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Maxim Voznesensky: Brand’s Soul Comes First

10 august 2009

JT - Jewellery Theatre, a luxury jewelry house, is one of a few Russian jewelry brands boasting an international rating. JT takes part in the Baselworld Show where its stand is traditionally located among the pace-setting jewelry houses of the world as well as in the Moscow World Fine Art Fair. The JT Company was founded by Irina Dorofeyeva and Maxim Voznesensky, jewelry artists, and besides its high-quality design it is noted for an unusual way of presentation: it appears to be a synthesis of several types of art (ornamental arts and crafts, graphic arts and theatre arts) where jewelry pieces like actors perform amid specially designed theatrical scenery accompanied by music and producing dramatic images for viewers. During one of the charity auctions, JT jewelry pieces’ estimates stayed within the range of 300,000 – about $3 million. Thus, the most expensive lot turned out to be the set consisting of four virtually equally valued solitaire rings: Legend Aqua (with a 25-carat sapphire), Legend Caelum, Legend Ardor and Legend Terra containing diamonds of 10, 17 and 18 carats.

Maxim Voznesensky, JT owner, agreed to answer the questions filed by the Rough&Polished correspondent.

Jewelry Theatre is one of the most successful jewelry brands in Russia – what is the secret of your success?

Any brand is based on some concept and then develops its philosophy and acquires a striking name. The brand’s soul comes first, followed by marketing moves and strategies and never vice versa. Jewelry Theatre was established in Moscow in 1998. Everything started from an unexposed jewelry studio and after eleven years the company has indeed turned into an internationally rated trademark. However, to achieve this you will need a team of like-minded persons – partners and employees, who would live the life of your brand 25 hours day and night. I was lucky since I always had such people around.

Currently, our jewelry house has two brands. One of them, Jewelry Theatre, represents 12 permanent jewelry collections, while the other, Maxim Voznesensky, is a sort of emperor lodge of our “theatre” and offers exclusive pieces in single copies only.

Could you say a few words about you latest projects?

We have timed an unusual art project called “Beauty Presentation” for the 10th anniversary of Jewelry Theatre. By way of jewelry pieces we conveyed feminine beauty of the most charismatic divas of modern culture: Aidan Salakhova, Olga Sviblova, Yulia Rutberg, Sati Spivakova, Ilse Liepa, Yekaterina Mtsituridze and others. There were released twelve photo canvases styled to verre eglomise, an ancient glass work technique.

We take part in many international exhibitions, including Baselworld. Starting from 2006, our stand is seated on the prestigious second floor in the Hall of Visions where this year we presented tow new collections - Caravaggio and The Elements – which are currently exhibited in our boutique in Kutuzovski Avenue in Moscow. Moreover, our jewelry house was rendered support by the Russian authorities, which is very important for our brand in its drive to win recognition worldwide: now we have the right to use the name of Moscow in our logo and besides this year our annual reception within the frames of the Baselworld Show was granted an official status and went under the auspices of the Russian Federation Embassy in Switzerland.

In what way does the crisis affect your creative work and business? Is your company doing something to overcome it?


The complicated economic situation in the world had its impact on everyone and we are no exception. This makes us meet our customers halfway, so the first thing to do for us was to revise our pricing downwards. Jewelry Theatre is specialized in manufacturing and sale of exclusive designer pieces in the first place, but there will be changes in our product range. We have taken a new tack in our work launching a line of silver jewelry which will be very democratic and affordable in price terms. Soon we’ll kick off a line of accessories. Nevertheless, whatever the economic situation, future in the jewelry business will be won by individuality. This is something which will always be sought by jewelry connoisseurs in jewelry pieces and this is a distinctive feature of our jewelry – so we are going to develop this further.

One well-known Italian designer told recently that modern jewelry design exists only in Italy. Is that so?

Replying to your question I would divide the notion of design into industrial design and artistic design. Speaking of the first one I would say that undoubtedly the Italians are historically leaders in this sphere. If we speak about “individual” design as an art then this statement is very disputable – it is worth mentioning the jewelry art in the Soviet Union, when the level was very high and many museums are keeping pieces of evidence to this phenomenon.

What is the future of modern design – in Russia and abroad? What tacks are going to develop the JT jewelers?

In this country and abroad the general situation will be shaping and developing depending on consumer demand. Either the accent will be put on very expensive and individual jewelry pieces or on the contrary the jewelry market will be targeted at mass consumers. We believe that future will be won by individuality. This is what we are exactly developing in our jewelry.

Well-known companies are currently surviving due to what has been done by their predecessors. Even famous brands are now producing things made by way of sophisticated technologies which are of a very high quality but sometimes absolutely dead.

By our art works we want to show to the public that Russia may also boast of modern jewelry design. Our task is to demonstrate that Russia has not only oil, gas, diamonds and gold, but intellectual potential and high-end jeweler artists as well.

Despite the economic crisis, there are positive changes in this country and I hope that in the result Russia will have its own “regal” Jewelry House. And I will be happy if it will be Jewelry Theatre.