Her designs have been worn by the ultimate celebrity trifecta: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber.
Sophie Howard is the cool-girl founder, jeweller and creative mastermind behind the celebrity-loved jewellery brand, By Pariah. Founded in London in 2016, By Pariah’s hyper-chic designs impose simplicity and signal luxury with an ineffable cool factor. Inspired by raw nature, Sophie’s pieces, exceptionally crafted from recycled metals and hand-carved stones, are marked by a balance of sleek sculptural forms and subtle details with an airy lightness that’s perfect to breathe life into your everyday style.
Here, she shares with Emirates Woman how she got her start in the industry, what to look for when curating your own jewellery collection elevating personal style and more.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day, and your morning routine look like?
I usually wake up around 5:30 am, make a cup of coffee and get straight back into bed. It’s my favourite time of day when the world is still quiet and I can think a lot. I suppose it’s an early morning version of daydreaming but I try to find a way to turn these thoughts into reality later on.
What inspired you to launch your brand?
I was working in the London press office for Giorgio Armani at the time and HQ had shut down for the whole of August so the pace had slowed down. I realised that whilst being creative I missed actually creating. I had learnt how to make jewellery in school, how to solder and set stones and spent my entire childhood beading. I recently cleared out the cupboard in my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house and you wouldn’t believe the sea of creations I found. I don’t make our jewellery myself now but I design, the part of By Pariah I love the most.
What defines the By Pariah aesthetic?
Pure and sculptural forms grounded in easy elegance.
How would you best style your pieces?
Stacked! I love mixing materials and textures, finding harmony and balance. The exclusive ring stacks we launched with Net-a-Porter are the perfect example of how I would combine styles. I always encourage my clients to experiment with different arrangements until they find a combination that resonates with them; it’s the best way to express their individuality. Try mixing in pieces that you already own for example.
You have received the celebrity stamp of approval from the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kendall Jenner, and Hailey Bieber. How did it feel?
Totally surreal to be honest and I don’t think that will ever change. I remember when Rosie Huntington-Whiteley found my brand on Instagram after I had just launched. My husband suggested I should just message her and I thought surely I can’t. I tried my luck, she replied and wore my baroque lariat earrings 6 months later, I was speechless. I was and still am blown away by her kindness and support. I had a similar experience with Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner and Katie Holmes stylists. I’m so grateful for all these incredible women and tastemakers for their commitment to discovering and support emerging brands like mine.
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What piece from your new collection is your favourite and are you most proud of?
You’re basically asking me to pick my favourite child! I love love the Pebble Cocktail ring. The craftsmanship is incredible, and the precision with which you need to carve the groove for the pave to sit in perfectly flush, all by hand; it’s not an easy task. And it’s so chic. I’m a self-confessed lazy dresser and prefer the jewellery to do the talking. A silk kaftan or a good cashmere jumper and a pebble cocktail ring and I’m good to go.
Accessory trends come and go. How do you keep your work fresh?
I stay away from trends and give my product a lot of time. Each piece needs to go together but also needs to be special on its own, always with a balance of timelessness and modernity. I want you to love my jewellery as much now as you will in 20 years.
How can one approach curating a jewellery collection – where and how do you start?
Invest in well-made solid gold pieces. Buy fewer but better. Start with pieces that you get a lot of wear out of so you learn what you look for in your collection and how it fits into your everyday life. Your collection should be worn and enjoyed on a daily basis.
What small things elevate your everyday life?
Being in nature, a bath, a glass of red wine. A kiss from my husband.
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Images: Supplied by By Pariah