Aurore Melot: the designer behind THOMAS SABO jewellery
For Aurore Melot, her passion for jewellery began with a special journey: In Thailand many years ago, she discovered the exquisite craft that would later become the focus of her life. She has been part of THOMAS SABO since 2016, and since 2021, the Frenchwoman has been leading our fortunes as Creative Director. What inspires Aurore Melot? How does she go about working on her designs? And what is the personal exchange like with company founder Thomas Sabo? The designer answered all our questions...
You have been part of THOMAS SABO for six years now - since January 2020 as Head of Design and currently as Creative Director. What has changed during this time?
To be honest: Not that much - and that's great! THOMAS SABO has a strong DNA, so it's just our job to preserve it and convey it properly to the outside world. What's important to us with every piece of jewellery is that it should have meaning - that's the core of THOMAS SABO. Jewellery without meaning? There is no such thing! That's why we love pieces that have a symbolic character. We develop the themes of our collections from this idea. And from this, whole worlds can emerge.
Which worlds are these?
Sometimes, as in the case of the current "Magic Stars" collection, it can be quite mystical, dreamy. Or somewhat abstract, as in the case of the "Magic Garden". But we also like to take concrete inspiration from different places and traditions around the world. That's one side of the design process - the other is that it's important to us at THOMAS SABO that each piece of jewellery can be worn in a variety of ways. To achieve this, we place a lot of emphasis on our craftsmanship - which is also evident in the use of modern methods, for example in the form of 3D printing. This gives us plenty of new possibilities for creativity. For example, when I make a drawing, it can be translated almost one-to-one.
Do you usually start working on a collection in the form of a drawing?
The drawings are the second step. It often starts with me coming across a certain piece, which then forms the core of inspiration. It can be a historical piece of jewellery from the 18th century, something every day like an antique key or a special encounter, a book or a work of art. In each collection, there is a defining key piece that links back to the original inspiration. Once we have developed a few drawings based on this, we start working digitally on the computer to translate the whole thing technically and develop it further.
What was the starting point for the current "Magic Stars" collection you just mentioned?
More of a feeling: we wanted to create an emotion of togetherness, to show that no one is alone in this world. Because the stars are connected, we all look at them from the earth. For me, that is also typical of THOMAS SABO: poetry. After all, jewellery is never something you just wear - we wear jewellery because it means something to us. Something very emotional. Creating that fills me with pride - and a feeling of happiness.
Was that also the reason why you became a jewellery designer?
I think so, yes. I really got hooked on a trip to Thailand many years ago. The country is known for its expertise in jewellery. I first fell in love with Thailand and then with the craft there. I was working for a small jewellery manufacturer at the time. I had originally studied industrial design - the trip gave me the push in the right direction, which I love so much today.
According to your designs, you also seem to have a great historical interest...
Subliminally, I like to be inspired by jewellery from earlier times - centuries-old craftsmanship is often incredibly fascinating. But I'm not tied to a particular era, I love the Rococo just as much as the Renaissance or Art Deco. But it's important not to get stuck in the past, but to put it into a contemporary context. I have also experimented with this outside of work with actual antique pieces - for example, I made a ring for myself out of a gold coin from the 16th century.
Do you currently have a favourite piece of jewellery that you have designed for THOMAS SABO?
I really love the key and snake necklace that I am wearing right now in this interview. But also, the hummingbird pendant, this means a lot to me because its development was a special challenge and it turned out so perfectly. In addition, new stones were used for it, which fitted 'perfectly into its shape.
What kind of stones do you like at the moment?
Currently, the trend is going in two directions: Minimalist and timeless on the one hand, striking and expressive on the other. The special handling of stones is also something that defines THOMAS SABO, and I realise this again and again when I look through the archives. There are so many great things in there that we then reissue in a similar form.
Do you often talk to Thomas Sabo personally about how he built the brand, what was and is important to him about design?
Oh yes, absolutely - we are in contact every day. If I have an idea, I show it to him immediately. We also like to look into the archives together. What's great about these conversations is the openness that Mr. Sabo shows in everything. And I can learn something from his creativity over and over again. He is also very focused and extremely clear in the language of his aesthetics.
What kind of personalities wear THOMAS SABO in your eyes?
That's an important question, because the answer is quite simple: anyone can, may and should wear THOMAS SABO! That's always been the case with us. But even beyond that, I'm happy that the fashion world in general has opened up and no longer follows strict rules. Who needs rules or pigeonholes? I’m also very happy that the the prevailing attitude at the moment is to buy less, but better. This increases appreciation for handcrafted pieces, which is something we offer here at THOMAS SABO. In my personal style, I do the same: I like to be unpretentiously elegant and like to add a special piece that means something to me and that enhances my look in a very uncomplicated way.
For example, what kind of personalities would wear the current Sparkling Heritage collection?
And how! The jewellery pieces are perfect for integrating into individual outfits every day. The collection is a very fitting example of how we interpret classics in a modern way: Fine pearls are essential in it - combined with comparatively coarse link chains. As a result, the pieces somehow go with everything and everyone, they are always suitable, they are just as chic as they are casual - just like THOMAS SABO!