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Ears are meant to be decorated, according to Maria Tash

The curated ear
When it comes to the word tastemaker, American jeweller and body piercer, Maria Tash, pretty much owns its definition. And since the opening of her Dubai Mall store in the fashion avenue the hype is real. Seldom will you find it unpopulated with a throng of freshly pierced jewellery enthusiasts. The woman behind its astronomic success speaks exclusively to Buro. Middle East about how she's made an unmistakable mark on the world of fashion...

Where did your love of luxury piercing come from?

I’ve been attracted to multiple earlobe, cartilage, nostril piercings and jewellery since I was a teenager.  I would collect art books from the best of historical and ethnic jewellery. When I started to design, I created my own style that was influenced by punk and goth with some ethnic touches from my library research. I was a science major in college – I see piercing as minor surgery as well as a creative art form to be performed with precision. 

How would you describe the current luxury piercing phenomenon?

It is exciting! People are having a lot of fun working with my stylists and piercers to create unique combinations of beautiful pieces that are both flattering, self-empowering, and meaningful to them.

Why do you think multiple ear piercings are a big trend right now?

It is popular because it is beautiful. I have been piercing since 1992, but it was seen as more edgy then and the jewellery was thick and mainly steel. The jewellery now is much more beautiful and thinner, with precious metals and stones, so more people perceive it as lovely. 

What is your signature piece of jewellery? 

I have a lot of styles, but am best known for having many small diameters of rings that I custom fit to the ear. Small plain eternity rings, single spike eternity, and three spike eternity rings are very identifiable as Maria Tash. So are my specialty studs with internal threading known as ‘Tash threaded studs’.

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What are the earring trends we need to know?

Layering jewellery above multiple piercings going up the ear in a second row, or staggered in between old piercings creates a fresh, deliberate effect. Repeating jewellery elements that create a story is a big one. Also, more men getting pierced. They tend to select interesting placement with subtle jewellery accents in multiple lobe, conch, daith, and upper ear piercings

What do you love most about your brand’s modern and opulent jewellery?

I am proud that is it easy to make combinations unique to each wearer based on custom fitting and selection of metal colours. A client may be inspired by a look from our Instagram, but can make it their own by selecting a colour of gold that best resonates with their skin tone, as well as tailored to their specific anatomy, and with their own diameters or size of stud in any given style. 

What do you love about the Middle East and Dubai?  

I love that it is the bridge between the East and the West. Dubai is such a modern tribute to world travel, being a place that all can go to share in the best of luxury in a location created with such impressive architecture.

What made you want to open a store in Dubai Mall? 

The mall is so impressive with its offering of luxury brands.  The new fashion avenue is gorgeous and we can admire the Burj Khalifa by stepping right outside our door and looking up through the skylight ceiling.

What pieces are loved and worn the most by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moss?

These successful and admired women all have busy schedules and I think they love not just the style of my pieces, but the fact that almost all of them can be worn continuously because they are lightweight and comfortable.  I am also honoured that they have chosen to get pierced at my studios as well. These women wear my pave pieces, as well as some of my more iconic looks like the single spike eternity and triple long spike rings.

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What would you say is your favourite stone and metal?

I love white diamonds for their versatility, availability in different shapes, ability to flatter all complexions, and scintillation.  I also love deep pink diamonds for their rarity, beautiful colour, hardness and sparkle.  And I cannot forget tanzanite for its lovely merge of purple and blue, which are my two favourite colours.  I use these stones frequently in 18k rose gold, which I appreciate as a warm and modern gold alloy.

Now, check out these fine jewellery pieces that make the biggest statement