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Making a Statement
Jennifer Bradley Franklin | Photo: Patrick Heagney | April 22, 2014
This jewelry master’s arresting style has Atlanta's fine-jewelry fans lining up for more.
Victor Velyan may be the most prolific fine jewelry designer you haven’t heard of yet. However, the Los Angeles-based craftsman (by way of Armenia) is well on his way to changing that for good, thanks to his exclusive, one-of-a-kind collection for Neiman Marcus that includes accessories in exotic stones and pure metals. He has ever-deepening ties to Atlanta, which started when the mammoth luxury brand brought him to town for a trunk show. Since then, he’s developed an increasingly wide circle of loyal collectors (he’s been seen on the arm of Su Longman and Christina Oh). The Lenox Square store displays 30 to 35 jewel-encrusted pieces, his largest domestic collection. With half a dozen visits to our fair city each year—to participate in charity events (for Michael C. Carlos Museum and Atlanta Ballet, to name just a couple) and to personally style his biggest collectors—he’s become something of an honorary Atlantan. $3,000-$95,000, Neiman Marcus, Lenox Square
What’s the aesthetic of your jewelry in your own words?
What kind of woman do you design for?
Edgy, confident, fashionable
Your collection is so unique. What do you think makes it so easily recognizable?
There is nothing like it. Not only is it all handmade, but it’s made with primitive tools that we handmade at the shop.
You’re a celebrity favorite. Who collects your work?
Cindy Crawford, Carrie Underwood, Ozzy Osbourne, Jessica Alba, Elton John, Mila Kunis, Bette Midler, Joan Rivers and Sofia Vergara
Your materials are stunning. Where do you source them?
I spend a lot of time designing and at the bench. I am in constant communication with my in-house crew, and I travel all over the world for gemstones.
What inspires you to create the looks? What do they represent?
Old World architecture, craftsmanship, nature, individuality and beauty
When you visit Atlanta, where do you lay your head and grab a bite?
I usually stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, and Chops Lobster Bar and Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse are my favorite restaurants.