Q&A with Designer Parme Marin

Born in Paris and with roots in New York, Madrid and Marrakech, jeweler Parme Marin is the embodiment of how travel and design so often go hand-in-hand. Indagare founder Melissa Biggs Bradley discovered her designs while traveling in Morocco. The worldly, red-headed Marin turns out one-of-a-kind pieces—like the Berbère necklace, which employs Moroccan coins to give it a glittery shimmer—that are as influenced by her travels as she is herself. Here, Parme shares some insight into her design philosophy and tells us more about her jewelry.

You have lived in Paris, New York, Madrid and Marrakech. What sorts of materials and inspirations have you picked up along the way?

Traveling is the most inspiring thing one can do; in the process of discovering new places, you also discover so much about yourself. Having lived in many different cities, I find my style and designs are inspired by the various places I’ve traveled. Paris, with its effortless elegance, taught me the classical side of fashion, while New York’s urban landscape inspired the use of leathers and an androgynous style. After living in Madrid, I incorporated lush, rich colors and materials like velvet. Marrakech was almost overwhelming in inspiration thanks to the excitement of the local artisans. Here, I encountered new shapes and colors, and began to work with raw materials like wood and bone, and I learned how to mix them into my designs.

What inspires the tribal theme in your designs?

In the beginning, Africa was my main inspiration because of the bright colors, geometric shapes and raw textures seen in African tribal wear. It then expanded to include tribes from all over the world, from Native Americans to the Papous from New Guinea.

What other influences go into designing your pieces?

I am fascinated with the architecture of the 1930s; the shapes are still very modern and the mix of details and sobriety is so strong. I am also influenced by New York City and its diversity—everyone seems so independent and seeing that has helped me to express myself freely.

What insider spots would you recommend to a frequent visitor to Paris?
  • Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, a big flea market where you can find one-of-a-kind-pieces. While it can be a bit expensive, it should be experienced whether or not you buy anything. My father and I would go when I was a kid, where we’d browse beautiful furniture from as far back as the 1930s as well as vintage jewelry collections.
  • Café de la Croix Rouge (34 Rue de St Germain) is a very Parisienne place that serves great tartines on Poîlane bread. There is a little terrace that is lovely in the summer and winter.
  • 107Rivoli (107 Rue de Rivoli; 33-1-42-60-64-94), the shop in Les Arts Décoratifs, is great for finding really original pieces, from jewelry to tableware.
What are some of the most inspiring places you’ve visited during your worldly travels?Jericoacoara

is quite possibly the most beautiful and inspiring place I have ever been. Located in the north of Brazil, the secluded village is as close to paradise as one can get. As a designer, I loved Copenhagen. The Danish aesthetic is simple yet strong, and the locals are so friendly.

Where are you dying to go next?

There are so many places I want to go to. I’m dying to visit Peru, Chile and Argentina, but I am also very attracted to Japanese culture. Visiting a ryokan and shopping for kimonos would be a dream come true for me. The last place I’m really curious about right now are the Norwegian Fjords—they just seem so beautiful and peaceful.

Explore more of the designer's wares on her website (

Published onAugust 15, 2014

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