Soho Jewelry uses traditional materials for a contemporary collection
By Cayla Ramey
Soho Jewelry boasts a modern outlook on design that is ahead of its time. With a father who was a master jeweller and a mother who was an incredible
designer, it is no surprise that Ceava Kats has revolutionized enamel jewellery.
Currently in their 21st year of business, Soho has no plans of changing what they do best—making handcrafted, innovative pieces.
Not your grandmother’s jewellery
Enamel jewellery has been around for centuries, but Ceava wanted to do something entirely new with it. “The idea of traditional enamel was outdated, and it needed to be reinvigorated,” he says. He knew that he had to go beyond the design; he would have to “bring out new forms and different organic elements” in order to create unique pieces.
The use of colour and texture is something that sets Soho’s collection apart from other enamel jewellery.
“We have a certain look to our jewellery, but at the same time, it enhances other traditional items like diamonds, rings, bracelets. [It enhances the pieces] that every woman must have—studs, tennis bracelets, watches, and a simple gold bangle.”
Each piece is not only handmade in Italy, but also embodies a perfect combination of bold and simple elements, making Ceava’s designs a new kind of timeless.
Ending with craftsmanship
“We create our own colours, we invent new textures, different techniques, and new finishes that enhance not only fashion, but skin tone, hair colour, and other jewellery,” Ceava says.
He pushes a more modern view of design that has only recently become important in the fashion world.
“[People] aren’t all built the same, people have different tones in their skin—we use metals and colour to enhance that.”
Part of Soho’s uniqueness is its determination to be natural. Each of its signature colours are made using real gemstones—rubies create their fiery red, while sapphires make up their deep blue—to achieve organic and saturated tones.
“We didn’t sacrifice craftsmanship for the materials. Luxury to me is a feel. When you have something that feels good, wears well, is balanced—it has to start with the materials, and it ends with craftsmanship.”
Ahead of the crowd
Ceava’s outlook on design sets him apart from the crowd, but his ability to execute his ideas is what make him a successful jeweller.
While Soho might have modern ideals, they can’t ignore the basics. Black is one of their go-to colours—it is Ceava’s favourite to work with, and it is always in style. Soho makes each collection with rich, classic colours that customers can mix-and-match, and has also begun to work gold accents back into its line. “We keep the colours traditional in the sense that they are all easily worn together in contrasting modes,” he says.
Soho also works with materials that enhance each other so that its jewellery can be easily restored to its original condition should it get scratched.
There are several aspects to Soho keeping itself ahead of the game, including Ceava’s desire to provide quality and comfortable pieces that people will want to wear.
“When you’re selling a look, you have to have something to give them next. You have to stay a couple steps ahead.”
Ceava also uses his wife Elaine for inspiration. They work together, and are both involved in all aspects of the business. While their flagship boutique is located in New York, they also work with many outside retailers—some of whom sell custom colours.
Soho strives to make its most effective advertisement someone wearing its jewellery.
“Nothing speaks more for your jewellery than having someone else wear it,” Ceava says.
Soho Jewelry has created a brand that fulfills the many different needs of the modern consumer and it is evident that its team takes pride in what they do.
Taking a contemporary approach to using traditional materials has given Soho a leg up in reaching a new generation of consumers. CJ