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A jewellery initiative making a change

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Nina Runsdorf Nina Runsdorf

Oprah Winfrey, Kate Moss and Tina Fey are just a few of the high-profile women who have donned Nina Runsdorf Fine Jewelry, and the showroom’s recent relocation to an Upper East Side studio in New York is bound to attract attention from design aficionados, too.

With the same exacting eye that she selects gemstones for her bespoke signature jewellery, Nina Runsdorf’s new space is skilfully styled, boasting functional furniture by global designers such as Misha Kahn and the Campana Brothers, as well as artwork by Richard Prince and Nir Hod. ‘My atelier is an extension of my living room at home,’ Runsdorf says. ‘I want my clients to feel inspired and comfortable.’

Nina Runsdorf The Nina Runsdorf Fine Jewelry showroom in New York

When Runsdorf visited South Africa for the first time this year with her long-time friend, philanthropist Andrea Kerzner, she was fascinated by the diversity of craft, art and talent in the country – resulting in her collaborating with notable local creatives on a number of projects.

Two such names are sculptor Otto du Plessis and ceramicist Andile Dyalvane, with whom Runsdorf will investigate cross-continental working methods, mixing materials such as ceramic and bronze with precious metals and stones in limited-edition works. ‘South Africa made me feel more creative,’ Runsdorf says. ‘There’s just so much inspiring energy there.’

Nina Runsdorf The Nina Runsdorf Fine Jewelry showroom in New York

Her goals were further motivated by her interaction with Lalela, Andrea’s non-profit organisation that offers an arts curriculum to at-risk youth with the hope of changing their lives for the better.

As a proud supporter of the Ethiopian-based foundation Give a Future, which provides education and opportunities to help alleviate poverty, Runsdorf now sells scarves and bags from the two African initiatives, and a percentage of all Nina Runsdorf Fine Jewelry profits goes to both charities. ‘Lalela really touched me, and I wanted to help these children who have such incredible pride and talent in their art and music,’ says Runsdorf.

With exclusive Lalela items and Runsdorf’s new collaborative pieces soon to be available in Cape Town, these meaningful relationships are gaining momentum, and South Africans will be able to invest in unique pieces – as well as support a good cause.