Born in Sao Paolo, Ana Khouri spent her formative years between her native Brazil and the United States. Her father, an engineer, granted her with his sagacity, while her mother, a pianist and teacher, communicated to her daughter a passion for the arts. Both attributes have been pivotal in Ana’s life.
Ana first studied sculpture in Sao Paolo, at the Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado. It was in art school that she first began designing and hanging pieces from nude models. It was also then that Ana first began to think critically about sculpture, more precisely about the ways that she could make pieces that spoke directly to the body.
She began her inquiry in New York, attaining degrees at GIA (the Gemological Institute of America) and Parsons, before travelling to London to study at Central Saint Martins. It was only after completing her studies that Ana returned to Sao Paolo to establish her studio in earnest. Her background and love of sculpture would now play heavily in her favor, allowing her a richer understanding of the creative possibilities that weren’t being explored in jewelry design.
Ana’s first line showed that she could do jewelry and sculpture simultaneously, utilizing the same techniques, many she honed at art school, and even the same references. This unique perspective and Ana’s rigorous training are what make her work so exceptional: as a designer she is unhinged from any technical restraints, and as an artist she if forever demanding that materials bend to her creative vision.
For Khouri, designing jewelry is an art; it is about the myriad ways that a piece can take shape on the wearer, and the balance the work creates with the body. She focuses on limited edition pieces that look to the work of Calder, Serra and Bourgeois for guidance. Her approach is borne of the belief that jewelry, more than any other item, has the ability to create deep connection with the wearer. Another Khouri tenet is an insistence on bringing fine jewelry into the twenty-first century, so that women can appreciate wearing it without the requisite hauteur it once held. This attitude has formed a steady drumbeat under her ascent over the last few years. Her namesake line, which she began in 2002, has grown steadily ever since, drawing the allegiance of a long list of likeminded women and, in the process, brought jewelry design a giant leap forward.