Brazilian jewelry designer Fernando Jorge is the master of making a whimsical understatement. His namesake jewelry brand reflects the nature of his home country of Brazil—colorful, tropical, and carefree.
His Beacon Earrings with citrine resemble a pair of angel wings, while his Cushioned Lines pendant is a throwback to 1960s Optical Art. Many of his works are daring, taking cues from modern abstractionists such as Alexander Calder or the jewelry designers at the Bauhaus school, and aerial acrobatics. His famous Disco Earrings have been worn by the likes of Beyonce, Emily Blunt, Viola Davis, and Michelle Obama.
Jorge, 41, is known for using locally sourced gemstones, and for using diamonds in a way that makes them look like droplets of rain. His handcrafted pieces are created by specialists in Brazil and Italy, and he is known for creating bespoke engagement rings, for clients who want to repurpose their heirlooms.
Jorge, who lives in London, recently shared his favorite things with penta,
My favorite thing about my hometown of So Paulo is… lots of sunshine, fresh air, and good memories.
My fashion icons include… Brazilian talents, like actress Sonia Braga and the samba musician Jorge Ben Jor. They’re both the best of Brazilian style from the 1970s.
My dream vacation is…
Chapada Diamantina, a nature reserve in the eastern part of Brazil, basically a plateau in the center of the state of Bahia. It’s named after diamonds which used to be found on the riverbeds. Now, it is a national park, and it’s filled with waterfalls and wildlife. It’s a tropical dream.
My favorite bar in London is… The Marksman, a local gem in East London that has great cocktails and food.
My favorite stone is… to be honest, when it comes to jewelry, I cannot pick one favorite because there are too many gemstones to love! For interiors, I am obsessed with green onyx, which is often found in Brazil, Mexico, and Peru.
In my art collection, I have… Sculptures created by Brazilian artist Vanessa Da Silva and British abstract artist George Henry Longly.
My favorite item I own is… a vintage folding screen in brass I got from the e-commerce furniture platform 1st Dibs.
One of the biggest highlights of my career was… winning the Gem Awards from the Jewelers of America, for the best designer award in 2019. It was a wonderful feeling to be a designer from Brazil, based in London, and having my work celebrated in New York.
The most luxurious thing about jewelry is… its capacity to be truly meaningful.
The best advice I ever got was… “What you choose not to do defines you as much as what you do.” I was told this from a tutor while I was studying at Central Saint Martins in London.
If I were to buy any piece of art, it would be by… one of the landscape paintings by So Paulo-based artist Lucas Arruda, who shows with David Zwirner.
A passion of mine that few people know about is… Capoeira, which is a Brazilian martial art I used to practice when I was young.
My favorite destination in Europe is… London for living, and the Greek island of Patmos, in the Aegean Sea, for holidays.
The thing that gets me up in the morning is… breakfast, my favorite meal.
My favorite quote from a historical figure is… a quote from the Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran, who said: “Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.”
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.