Understatement and simplicity are more sophisticated than heavy ornamentation because you’ve got to think your way through the pure appeal of the form, to the abstraction of beauty.
In my designs, intellect needs to come into play: by adding an emotional underpinning and an intellectual presence to my pieces, I strive to create jewelry and accessories that add refinement and elegance to a person’s aesthetic.
–CATHERINE M. ZADEH
When Catherine M. Zadeh’s husband asked her to design a ring for herself in 1988, he inadvertently launched her career. Noticing the unusually elegant, stackable rings on Catherine’s finger, a friend casually commissioned her to create another piece. Further private commissions followed, and for a time, Catherine exclusively designed women’s jewelry, working hand in hand with her clients to create custom pieces.
In 1995, a client requested that Catherine design several sets of unique cuff links. Steering away from classic designs, Catherine created brushed and satin finished shapes, both sharply geometric and softly abstract. Aware that the men’s jewelry market did not offer much beyond the traditional, she conceptualized details that could be worn both formally and casually, accents with a modern edge that spoke of subtle masculine elegance and refined urban chic. Inadvertently, in the months that followed, Zadeh’s first men’s cuff links collection was born.
Catherine soon realized that she had found both her passion and her niche. With no formal education in design, she trusted her own standards of beauty, honed in her youth. Born in Iran, schooled in Paris and settled with her family in New York, Catherine’s inspirations were varied and deep. Drawing from art and architecture, nature and life, she taught herself to sketch her concepts and worked with master jewelry makers to realize her ideas. By 1996, she developed the nerve to present to Bergdorf Goodman which instantly recognized her aesthetic as uniquely suited to their highly tasteful and urbane male clientele. They were first to carry her designs.