Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 February 2020

My luxury life: Mercedes Salazar on finding paradise and why jewellery is a 'game'

The Colombian jewellery designer has crafted her first homeware collection, inspired by the Seychelles

Jewellery designer Mercedes Salazar has turned her hand to homeware in her latest collaboration with The Luxury Collection. Supplied
Jewellery designer Mercedes Salazar has turned her hand to homeware in her latest collaboration with The Luxury Collection. Supplied

She’s known for her head-turning, handcrafted statement jewellery, created in collaboration with artisans and indigenous communities in her native Colombia, but Mercedes Salazar is now extending her aesthetic beyond our wardrobes. The designer has teamed up with Marriott’s Luxury Collection to craft her first homeware range, a raffia-strewn line inspired by the hotel group’s property on North Island in the Seychelles. Salazar studied jewellery and goldsmithery in Mexico, and also received professional training in metal sculpting, enamelling and cabinetry.

If you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you be?

North Island in the Seychelles; it’s a little piece of paradise. But if not there, then home, a little town near Bogota where I have a beautiful farm and I really connect with my soul.

You’re sitting down to the perfect meal. Where are you, who are you with and what are you eating?

If it was my last meal, it would be watermelon. Yes, just watermelon. I would be with my children and my fiance – that would be the perfect table for me.

What does luxury mean to you?

To me, luxury means beauty, and beauty means the possibility to be near to God.

What does your dream home look like?

Actually, not full of things. My dream home is an open house by the beach, possibly also near a mountain.

What’s your best piece of advice when it comes to accessorising?

Jewellery is a game you can play, and you can be free. Talismans and amulets are there to connect you with your higher self; your wishes and dreams, and who you really are. Be free and use whatever you want to use. There are no rules.

A look at Salazar's homeware collaboration with The Luxury Collection:

What do you think people would be most surprised to learn about you?

That I am shy. That I am super-familial – my family is the most important thing in my life and that I really believe that dreams come true.

What’s your next holiday destination?

Right now I am in Paris for the Maison et Objet trade fair, and then I am going to Verbier for three days to ski. My daughter lives in London, so I will go to see her for two days before I return to Bogota. Maybe in the summer I would like to explore Bali or Italy.

What songs are you currently listening to on repeat?

I have two songs that I really love. One of them is Africa by Toto, the other one is O Leãozinho, a famous Brazilian song.

What’s your favourite film?

Avatar, and maybe What The Wind Took Away, a documentary about the everyday lives of Yazidi women living in refugee camps.

Mercedes Salazar on North Island in the Seychelles. Courtesy The Luxury Collection
Mercedes Salazar on North Island in the Seychelles. Courtesy The Luxury Collection

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Believe in your dreams.

What is your most treasured possession?

A book that my father gave me when I was 3 years old. I lost my father when I was 7, so that book really connects me with him; it’s a beautiful treasure. It’s called Momo by Michael Ende, and it talks about what is really happening right now in the world. It’s all about the Grey Men who want to enslave people, but now I can understand what the book was about. I didn’t so much when I was 10 years old, when I first read it. Now I know by memory what my father wrote on the first page. It’s a priceless object.

Updated: February 11, 2020 11:41 AM

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