One of the most important aspects of the Harry Winston design DNA is the ability to transform diamonds and precious gemstones into one-of-a-kind creations, through exceptional techniques in craftsmanship and design. Throughout its history, the House of Harry Winston has had the opportunity to explore different artistic influences, which have helped to shape and define its fine jewelry aesthetic. In fact, Mr. Winston was known to hire classically trained artists to work as jewelry designers, because they had an innate understanding of the aspects that brought fine jewelry to life. Masterful design is transformative, as exceptional stones are vividly reimagined as jewels of distinction. Drawing inspiration from the House’s vast archives, Harry Winston designers execute the extraordinary vision and expertise of the "King of Diamonds," himself.
One snowy evening in the late 1940s, Mr. Winston was returning home to his family estate in Scarsdale, when he stopped to notice a holly wreath hanging on his front door. Twinkling snowflakes and droplets of frost had coated the wreath in a dazzling display of brilliance, providing Mr. Winston with an idea for his very own jewels. He brought this to his in-house designers, and the concept quickly began to take shape. Under Mr. Winston’s guidance, Nevdon Koumrouyan, Head of the Design Studio, placed his pencil to paper and the iconic Winston Cluster was born: pear-shaped, marquise, and round brilliant diamonds are grouped together and angled in perfect proportion, to capture the maximum brilliance and sparkle from every direction.
In 1962, Mr. Koumrouyan was joined by Ambaji Shinde, a newly appointed designer from India. Mr. Shinde was a meticulous and highly technical artist who had been designing jewels for Maharajas before Mr. Winston offered him a position. When Mr. Shinde arrived in New York, he pored over European magazines and catalogs to gain inspiration and a familiarity with the design aesthetics that were popular at the time. His designs were exuberant, regal, and tightly rendered in exquisite detail. Mr. Shinde’s legacy is marked by his ability to bring a design to life through art – whether it was a remarkable jewel or a beautifully detailed sketch accented with water color paints to show the vibrancy of a stone.
In 1967, a gifted designer named Maurice Galli joined the design studio after tenures at several of New York’s most prestigious houses. Mr. Galli was a remarkable prodigy whose magnificent designs were elegant and masterful. His creations graced the pages of magazines and found homes in many of the world’s most prominent collections. After a decades-long career with Harry Winston, Mr. Galli passed away in 2016 at the age of 87. Mr. Galli was known for his love and appreciation of nature’s beauty – much like Mr. Winston, himself.
Harry Winston Design
Harry Winston’s most iconic and beloved collections are realized with inspiration from the House’s vast design archives, home to over 100,000 unique drawings and sketches. These historical references include the 1940s and 1950s designs that spurred the iconic Lily Cluster and Sunflower collections. Icons from the House’s flagship at 718 Fifth Avenue, including the gilded front gate and the lozenge-shaped vitrines, are the basis for the Winston Gates and Diamond Links collections. With every introduction, the legacy of Harry Winston is reimagined and brought to life through contemporary designs that endure, inspire and enchant.