Introducing: Yasuko Azuma

The grace present in Yasuko Azuma’s work came to fruition through her time as a dancer in New York. Years spent seeking balance and poise have taught her how to create fluid lines that enhance the natural beauty of each stone.

Yasuko Azuma Diamond Muget Ring Stack

Yasuko spent her childhood in Sapporo, Japan. At six years old she recalls conceptualizing designs with her mother, a fashion and handbag designer. Yasuko would often describe or illustrate dresses that she would like to wear, which her mother would bring to life. 

Passion coupled with fond memories led Yasuko to study fashion design in college and eventually work for a large apparel company. Although her position taught her much about the industry, the constraints of a corporate company’s vision with no outlet to explore her own creative expression wore on her. 

In 1994, Yasuko moved to New York to study jewelry fabrication at FIT. During her studies, her mother asked her to create a new setting for a family heirloom. This fire opal ring with a broken shank inadvertently helped establish her signature style, as Yasuko formed precise, tiny metal flowers and leaves at the bezel.

“I’m very nostalgic about my childhood, growing up in Japan and playing in my grandmother’s garden…I can recreate it in my mind, the botanicals, the rocks, the hanging lanterns and the way in which the branches seemed to billow and flow.”

A love of vintage kimono patterns, an affinity for the charm of Japanese fans and ranma (pierced work on sliding doors on old homes in Japan), greatly influenced her work. Fluid lines, dainty cutouts and floral motifs speak volumes about her upbringing. Years spent in her grandmother’s garden, reveling in earthly delights and witnessing the changing of the seasons shine through the “diamond dust” texture pressed into every piece. A light hammering on the gold creates glimmers across a matte finish, inspired by the sparkling air on an icy winter morning. 

Yasuko Azuma’s first full-scale collection launched in 2003. Since then, her elegant and intricate 18k jewelry has been marveled at by consumers and critics alike. Through her work, she is able to produce a subtle narrative the complements the wearer’s natural beauty. Balancing the minute and the cosmic, her jewelry is the result of a lifetime lived gracefully.

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