On this special Cinco de Mayo edition of our live Link Up, Jay catches up with long time friend, Anita Ko. Anita is a Los Angeles-based jewelry designer with a natural passion for jewelry; in 2006 she turned her passion into a flourishing business establishing a timeless fine jewelry company.
Designed for the modern woman, who is always on the go, Anita creates a variety of unique and contemporary pieces that allow her customers to develop their own style and express their individuality. Her designs have been worn by celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Gigi Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, and Rihanna- just to name a few.
“DON’T KEEP THE PIECES IN THE SAFE. IT DOESN’T MATTER IF IT COSTS $10 OR $1 MILLION, IT WILL BE WORTH IT”
– ANITA KO
What have you been up to?
Anita – This has been a great way to have the time to connect with people and my retailers. I’ve also been able to communicate with so many of my clients and people who love my jewelry on social media.
What inspires your collections?
Anita – I was born & raised in LA, the way I style my pieces and how I dress has been hugely influenced in how I grew up and my life in LA. I really care about the quality of my pieces. I want my clients to feel they are buying something that will withstand the test of time.
You are the queen of layering, what are your favorite pieces?
Zodiac pendants, link bracelets, diamond eternity necklaces, Hepburn necklace, zipper necklace, blue sapphire marquise evil eye necklace, and my diamond safety pin earring; it is an Anita Ko staple piece- you will wear it every day.
I designed a pair of earrings for Scarlett Johansson for the Oscars – pear drop diamond earrings
I think it’s important to mix things with pieces you inherited or pieces you already have.
Why do you wear more than one zodiac?
Anita – I wear my rising, sun, and my moon signs. Your rising sign is how others perceive you and your moon sign is your moods, creativity, etc.
If you weren’t a jewelry designer, what would you be doing?
Anita – Something on the creative side. I think I would always have my own business. Probably in interior design or something in the fashion. I would just be creating, no matter what.
Why emeralds? Are they your favorite?
Anita – After diamonds, emeralds are my absolute favorite. Columbians especially. I inspect every single stone for color, clarity, and gem quality. I’m very picky when it comes to my stones so there is a lot of care and a lot of time that goes into this.
What are your Mother’s Day gift suggestions?
Anita – No one can go wrong with the zodiac coin framed with diamonds. Whether you get it in the large or the small size. I find it to be the best gift to give for Mother’s Day.
How do you clean your emerald jewelry?
Anita – It’s very important that you do not put emeralds in an ultrasonic cleaner. It could crack the stones. Never put it in super high heat. I like to take a stone cloth and rub-down the stone. I don’t like to sit it in water too long. I wet the cloth and then I will go over it with the stone and then I dry the stone. In general, try to keep some maintenance every few days.
For any jewelry in general, soap and lotion are very counteractive for sparkle and shine so you just always want to make sure you take your pieces and put them in a pot of hot water for 20-30 mins, and then take some dishwashing soap and really rub the jewelry. Then rinse it off with cold water, and dry your pieces thoroughly.
Most importantly, wear your pieces!
Any new pieces?
I have a lot of cool new pieces coming like the Zoe necklace, bunny necklace, and the Havana pieces.