By Marie Feliciano
Marie Cabirou, founder and chief designer of Marie Mas, presents exceptional pieces with her first collection, Swinging Stones. Designed to be “jewels of movement” inspired by the underwater world, the collection aptly embodies the joy that one associates with fine jewellery. Each exceptional piece can transform and adapt itself in one moment to suit one’s personality and desires. The coloured gemstones are set back to back. A mechanism allows the gemstones to rotate and switch colour in a balletic domino effect.
According to the jeweller, Marie Mas’ strength is in the development of new patented techniques, which become part of the brand’s identity. Expert craftsmanship meets innovation to create the most incredible jewellery pieces.
“I am looking for movement; poetry in the mechanism’s complexity. I love to bring a touch of magic to my jewels,” Cabirou said.
A graduate of the prestigious École Duperré (College of Art, Design and Fashion) and IFM (French Fashion Institute) in Paris, Cabirou learned jewellery design by assisting renowned jewellers Florence Croisier and Shourouk. Five years ago, she entered the maison Christian Dior Couture with Raf Simons, where she developed her jewellery designer skills. After three years, she decided to launch her own line of fine jewellery and haute couture jewellery that she named Marie Mas, in honour of her grandmother, who influenced her taste for femininity, beauty and creation.
In an interview with JNA, Cabirou talks about her love for jewellery and the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship.
JNA: When and how did Marie Mas start?
Marie Cabirou: The brand was only launched a few months ago, and the Swinging Stones Collection is our first collection. Everything is based on the concept of movement. The idea is to have two shades of colours that are articulated. The technique to make the stones move is internationally patented by our brand.
I have always been fascinated with jewellery that has that “wow” effect. It’s something unexpected and that’s what I want in my jewellery. If you are only going to do something that everyone is doing, then there’s no point in taking risks to launch your own line. I’ve decided to go for it since what I have is something that no one else has.
JNA: What’s your definition of jewellery?
Cabirou: A beautiful experience. I like the idea of “living” jewellery. In addition to giving my jewellery movement, I also gave them exceptional colours. The colour gradient works beautifully with my carefully selected gemstones. My Dancing Soft bracelet, for example, is made up of different stones, namely African, Brazilian and pink amethysts; pink quartz; London Blue topaz; Swiss Blue topaz; Sky Blue topaz and blue moon quartz.
Once the buyers see my jewellery pieces moving, they are really drawn to them. I have received positive feedback from the shops, and I am very happy with how things have turned out.
JNA: Why launch your brand now?
Cabirou: I am 28 years old, and before starting my own line, I worked for Christian Dior for three years. I felt this is the ideal time to strike out on my own since I am young and free. I love to learn. One of the things that I like about starting my own brand is that I have to go beyond design. I have to come up with a business plan, work on a budget and meet buyers. It can be hard at first but once you learn how to do it, it becomes easy.
JNA: Who are your target customers?
Cabirou: Everyone. Ideally, I’d like to work with one shop per city since I believe customers also appreciate that exclusivity. I am very much open to exploring different cities and different countries.