Jade Lustig of Jade Trau

As you probably know by now, the ladies of FFR are in no way what you would call minimalists. We generally like MORE, and then add a little on top of that. But that's exactly why we love the elegant, streamlined designs of New York-based Jade Trau – they are the perfect antidote to our penchant for, well, overdoing it. Not that there's anything simple about the collection: In fact, we think founder and creative director Jade Lustig's pieces are crafted in such a way that they feel easy, but are actually bold, sculptural and highly artistic. She drags certain lines out to surprise you with scale, and then adds diamonds in unexpected places to surprise you yet again. You know, all in a day's work for this mother of 8-year-old twin boys and sixth-generation diamantaire. Thanks, Jade, and we'll be over for citrus marinated steak ASAP.

Strung, shelled and beaded anklets that they would sell on the beaches in Barbados…it wouldn’t be a vacation if I came home without an anklet.
— Jade

What's your idea of ultimate luxury? 

A fluffy white bed with a view of the ocean so close you can smell it.

Let’s have dinner at your favorite neighborhood restaurant. Where do we go and what do we eat? 

East Pole…it’s my favorite neighborhood place hands down.  The food is great, but my favorite is this cocktail they make with fresh ginger that I find irresistible.  

If you could buy any piece of contemporary jewelry from another jeweler, what would it be?

Etho Maria. I love the color combinations they use and the way they mix rose cuts and full cuts in a linear and yet organic way…big fan.

If you could orchestrate the perfect first date, what would it entail?

Perfect first date…I am just about to celebrate my 10 year wedding anniversary, so a first date feels like a lifetime ago. But, my favorite dates are the ones that start with cocktails outside before sunset and a long after dinner walk. What happens in between…and afterwards…could go so many ways.

What’s the best movie you saw in the last six months?  

Noah Baumbach’s latest film, While We're Young. As a 35-year-old mother of nearly 8 year olds, that movie really hit it for me. Aging is a tricky gig to navigate, even when you are still young!   

What's your go–to cocktail? 

As a friend of mine who is a heart surgeon recently told me, ‘drink a half a bottle of red wine a night, but stay away from the hard stuff. That’s what kills you.’ Before that doozy, it was tequila and soda with lots and lots of lime.  

The gemstone you’re currently lusting after is . . .

What it was, it is and will always be…diamonds.

What's your favorite holiday and why? 

I think the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. First of all, it is my boys' birthday. I can remember like yesterday sitting at my grandparents' dinner table for the second night of Rosh Hashanah, wobbling home (my belly was unwieldly) and 12 hours later, I was a mother of two. It was surreal.  Beyond that (if you can top that!), I love that time of year when summer is over and the city is buzzing again and I love to cook and entertain so I have fun with that as well.  

What’s your favorite piece that you made in the last year and why?

I would say my forget-me-not locket. [Ed note: It's the last image in the slideshow above.] It’s such a throwback to Victorian jewelry for which I am a great fan, and yet has a completely contemporary feel to it. It also fills this void I’ve had in my own jewelry wardrobe for a great chunky gold charm and the fact that it is so tactile and sentimental sort of seals the deal for me.  
You have 30 minutes to work out – what do you do? 

SLT. It’s 45 minutes so that’s cheating a little, but I worship how I feel after that workout.

What was the first piece of jewelry you bought for yourself? 

Strung, shelled and beaded anklets that they would sell on the beaches in Barbados…it wouldn’t be a vacation if I came home without an anklet.  

If you could have dinner with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Maybe Suzanne Belperron…in addition to being an enormous fan of her work, she was a pioneer in creating a path for women in such a male dominated industry.

What's the most sentimental piece of jewelry you own and tell us the back story.

It’s new and old…a bracelet my mother recently gave me that her grandmother gave her as a teenager. It’s a gold linked bracelet with a gem studded ball at the end. I can remember it sitting on the bottom of my mother’s jewelry box for as far back as my memories go and I love when people I love give me things that I truly love aesthetically as well.

Mountains, sea or city? Why? 

Sea.  I’m an Aries. I need water to temper the fire!

Top 5 bands in your playlist - go!

At this moment: Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, John Legend, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac.

You’re having guests for the weekend. What’s your signature dish that you cook? 

Citrus marinated steak with whatever veggies are fresh from the market. I love making salads.  This weekend was kale, cherries, roasted onions and tamari almonds in a sesame vinaigrette. I gotta say that this summer the tomatoes and squashes have been irresistible. Thick slices of tomato doused in any fresh herb and olive oil and I’m happy.  

Be honest – who’s your celebrity crush?!

Blake Shelton…and that might be the first time I’ve acknowledged that publically or privately.  Maybe I should listen to his music now?

If you could only carry one handbag for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

Even though I generally wear crossbody bags, I have to say that the Bottega Veneta hobo bag is the most comfortable and versatile bag I’ve ever owned.  I still wear my grandmother’s old Bottegas from 40 years ago.  

If you could sit front row at any fashion show, which would it be and why? 

Hmm…I don’t know. Maybe Temperly London or Marchesa because when I watch those shows I insatiably want to wear the dresses they design.  

Tell us your beauty secrets.

Copious amounts of Cetaphil and never go to bed without moisturizing from tip to tail.

 What's your spirit animal?        

A hawk…messenger to the spirit world and known for its intuition.  

If you could be anything other than a jewelry designer, what would it be? 

A therapist or a cook or a mom to a giant brood or florist or horticulturist or a fitness instructor of some sort….the truth is that in my sixth grade yearbook, my ‘future career’ was jewelry designer, so I think my fate was set quite early on.