This Jewel designer shot to fame after he made a 14-gold karat necklace for Rihanna

Stephen Nartey June 07, 2023
Matthew's work has been supported by celebrities including Michelle Obama, Cynthia Erivo, Andra Day, Kate Bosworth, and Taylor Swift. Photo credit: Matthew Harris on Instagram

Though each member of his family is expected to have at least one precious jewel in their possession as a family tradition for financial stability, Jamaican-born designer and founder of Mateo, Matthew Harris, developed a passion to design and join the jewel industry through a completely different source of inspiration. 

When he moved to New York at the age of 16, he wanted to maintain the family tradition, but the avenue which would have enabled him to meet the status quo was inexistent. The stock of jewelry he came into contact with was unattractive and lacked the touch of glamour he was used to.

Being a jewelry designer, at foremost, wasn’t a career path Matthew envisaged at the time, however, he took to training himself in jewelry designing in the jewelry district of New York City. He noticed that many people wanted their jewelry in a certain frame with a flair of luxury. This is how his journey as a jewelry designer began. It simply takes a case of luck and talent to drive a flourishing business.

In the mid-2000s, he was contacted by a team member of Rihanna to design a 14-karat gold necklace for the singer. His exquisite touch and sheer display of talent got him many referrals after his jewelry was used by the star. This, as expected, boosted his confidence, as he felt there was no way the world could reject his creativity if Rihanna loved his work.

In 2015, he ventured into designing gold necklaces for women with an extensive collection of his work. His designs were primarily centered on rings decorated with diamonds and unique pearlescent pieces, according to the cut.

The two places Matthew draws inspiration from are New York City and his native country, Jamaica. However, the first port of inspiration was his mother, who was a seamstress.

Matthew usually starts his work by sketching the visual representation of the design on his mind. He transfers the thought to his team and creates digital imagery out of his drawing. He produces the jewel after all the precise designs have been plotted.

This is how he began the journey of predicting what his clients would like. He first created the jewelry for himself before he transitioned to producing jewelry for women. Matthew’s work has been supported by celebrities including Michelle Obama, Cynthia Erivo, Andra Day, Kate Bosworth, and Taylor Swift.

Last Edited by:Editor Updated: June 11, 2023


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