-time creating distinctive handmade jewelry in his Manhattan studio. With his keen eye for detail and stunning Bohemian aesthetic, Peter is the kind of artisan we dream about working with at DARA. Not only does he create beautiful pieces of jewelry that we can barely keep in stock, but he also shares our passion for preserving the art of exquisitely handmade crafts. When the opportunity arose to collaborate with Peter, we couldn’t say yes fast enough. We are thrilled to finally introduce the fruits of our latest creative partnership, an exclusive 6-piece collection of heirloom-inspired statement jewelry with an evocative pastel color palette.
Peter answers some questions about the collaboration and his design process:
Q. What inspired you when you were designing and creating the pieces for this collaboration? A. After my initial creative meeting with the DARA team, I submitted a few versions of each piece for them to review, and together we decided which pieces worked the best. It was an enjoyable process–sometimes when working with a client your vision gets watered down to please them, but that didn’t happen in this case. Q. How did you source the materials for each piece? A. When I started concepting the pieces with the DARA team, I was already thinking about where I could find the necessary materials, so I was able to design around what I knew would be available. I’ve had big orders in the past that were based on a single piece, and it was a nightmare trying to find 50 of the same thing. I almost lost an order because I couldn’t find the right match in multiple quantities. This time, working with DARA, I knew to submit designs with materials that I could easily source. Q. What do you enjoy most about the process of making jewelry? A. I always enjoy taking the steps to figure out how to do a new piece, because each time there’s a different set of challenges. I’ve had earrings explode when soldering them closed because they are hollow, so air gets trapped inside and expands when heated. Things like that can be problematic at first, but once I’ve cracked the code of how to make it work, I feel an enormous sense of accomplishment. The work never gets boring. Q. Preserving the art of exquisitely handmade crafts is incredibly important to the DARA mission. Do you enjoy the process of making things by hand? Do you feel that the handmade aspect to your jewelry sets it apart? How so? A. Having my hands involved in the making of every piece is very important to me. The look of my work requires it. I incorporate both cast pieces and hand-shaped in my collection, but even the cast pieces end up being finished by hand. I find that customers have a heightened sense of appreciation when they know something is made by hand. Q. Do you envision a certain kind of woman or aesthetic when you are designing? Who would you like to see wearing your jewelry? A. We joke at the studio that Sade is our favorite customer. I was told a long time ago that I needed to follow trends if I wanted to be successful, but my jewelry is intended to last a lifetime. I would hate for someone to buy a piece only to toss it aside once a trend has passed. I live in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and there are a lot of fashionable girls here, but their style is very homogenous. The woman I want to see wearing my jewelry has her own distinctive sense of style that transcends fashion trends. It’s timeless.
Photographed in his studio in New York by Nicole Franzen