Stéfère, a Hong Kong-based fine jewelry company, has quietly garnered a diverse celebrity following that includes Cardi B, Madonna, Adele, Lady Gaga, Jane Fonda, Pink, Paris Jackson, Miley Cyrus, Janet Jackson and Kylie Jenner.
Cher is a repeat wearer of the brand, donning $15,000 black wood and diamond dragon hoop earrings for an appearance on “The Late Late Show With James Corden.” Another fan is Nicki Minaj, who was dripping in more than $310,550 worth of Stéfère diamond jewelry in the video for her song “Chun-Li.”
Then there’s the brand’s gem-encrusted $9,050 climbing snake ring that adorned Taylor Swift’s finger in promotional photos for her “Reputation” album and subsequent tour as well as the list of other well-known fans including Jennifer Lopez, Tracee Ellis Ross and Beyoncé, who has worn Stéfère jewelry for her recent On the Run II shows.
When Parisian jewelry designer Stéphanie Réhault launched the line in 2005, Elton John immediately snapped up a black-and-white diamanté Champagne bottle pendant necklace.
The luxury jewelry brand is now run by Corina Larpin, who partnered with Réhault in 2008 before purchasing the business in 2015. Larpin originally hails from Romania, where she grew up under Communist rule and owned a modeling agency before teaming up with Réhault, who helped her learn jewelry design through hands-on experience.
Stéfère jewelry officially hit the U.S. market in 2014. Prices of Larpin’s jewelry range from about $1,000 to $100,000, with the most expensive custom piece to date being a necklace and bracelet set that was $800,000, according to Larpin. The jewelry is available locally at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, H. Lorenzo in West Hollywood, Maxfield in West Hollywood and online at JewelStreet.
Larpin sat down with The Times at Fig & Olive restaurant on Melrose Place to talk about the line she now designs. She was in Los Angeles to launch a capsule collection at Saks.
“My designs are very strong and extravagant, very statement,” said Larpin, gesturing toward a tray that contained bold ear cuffs, rings that climb inches up a single finger and four-finger rings decorated with pink sapphire-and-diamond butterflies or colorful hibiscus flowers (crafted of diamonds, pink sapphires and green garnets) that can sprawl across the hand. “I don’t do seasonal collections; I design when I’m inspired by something.”
Larpin considers herself to be a “rock ’n’ roll person” and likes snakes and skulls — Lady Gaga has worn Stéfère’s skull earrings — but she also focuses on flowers and butterflies because her clients love them.
“My bestsellers are the hibiscus rings,” said the 44-year-old designer when asked about her aesthetic. “I was walking in a market in Hong Kong and I found an old hibiscus flower brooch for about $2. The color was so strong and beautiful, and I wanted to do something like it that wasn’t so heavy. The clover rings were inspired by my 12-year-old son, Alex. He picked a little clover and handed it to me, saying that I could get inspiration for my jewelry. In the end, I always use a lot of blue because my son has blue eyes and I sell a lot of sapphire pieces. I love nature and I travel the world. I live [in] Hong Kong and I have a house in Vietnam.”
Convertible pieces are another Stéfère signature. Rings with hinges transform from climbers to cover multiple fingers; pendants can be worn as brooches or attached to bracelets, and chokers can morph into longer necklaces.
“I think the beauty of my pieces is that they can be mixed together,” Larpin said. “Even if the style is different, they will work together in the same story. I want my jewelry to make people happy and for them to wear it every day with everything, from jeans to dresses. I don’t want them to keep it in the safe. It’s made to enjoy.”
Although she lives internationally, Larpin has a deep connection to L.A., a city she regularly visits.