Designer Bea Valdes Turns Humble Materials Like Shoe Laces To Luxury And Beautiful Pieces
Fine jewelry is luxury and beauty. That’s easy. But turning semi-precious stones, beads, and even shoe laces into something priceless? Now that’s something else.
Coming from three generations of fine jewelers, Bea Valdes started out designing accessories with the desire to create something different and unique, something that speaks more of her own style and sensibilities. Talking to Joey Mead King on Women of Style, Bea says, “It’s more of the question of ‘What’s precious?’ A lot of it was fine jewelry, but the language of trying to use a different material where the design element can be elevated even though the materials are humble, that it still has something that makes it feel valuable.”
Through the years, with the desire to turn humble materials to something precious at her core, Bea started to build her name in both the local and international scenes. And from designing accessories, trinkets, and bags, she has now gone on to different art mediums like furniture, clothes, and even public art installations.
But the trademarks of Bea’s work ethic and aesthetic have never waned—in fact, it has only shined even brighter.
“How I start is I group things together: sometimes it’s a bunch of colors, different materials. Even though I have a plan, sometimes it changes because the design really evolves. If I plan out everything from start to finish, it always feels a bit flat. But if you design it as you go along, it always turns out to have a lot more robustness or vibrancy,” Bea says.
She also has the amazing skill and creativity to turn the most mundane materials to something precious. Some of her works incorporate shells, ropes, and even shoe laces—but the humility of the materials is lost in the grandness and beauty of the final product.
Apart from her limitless creativity, one of her secrets to pulling this off is in the way she is meticulous over design and the perfection of every element. She says, “A lot of people come from the background where you have to do it as quickly as possible, but that’s not always the most efficient way and that’s not always the way that honors the craft. The basics really is about doing it one stitch at a time properly.”
Image from @monicadamonteid ··· a beautifully curated selection of our pieces, carried by her- @damonteelacarrieusainttropez @odulia1903 designer #sainttropezinterior #brasa # knot #knot necklaces #artisanal #craft #Philippine design # beavaldes #accessories @beavaldesdesign #see you soon
When asked what the secret to success is, Bea says, “Keep on experimenting, keep on going. No matter how challenging it may be, the important thing is you continue the journey.” And her persistence and patience are not only grand motherhood statements. The way Bea can keep investing time and patience over one single piece speaks of her commitment to her craft.
One of the many examples of her work ethic is this particular necklace that took years to complete because she had to wait and find for the right matching stones to go along the first ones she had. But after years of patience and perseverance, she finally completed the piece—and it was worth all the wait.
And from accessories and bags, Bea has now started to explore the world of fashion. With her sister Marga, she is starting to experiment with different materials, different textures, and different colors, to come up with statement pieces that speak of their creativity and style.
“It’s fun to be able to express yourself in different medium, and work with different artisans to make the picture fuller,” Bea says.
And just like her accessories, Bea uses fine and meticulous handwork to create something extraordinary out of the ordinary. She can turn distressed denim into a fabulous statement outfit, and breathe life to plain dresses with a simple bolero or vest. She says, “What we really want to do is champion the work of the hand, across cultures, across countries. It’s something that people appreciate. It has a certain universality to it.”
Catch Bea Valdes’ story on Joey Mead King’s Women of Style on Metro Channel, channel 52 on Sky Cable and channel 174 on HD. Bea’s episode premieres September 30, 7:00 p.m., with replays throughout the week.