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The sum of the passion she feels for her work, the love for her family and her life´s motto, “never look back, only forward” is, without a doubt, the key to the success of Venezuelan jewelry designer, Irene Zingg, a lovely woman of easy smile, exquisite manners and a special gift for creating spectacular jewelry.
Irenita—as her close friends call her—radiates joy, a reflection of the many blessings life has bestowed on her since she was a child growing up in her beloved Caracas with her parents and four older siblings. “I had a truly happy youth. I often went horseback ridding—one of my great passions—and traveled frequently with my family to our favorite destinations: Los Roques, the islands of the Caribbean, and Miami.” Those happy years nurtured her desire to become a jewelry designer.
At the tender age of eight, and with all of life’s pleasures at her fingertips, Irenita, a member of one of Venezuela’s great families, was about to discover her true vocation through her father’s hobby. “Dad was fascinated by jewels. He collected them, and when we traveled together on holiday, he would take me to visit all the jewelers, even if he did not always buy a piece.” While she admits being an absolute fan of yellow diamonds and earrings, (“the longer, the better”), after all these years, her favorite jewel still is one her parents bequeathed her: “a diamond which I set on a snake ring. The head is removable and can be worn as a pendant. It is an atomic design that still stops traffic every time I wear it,” says the designer from her studio in Miami.
A radiant personality that conveys happiness, a passion for design, and great tenacity make Irene Zingg a jewel of a woman.
Irene Zingg gradually came to believe that gems and design were destined to be the pillars of her life. Against all odds, and within a society where women were kept out of the workplace, jewelry design became the key to her professional success. She would eventually become the best-known designer in her country. A couple of gold bracelets with precious stones, the first pieces she designed for herself, were the beginning of the most wonderful chapter of her life. “From that moment,” she recalls, ”It all started!”.
Well into her younger years, Irene moved to Miami in the 1980s, where, driven by her interest in jewels and sales, she founded Sazingg. “In the United States I found my career, my personal development and an ideal market for Sazingg, a dynamic, modern, cosmopolitan concept“, she says. Her perseverance was a source of pride, especially after she married and had four “sensational children”, as she describes them, who gave her support at the start of her professional life and after her divorce. Many long days of hard work eventually brought her international recognition.
Inspiration, Creative Process, and Challenges at Sazingg
Zingg’s inspiration comes from the trees, animals, and landscapes she encounters in her personal “paradise”: an oceanfront Caribbean villa. She was involved in every aspect of the design of the elegant retreat, from the architecture and interior decoration to the garden. Irene feels extremely fortunate to have another source of inspiration for whom she feels unconditional love, “Since she was born, my muse has been my daughter Irene. She is an enterprising, elegant and beautiful woman, who wears my jewels with great ease”.
She also admits that nighttime is when she welcomes the ideas for her creations, collections, and the path to follow before any decision. It is after the sun sets, in peaceful tranquility, that she draws the sketches that are immediately transferred to her computer. “After years of working together, the members of my team know perfectly well how to interpret them.” Zingg thoroughly enjoys the creative process in all its stages: from stone selection to design and presentation. And of course, she also enjoys selling the pieces to clients who choose Sazingg for its daring versatility. A ring, for example, becomes a pendant or an earring. For the artist, the best side of her business is “seeing the joy on the faces of the people who buy my jewels”, and the worst side, “dealing with the steady increases in the price of gold and precious stones”.
Sazingg has stores in the United States, Colombia, and England. Designer Diane Von Furstenberg, Mexican singer/songwriter Paulina Rubio, Ivana Trump, and Spanish socialite Carmen Lomana, all have worn her exquisite designs. And, if you look carefully, you will spot her versatile and colorful pieces on some of the most recognized artists on the world scene.
A radiant personality that conveys happiness, a passion for design, and great tenacity make Irene Zingg a jewel of a woman. ■