Kozakh: An argentine love story
It's refreshing to find a designer who believed in quality and sustainability long before it was fashionable. The values of Kozakh shine brightly in all their designs—and with a lifetime guarantee, it's clear they stand by what they believe. Cynthia Kozak-Fisher fell in love with jewelry design in her home country of Argentina and has magically translated her modern, cosmopolitan taste into a line of delicate, eye-catching works of art. Each piece has the ability to turn heads while being infinitely wearable.
The Jewelry Edit had the opportunity to talk to Kozak-Fisher about what inspires her.
How did you come up with the name/concept for your company?
When I started designing jewelry in Argentina, my sister and I had plans to start a jewelry brand there, and we were going to call it KOZAKH. The name comes from our maiden name, Kozak, with an added H at the end that stands for "hermana," which means sister in spanish. We never got the company off the ground in Argentina, but I loved the name. After I moved to the US and my husband and I started the brand here, I decided to keep the name because it was special to me.
Where do you look for inspiration when designing pieces?
I look all over for inspiration. I like being around people and looking at what they are wearing, and designing jewelry that I would wear with my favorite outfits. I also get inspired when my mind is completely off work. I'll be at the beach or out at brunch, and suddenly I'll think of a design and make a quick sketch. A lot of the time, inspiration happens when I'm in my studio creating pieces. My tables are full of chains, wire, gemstones and pendants. Sometimes I just see two things next to each other that inspire an idea, and I go with it!
What are your favorite types of pieces to design?
My favorite pieces are the conceptual ones. The first piece in a new collection that inspires a cascade of designs, those are the best.
What’s your favorite type of material to wear/work with?
I typically work with gold filled or sterling silver, and lots of semi precious gemstones. Quality and materials are things I have been focussed on from the beginning, and I love knowing that my pieces are going to be worn as something special for a long time.
How would you describe Kozakh's style?
I like to think my jewelry has a modern feel, but is also timeless. It's also a little sexy, a little playful and on the daintier side. It works great for the office, a casual day, or a romantic night out.
Who/what are your biggest style influences?
Alexa Chung and Aimee Song are my 2 favorite style influencers.
What was the first piece of jewelry you remember buying for yourself?
A faceted rose quartz ring made in Italy. They were all one of a kind, and the ring was actually kind of big for my fingers. I remember, every time I wore it I would make sure to keep my fingers tight so I wouldn't lose it. I still have it!
What’s the most special piece of jewelry you own? What’s the story behind it?
I only saw my great grandma a few times in my life. I would go visit her in the little town in Argentina where she lived. One time she took a look at my hands, and she decided I didn't have enough rings. I was like 12, so of course I wasn't wearing any rings! But, she took me to the jewelry store and bought me two gold sapphire ring bands. They are very meaningful to me because I felt like she trusted me to be a responsible adult, even though I was still a child. My mom on the other hand, wasn't very happy about it. She thought I would lose them. I still have them of course!
What’s one piece of jewelry you wear often, that you can’t live without?
My wedding ring!
How many pieces of jewelry do you usually wear at any given time?
It depends on the day and what I'm doing, but I always wear 3 or 4 rings, other than my wedding ring. I'll put on a necklace or 2, or some earrings. It changes day to day. That's one of the best things about being a jewelry designer. I always have lots of options when it comes to jewelry!
What’s on your jewelry wish-list?
I would really love to own a Vintage Cartier watch.
Why do you think it’s important for people to wear/own jewelry?
Jewelry is the one thing we wear purely for pleasure. Shoes, tops, bags - they all have other purposes, so they are part utility and part expression. Those of us who wear jewelry wear it just because we like it, which makes it unique and interesting. I think it's important to express yourself, and wear jewelry that resonates with you simply because it's something you enjoy wearing everyday.
What’s something people should keep in mind when shopping for jewelry?
It's important to know what your jewelry is made of, and where it's made. The one thing that can make jewelry not fun to wear is the idea that it was made in a sweat shop, or that it's going to turn color and not look pretty if you wear it too much, and end up in the trash. Stick to quality jewelry, made by reputable companies that take care of their workers, and make sure it's made with materials that are going to last!
What draws customers in to purchase jewelry from your collection?
If I had to guess, I think it's because they like what we design! We spend a lot of time being creative and trying new things. We want to be original, and offer something unique to our customers. We also use high quality materials, and our team of crafters love making jewelry. I think all of that positivity is reflected in our work, and in our brand, and that gets people's attention.