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While fashion is becoming more and more inclusive, there is still an area where perfection is always essential: jewellery. Perfect circles, delicate whorls, impeccably round pearls, stones as shiny as ever... using these observations, Himo Martin founded the brand Pearls Before Swine in 2005. The name, inspired by a Bible verse which metaphorically warns against casting pearls before swine as they will not appreciate their beauty, sums up the brand's concept: creating jewellery made from materials that are deemed to be imperfect, in order to develop an original aesthetic and a new form of refinement. Necklaces, bracelets and rings take on a slightly aged and often raw dimension that does not detract from their beauty.
With the help of a long-time friend as a business partner, Himo Martin collects pearls that are considered imperfect by the jewellery industry. His favourites: Akoya and Tahiti pearls, which are then set in silver bases. Seeking an original look, he then works the precious metal by oxidising it or engraving it using unusual tools, such as medical instruments. As well as their ethical factor, the Pearls Before Swine creations are also sustainable, as they showcase fair trade pearls, stones and metals. Close to nature, the designer also occasionally includes elements such as wood in his creations.
And that's not the only way that Himo Martin expresses himself. Far from the tumultuous, fast-paced Fashion Weeks, the Canadian jeweller does not release his collections according to a specific season; instead, they are dictated solely by his own inspiration. The Montreal-based craftsman works on all his jewellery alone (with the help of an assistant) in his Vancouver workshop, hand-making pieces that are increasingly striking and rich in emotion.> View more