About the Phoenix Collection
The Phoenix collection represents freedom, spirituality and empowerment, an uplifting reminder to persevere and to rise above life's hardships.
In Chinese culture, the Phoenix is a mystical female bird that rises from its ashes. Looking back on my own life, I faced many obstacles that I never thought possible to overcome. I believe as humans we’re always being tested. The pain we endure teaches us to have empathy and compassion for others. I discovered my own strength when I was left to navigate my own way and figure out my future. When the odds are against you and you feel like surrendering, you need that next gear in you to stand up and believe in yourself
The Phoenix collection is the spirit of my brand. It’s a way to connect to the universe. I wanted to make fine jewelry to inspire and empower others to believe in themselves. I created these jewelry designs in 2012 during an enlightened moment of personal growth. I was facing a number of hardships and was unsure how I might get through them. The Phoenix collection’s single motif is an uplifting feather which stands for positivity, resilience and overcoming challenges. — XO MIMI
BEHIND THE SCENES
Each jewelry design in the Phoenix collection is meticulously handmade by a team of skilled artisans. From the initial sketch to the final piece, each diamond, hinge and swish of a feather are all carefully considered. The initial design process is always the most intensive period for each collection and requires many hours of hard work to achieve the final result in 18k gold.
The Phoenix collection feathers were initially hand-drawn and required long hours of design work. A large group of artisans assembled to work on the jewelry designs including a master model maker, stone setter, goldsmith and production manager. Once the desired height, articulation and turn of each feather were determined, it took approximately 860 hours for the team to create the wax carvings and metal models. Various attempts were made to achieve the fluid look and feel of the feather as the jewelers had to experiment with different metal thicknesses and a range of diamond sizes to simulate an airy feather-like sway.
The Phoenix earrings that curve in towards the face, require approximately 206 diamonds, all carefully hand-selected and gauged from 0.78mm to 1.51mm in diameter. Set together, they glisten from delicate to brilliant while still maintaining a lightweight feel for comfort.
The Phoenix fine jewelry cuff took two years to fabricate due to its complex shape which features an open section in the front. The team also developed a unique hinge that blends seamlessly into the design. Following 100 sketches and CAD drawings, the final four designs were chosen to produce. The first, a plain 18k gold etched version. The second, like the first, but with a center pave spine. The third, an all pave diamond rendition and the fourth, featuring pave colored sapphires.
The next puzzle to work through was Mimi’s graduated jewelry design of feathers flowing gradually from big to small. For each feather, the bend of each tip was initially hand-drawn. After approval of each mechanical feather, it was then handmade into a silver model. Finally, the stone setter had to meticulously measure the thickness of each diamond in order to fit them securely into their settings. Each Phoenix Cuff design requires its own model whether it’s all pavé diamonds or plain 18k gold. The ombre colored sapphire cuff especially requires its own model because the density and thickness of the sapphires are different from diamonds. Therefore, the jeweler has to create a different metal thickness to accommodate the colored sapphires.
The Phoenix ring is one of the most popular items of jewelry in the collection because it’s comfortable and easy to wear every day. Mimi wanted to create an elaborate fine jewelry band design that would allow the wearer to bend their fingers and grab personal belongings comfortably. From the height to the movement of each feather, much thought went into the overall design of the piece. The Phoenix ring consists of many different gauged diamonds to give brilliance and fluidity to its feather design.
Each Phoenix Cuff design requires a different mold whether it features colored stones, all pave diamonds or plain gold. The ombre colored sapphire cuff, in particular, requires it’s own model because the density and thickness of the sapphires are different from diamonds. Therefore, the jeweler has to create a different metal thickness to accommodate all the colored stones. This requires 180 sapphires with a total weight of 2.25cts. The Phoenix ring is one of the most popular pieces in the collection as it’s easy and comfortable to wear every day. Mimi sought to create an elaborate band design that would allow for easy everyday movement and comfort for the wearer. From the height to the shape of each feather, much thought went into the overall design of the piece. The Phoenix ring consists of 76 hand gauged diamonds selected by a skilled setter. Each diamond is neatly and tightly arranged from 0.78mm to 1.6mm to give light and brilliance to the feather design.