Connect Savannah recently had the opportunity to speak with David and Sybil Yurman about the success of the luxury jewelry brand and its advice to young artists. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has announced a collaboration with iconic luxury jewelry brand David Yurman.
SCAD and David Yurman have announced the David Yurman Endowed Scholarship for Jewelry Design.
The scholarship will be awarded to a “rising star” jewelry design student at the university’s School of Fashion.
The Yurmans also donated $1 million worth of gemstones from the brand’s private collection to SCAD’s jewelry program.
David and Sybil visited Savannah last week and met with dozens of SCAD jewelry design students to give feedback on their work and offer advice to the next generation of designers.
The couple offered advice on getting into the industry and staying relevant in a fast fashion world.
“We try to be slow fashion,” David said. “Jewellery is an ancient art form. You really can’t rush.
Sybil added: “It comes down to something I’d like to wear or someone in our family would like to wear. We stay relevant by knowing what’s going on in the world.
Part of David Yurman’s success comes from the connection between David and Sybil.
Their mutual love and respect radiated as they shared stories of milestones in their business, reflected on their past creations and joked together.
“Jewellery has always been a party for us,” Sybil said. “David was a sculptor and I asked him one day if I could wear one of his sculptures. How did we do this? He adapted one of his sculptures and made me jewelry that I was able to wear. It was a gift for me, a gift of love.
David added: “I love making jewelry and after 53 years I still love her. She’s my partner, she’s my girlfriend. A lot of our love for each other is in our work. We’ve been working together for over 50 years. She’s a brilliant artist, not good, brilliant.
This connection, David said, goes beyond Yurman’s love affair.
He explained to the students that putting love, emotion and passion into their work will bond with clients and other artists throughout their careers.
“Students here, the way they’re taught is to dig in and do what you’re going to do, something that touches you,” he said. “It has to be a feeling. And most feelings are pretty deep.
He went on to say, “Their jewelry is an expression of that. If they put those feelings into it, it’s in the object. It’s not metal. You think you are buying gold and silver, or a diamond, but you feel the feeling of the gift. Whether you offer yourself or someone offers it to you. You have given yourself something lasting and beautiful. When he goes to the store, when the jewelry goes to the customer, they feel it.
When asked if he felt inspired by the Savannah students, David replied, “Absolutely. The dynamism of what is happening at SCAD blew me away.
“It’s been exciting to be here,” added Sybil. “Seeing the budding careers of these young people meant a lot to us, and it also reminded us of where we came from.”
David Yurman will be recognized by SCAD with a Humane Doctorate of Letters at the SCAD 2022 Launch Ceremony on June 3.