We introduce with much pleasure the portrait of our Alumna Sofia Magallanes de Candido, young talented jewelry designer. Born in Mexico, student in Milan at the three-year course Jewelry Design, she is today professional in Canada...with a secret passion for bakery.
Q.: from Mexico to Italy, a long journey! Was it worth it?
A.: yes, absolutely! I walked across different countries along a beautiful path, that gave me the chance to study surrounded by fine arts and design. The best scenario to enhance my study level.
Also from a human point of view the experience was stunning!
“I met many people characterized by different cultures and coming from all over the world.”
Some of them turned out to become good friends of mine. A huge opportunity to enriched my process of learning. Coming to Italy for my studies was definitely a choice that I would repeat many times!
Q.: after the Italian experience you moved forward. Could you tell us your working run?
A.: once I graduated at IED, I had a wonderful opportunity to work with Stefano Russo – one of my professors – in his family-run company which mainly deals with eyewear, jewellery and luxury watches design.
It was my first professional experience that I still consider the most funny and exciting one!
Afterwards I had the chance to win a scholarship in Milan to attend a Master in Jewellery and Watches. This next step allowed me then to get in touch with the most beautiful Maisons of Luxury Jewellery in the world. At the end of school, here we go with another sparkling chance: an internship in Paris at Van Cleef & Arpels, the Company of my dreams!
In 2009 I moved therefore to Paris from Milan and my jewellery career began to take-off!
Once I finished my internship, I received a proposal from Lorenz Baumer to design jewels for the Louis Vuitton brand. My work has been selected to be exhibited at the launch of their first luxury jewellery boutique in Place Vendôme.
On that occasion I saw for the first time celebrities wearing my jewels! I couldn’t believe it: Kirsten Dunst, Sofia Coppola, Natalia Vodianova, all of them wearing pieces I worked on for hours, until late at night, just to deliver them in time!
After two years work at Louis Vuitton a new gate opened up: Cartier! I’ve been working for this wonderful Maison more than five years.
During this new assignment I’ve been designing many pieces supervising and guiding also many colleagues during all phases of production, until we crafted in teamwork a jewel of excellent quality.
For my job, I’ve been always visiting many jewellery exhibitions to search inspiration and materials; I collaborated also with many suppliers to find the best production solutions. Thanks to all these activities I managed to get to the most ambitious jewellery field: the one of diamonds!
Q.: along this fairy path, always beside glamorous companies, you finally reached the Luxury Jewellery Olympus. At that precise moment your professional story surprisingly overlapped the event of the year that captured the worldwide media attention: the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan. How did you feel when you saw one of your shaped ideas worn by the newly Duchess of Sussex?
A.: it was the most surprising result! Absolute emotion and incredible experience at the same time!
I cannot describe my feelings on that day.
At that time I was right in the middle of my honeymoon in Iceland. In the morning it was pouring. Me and my husband could not go out from the coffee bar where we had found a shelter. I said to my husband: “Why don’t we tune in to the Royal Wedding tv live, to see the bridal gown?” and guess what?
“Big surprise!! Meghan was wearing my diamonds bracelet - Reflection de Cartier - and I saw it live on my phone!!”
It’s a honour to know that my work, I have always done with passion and commitment, has been so much appreciated to be selected for an important event in somebody’s life. Definitely this is to me the biggest satisfaction and gratitude!
Q.: if you could push the fast forward button, how would you picture your personal fairy tale going on?
A.: my dream is to become an entrepreneur working on my own business.
Q.: in your opinion, which is the must have of a future jewellery designer?
A.: from a human perspective, growing good relations and promoting craftmanship more than industrial approach, such a common trend nowadays in the luxury field.
From the technological point of view, the realization of a special glove that would enable the 3D handmade production! It has been my dream of ever: being able to touch the digital material, managing the 3d modeling by hands!
Q.: what’s left from the IED education you received?
A.: the most fascinating aspect has been the possibility to meet very talented people and professionals, whom I still share experiences, advices and friendship with.
“The study program chosen has offered me a wide range of useful disciplines. Complementary courses I attended afterwards, enabled me to develop new skills in the jewellery field that students from other schools didn’t have the chance to experience.”
I’ve always been interested in the 3D technology, wax sculpture, gemmology, technical drawings, technique at the counter and gouache technique.
Thanks to my curiosity - enhanced by IED learning method - time after time I managed to develop a product from the very first concept to production, granting an exceptional quality level.
Q.: we notice on your Instagram profile that you are a quite skilled baker. Would you like to tell this passion and its connection to the jewellery world?
A.: thanks for your compliments! To me bakery is above all a place of immense joy! It is also my favourite hobby as it involves all aspects I like most: creativity, sociability, conversation and a smile after been experienced tasty food. What I prefer also in this context is having the chance to cook always with different ingredients coming from different cultures and habits and so it is for the decoration. It is exactly how it goes with jewellery!