When models retire and turn to the world of design, it often comes out wonderfully. Passion is needed to cultivate a true line of beauty and praise, perhaps even moreso than what it may have taken previously for them in the fashion world. With a love for both art and style, model-turned-designer Judith Murat started her jewelry line and never looked back. Collections that are inspired by everything from Buddha to celestial bodies, sparkle with 18kt gold and a colorful range of precious and semi-precious gems.
After modeling for 25 years, Murat turned to her true artistic passion; she began to paint, studying at the Chicago Institute of Art then New York Art Students’ League and The Armory Art Center before holding her first art show at the Jimmy Barker Gallery in Palm Beach. There she met a jewelry manufacturer who though Murat’s artistic aesthetic would be put to better use in accessories. After their conversation, she made her first moves back into the fashion world and established the jewelry line, House of Murat in 1999. Within a year Saks Fifth Avenue was selling her pieces and she could barely keep up with the couture orders placed by socialites and wealthy patrons at her own atelier in Palm Beach.
By 2009 Murat debuted on the west coast and was immediately adorning starlets, models and celebrities including Anne Hathaway, Tyra Banks, Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria and Jennifer Hudson. Worn at chic soirees, award shows and red carpets, Murat’s one-of-a-kind pieces are a favorite for the Hollywood elite.
Made in a variety of metals and stones, Murat’s preferred medium is 18 kt gold, but she brings life to her pieces though the use of metal texture and bright hues. Brilliant stones like diamonds, kunzite, emeralds, moonstone, coral, amethyst, and peridot are common in her jewelry, and allow her to bring more artistic elements of color to her pieces.
Inspiration is drawn from completely different areas; whatever speaks to the artist is manifested in gold and made to be worn. The Buddhas collection is comprised of red coral and 18kt gold and features earrings, pins and a lavaliere while the Mermaid collection, inspired by mythological stories from ancient mariners, is made of gold, diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, topaz and aquamarines. The Texas Round Up collection is meant as a way to capture the wild spirit of the west through gold and turquoise, and the monkey collection is a fun take on the mischievousness and child in all of us.
In honor of National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (November), Murat has released the Pancreatic Awareness collection and will be donating 50% of the profits to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network starting next month and moving forward. Murat, who is battling pancreatic cancer herself, is doing what she can to stay positive and promote awareness of the disease.
Judith Murat pieces are available at boutiques nationwide and are priced from $1,600-$100,000.