The Designer Making Engagement Rings for Edgy Brides

She’s a self-professed diamond hoarder.

By: Laurel Pantin
Photography: Weston Wells

Sure, Valentine’s Day has already passed, but we’ve never been ones to let that stop us from ogling and obsessing over jewelry. Especially not when it comes by way of designer Eva Fehren.

The jeweler, who works primarily with unusually cut stones (think flat, kite-shaped diamonds that nearly disappear on your finger), first made a name for herself with an X-shaped ring (you’ve seen it everywhere) but recently entered into the engagement ring market with her line Eva Fehren White.

Even as she’s expanding her repertoire, everything she does still has her signature mark—even her showroom, which is 100 percent black, white, and very specific shades of gray. “I’ve created a lot of rules for myself, and I like things to stay in their lane,” she says. “Discipline and precision has really influenced the line, and for me it’s an aesthetic decision. I feel you can process and absorb the designs clearly when things are streamlined by color. Clearly my office is not very different from that.”

As major jewelry fanatics ourselves (evidence here, here, and here), we had to meet Fehren and hear all about her line and, of course, touch tons and tons of diamonds.

“I’ve always been an artist, I guess. That’s a funny thing to say. But growing up I was always drawing and painting, and I’ve worked with my parents, who had a temporary tattoo company, so I used to design tattoos. I grew up in a really creative family, and I was really encouraged to draw. I think that was my first passion. I went to Art School, I studied painting at Cooper Union, and I was always really interested in sculpture, but I was intimidated by the scale. When I started making jewelry, something really clicked for me. I love the idea of making things that felt really personal and connected back to my body and could operate at a minuscule scale.”

“I tend to be really drawn to strong geometric shapes and non-traditional cuts. I love a rose cut; I love a portrait cut, which is a diamond that is almost cut like a sheet of glass. For me there is something really modern and interesting and kinda rebellious about wearing a diamond that isn’t so sparkly and that is very understated, that feels cool to me and modern. We have some signature shapes in the collection that really started as pieces that were only made out of metal and payey, for example, the dagger shape. We’ve begun to start custom-cutting diamonds in these shapes. And so, yeah!”

“I started thinking about how I could make a piece of jewelry that works as a three-dimensional object but feels like a two-dimensional drawing in a way. There was something about a ring that could go on in any direction that was a strong geometric shape that was big and small. As I was chewing on all those ideas, that’s how I came up with the X ring. Once I created the X ring, the whole vision of the brand really came together for me. Then it was like everything unfolded really quickly from there.”

“I think there is a way to be boldly feminine and still have a minimal, sharp aesthetic. I think that is my whole sorta obsession.”

“The first piece for Eva Fehren was the X ring. I was at a painting residency, but I had been working in the jewelry industry for several years, and I worked with amazing designers. Designing with Philip Crangi was my first job out of college. I decided to take a little break and focus on my artwork, and I really missed making jewelry. I felt like it was really missing from my life. I think there were some formal challenges that I thought about because I had worked for so many talented designers—I was like, ‘If I'm going to make something, I want it to be perfect!’”

“There is something inherently powerful and significant about stones. I’m not really a touchy-feely person, but I do feel like there is something magical about the experience of [touching diamonds]. That is part of why I like to do it, especially when I’m working one-on-one; it’s a really nice way to connect with people.”

“My business partner always jokes that I am a jewelry hoarder. I mean, I’m a diamond hoarder. I fall in love with the stones, and sometimes I know I’m going to use them, and I’m not worried about it, but I really want to make sure that the stone is going into the right piece. Sometimes I’ll see a stone and I won’t have a purpose for it but I know that I will one day, or a client for it! There are stones that I bought five years ago that I still haven’t used.”

“We launched Eva Fehren White, which is a line of wedding bands and engagement rings. I just felt like many of my customers were looking for modern, understated, interesting engagement rings, and people started coming to me and asking me for them, so I started making them! I think that’s why people come to me, these pieces do feel classic, but they are meticulously made, and there is something inherently fierce and strong about it because it has so much structure—and it’s also so delicate!”

“Also, when I was starting my line, I was so interested in jewelry and I loved it, but in the world of jewelry that I was looking at it was either extremely feminine—all of the delicate stuff is very girly and felt very, almost prissy to me—and the tougher and cooler stuff was heavy and really dark, and none of those things really felt right for me. I was interested in creating something that felt really modern and minimal and cool.”

“I’ve created a lot of rules for myself, and I like things to stay in their lane. Discipline and precision has really influenced the line, and for me it’s an aesthetic decision. I feel you can process and absorb the designs clearly when things are streamlined by color. Clearly my office is not very different from that.”

“My business partner, Anne, and I went to Switzerland [to buy the first diamond]. It was funny because my mom is Swiss, so I had the luxury of going to the Gem Show in Basel because I had a place to stay, I was hanging with my mom. We would have never been able to afford to go if my family wasn't there. We went and we had a budget, but it was very small. We were just starting. My mom was SO excited to see what we were going to get. I think she thought this whole world was so interesting. We came home with literally everything fit in the center of my palm. It was six little stones. She was so depressed! She was like, ‘You gotta buy bigger diamonds!’ I was like, ‘We spent our entire budget on these!’”

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